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Music Text

Libretto by Carol Barratt; German version by Hanna Francesconi (E,G)

Scoring

fl.cl-hn*.tpt-timp.perc(2):glsp/xyl/tgl/2 pairs of spoons/car horn/tamb/SD/BD/cyms/susp.cym/gong-pft-strings(min 1.1.1.1.1)

*alternatively, tenor saxophone can be used, for which a separate part is available

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
12/6/1997
St James' Ch., Holland Park, London
Elaine Kidd, director
Conductor: Dominic McGonigal
Company: W11 Opera

Roles

Children's voices:
NURSE
QUEEN
SEVEN PRINCES, as young boys
KING
VOLHEK
ELOISE, as a young girl (Silent role)
ELOISE, grown up
SEVEN PRINCES, grown up
THREE SUITORS
CHORUS OF MAIDS
CHORUS OF COURTIERS
CHORUS OF DROGMIRES, including at least two vamps
CHORUS OF THISTLEDOWN SPINNERS
Time and Place

Sometime, somewhere (Act 1: a palace; Act II: a dark forest)

Synopsis

During the christening of Eloise, the King and Queen's daughter, the witch Volhek and her band of Drogmires arrive to remind the Queen of her promise, if she ever had a girl, to give Volhek her sons. The Drogmires carry the sons off and Volhek turns them into wild ducks. Some years later, Eloise hears the story of her christening and sets off to free her brothers. She finds them in a dark forest but learns that they can only be rescued from their transformation if a shirt of thistledown is spun for each of them. To hinder her endeavours Volhek strikes Eloise dumb. The thistledown spinners nevertheless help her, and with her magic spoon Eloise conjures up three suitors to assist further. The shirts are completed and Volhek and the Drogmires confounded. The royal household arrives and the princes are freed. Eloise conjures the third suitor – her favourite – once more, and he promises to stay with her forever.

Moods

Comic, Poetic

Subjects

Magic/Mystery




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