CLEMENCY by James MacMillian
February 6 - February 10, 2013
Sung in English, New BLO production, US premiere
BLO’s critically-acclaimed Opera Annex continues with the US premiere of James MacMillan’s Clemency. The libretto, by poet Michael Symmons Roberts, is drawn from the book of Genesis. Abraham and Sarah are childless and nearing the end of their lives. They are approached by three travelers who share the unexpected and miraculous news that Sarah will have a child in old age. The mood darkens as it becomes clear that the travelers are on a mission of vengeance upon the neighboring towns, and Abraham pleads clemency for their inhabitants. Co-commissioned by BLO; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Scottish Opera; and the Britten Sinfonia
Clemency will be preceded by a performance of Franz Schubert’s Hagar’s Lament. The song, its lyrics drawn from a moving poem by Clemens August Schücking, centers on Hagar—mother of Abraham’s firstborn child—who poignantly sings of her sadness and anger after being abandoned in the desert with her dying son. The pairing of the two works makes these three dramatic figures the center point for the evening’s theatrical interpretation.
Conducted by BLO Music Director David Angus and featuring baritone David Kravitz as Abraham.