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Craig Armstrong

Publisher: Chester Music

The Lady from the Sea (2012)
Text Writer
Zoë Strachan
Chester Music Ltd
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Year Composed
1 Hour 15 Minutes
2 Baritones, Bass, Mezzo Soprano, 2 Sopranos, 2 Tenors
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Programme Note
Craig Armstrong The Lady from the Sea (2012)
Ellida, the daughter of a lighthouse-keeper, lives a narrow life with a husband several years her senior. Full of longing for the sea and for a freedom she does not have, she is shaken from her lethargy when the unexpected arrival of a mysterious stranger creates a storm that threatens to submerge the whole family. He offers an escape from the stifling world she inhabits, and Ellida must decide whether to do her duty or answer the call of the sea…

  • 08 SEP 2012
    Edinburgh International Festival 2012
    Theatre Royal, Glasgow, UK
    Scottish Opera
  • 01 SEP 2012
    King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland
    Scottish Opera
    Derek Clark, conductor

    Other Dates:
    8,9 September - Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Scotland
  • 29 AUG 2012
    The Lady from the Sea World Premiere
    Edinburgh International Festival 2012
    The King's Theatre, Edinburgh, UK
    Scottish Opera

Armstrong’s soundscape is minimal yet lush, its tonal language at the start becoming atonal as heroine Ellida’s mind unravels. A “mermaid” trapped in the fjords, pining for the sea, she is torn between her safe, dependable husband and a former love who arrives unannounced. Strachan’s libretto boils down the wordy original and deftly takes eight characters through an emotional journey in 70 minutes.
Anna Burnside, The Independent,30/08/2012
...the composer has devised a score that is intoxicating in the images it amplifies – a dense minimalist soundscape that hangs like a dark cloud, obstinately stagnant in tonality (like the heroine Ellida’s mental entrapment), and magically transformed to match the unclouded resolution.
Ken Walton,,30/08/2012
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