Libretto for Mini Opera
Finalist, English National Opera Mini Opera Competition 2012.

Woman:
Where are you going?
Where are you going?

Chorus:
He walks alone
Through the hedgerow.
Ground beneath his tired feet.
Baked in the summer sun
Past the blood red berries.
Vicious thorns and twisted oak
The dust the fields the heat.
A hill.

Director is carrying a thick document.

Director:
A job well done.

Chair:
It was rather fun.

Director:
Perhaps if you could add a few more pictures?

Director flicks through the document.

Another illustration
To match your observation
Would lift the publication.

Chair:
Is there more?                                                         

 Director stops at a particular page.

Director:
Needs more gore.

Chair:
Are you really sure?

Director:
It’s a bloody war we’ll soon be
Fighting.

Chair:
Yes I know I have it here in
Writing.

Director:
How very
Frightening.

Director indicates final page of document.

Not to disillusion
Reach a strong conclusion
Not that there’s collusion…

Chair:
I concur.

Director:
Make it more dramatic
Dare I say emphatic
Perhaps a change of graphic?

Chair:
Yes dear sir.

Director eyes Chair with suspicion.

Director:
It’s not a call to war
Of that I’m sure
All we need is something more
Compelling

Chair:
Now I see exactly what we’re
Selling.

Director:
Now fix this spelling.

Director thrusts document at Chair.

“Could” is weak.
It could use a tweak.
“Capable of being used” is
Better.

Chair:
We’ll follow your instructions to the
Letter.

They shake hands

Director:
Perhaps if you could add a few more pictures?

Chorus:
He crouches down
On the hilltop.
Grass beneath his weary feet.
Fields stretching out for miles
Fresh and green forever.
Docile cows a pleasant hum
The shade the pain the heat.
A knife.

Minister:
How’s your day?

Chairman:
Go away.

Minister:
Are you well?

Chairman:
Go to hell.

Minister:
For your information
Your co-operation

Chairman:
For the Queen and Nation?

Minister:
Is very much appreciated.
Let’s play a game
Of
Word association.

Chairman is unimpressed.

Fleet Street.

Chairman:
Big feet

Minister:
Palm pilot

Chairman:
Ultra-violet

Minister:
Forty five

Chairman:
Not alive

Minister:
Imm-i-nent threat

Chairman:
I forget.

Minister is unimpressed.

Minister:
Let’s play another game
You give me a name
No one is to blame.
Agreed?

Chairman:
No name
What a shame.

Minister:
Wait!
Let’s play another game.
I give a name to you
You tell me if it’s true.
Agreed?

Chairman:
No name
End of game.

Minister:
(on his mobile)
We have a management problem.

Chorus:
He picks it up
‘Tween his fingers.
Nothing left beneath his feet.
Blade deadly cold and dull
Blunt as ice on fire.
Taste metallic beads of sweat
The shade the buzz the hum.
A drop.

Politician:
They
Threw him to the hounds
Watched him torn apart.

Judge:
Politicking is a subtle art

Politician:
They
Shot him down in flames
Buried him alive.

Judge:
Men bend many meanings to survive.

Politician:
He
Felt
Desolate alone
Abandoned on his own.
Flung into
The deepest pit of hell.

Judge:
One
Can
Question the support
What was offered, what was sought
What a man is
Feeling who can tell?

Politician:
Perhaps he felt nothing.

Judge:
Perhaps he knew something.

Politician:
Perhaps he knew nothing

Judge:
Perhaps I feel something.

Judge considers his position.

Perhaps there might have been
A greater deal of care

Both:
A sense of when and where to draw the line

Politician:
Perhaps we might have shown
A little more concern

Both:
If a man says he is fine then he is fine.

Politican:
No one in this world is                                                                                                                    Unimpeachable.

Judge:
How do you reach
The unreachable?

Woman:
Where are you going?
Where are you going?

THE END

 

 

 

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