Heroic Women

an opera for mezzo-soprano (or ensemble of singers), alto saxophone, guitar, piano and string orchestra (or string quintet)

Susannah Self

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£19.99£28.99

an opera for mezzo-soprano (or ensemble of singers), alto saxophone, guitar, piano and string orchestra (or string quintet)

£28.99
£19.99
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Composer Susannah Self
Year of Composition 1999
Duration ca.60'
Composer

Instrumentation

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Categories (all composers)
Catalogue ID ce-ss1hw1

Notes

Heroic Women grew out of my work as a composer and singer in The Garden Venture, a program for new opera at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In particular my gratitude goes to Michael Finnissy. The show premièred at the iconic Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden and went on to tour internationally to Taiwan, Ghent, California and Mexico. It was then revived for the Tête-à-Tête Festival at the Riverside Studios in London. Heroic Women is inspired by seven notable women in history who were heroic for their action and seven fictional ordinary women who in serving them prove that they are equally heroic. The qualities and aspects of their individual stories are depicted in seven scenes which derive their energetic qualities from the seven chakras found in the human body:

Base: Boudicca – her cook
Sacral: Zenobia – her masseuse
Solar Plexus: Jeanne d’Arc – her mother
Heart: St Teresa of Ávila – her cleaning lady
Throat: Pope Joan – her nurse
Mind: Emily Carr – her muse
Crown: Julian of Norwich – her cat

The text for the Heroic Women is as much as possible derived from the heroic women’s own words. I created the text and lyrics for the ordinary women to reflect their support of the heroic women and hopefully demonstrate that ordinary acts can be just as significantly heroic. The opera is scored for mezzo-soprano, alto saxophone, guitar, piano, and string orchestra or string quintet. It can be performed by one singer taking all the roles or by an ensemble of singers sharing a number of roles. The guitar songs are designed to be self-accompanied but it is not mandatory.