and performance history==
The opera was composed during 1985-1986
in Moscow. The opera is a sequel to another Blake opera УTirielФ
(1985). Libretto was based on the very early poem by Blake УThe Book
of ThelФ (1789), in which he presented part of his immense mythology.
Thel, so-called from the Greek word meaning "desire" or "will", is young
girl complaining on her future death. There are points of dialogue between
two works. And they are interconnected through the common idea of search
for a meaning to life, through the place where the action is set, the Valleys
of Har Ц a creation of BlakeТs imagination Ц and also through the similarity
of the music material. In the first instance, however, we are dealing with
a dramatic tragedy, an illustration of the forces of evil, which brings
death and destruction to the world, whereas in the second we have an intimate
and lyrical parable-pastoral.
World Premiere June 9, 1989, Almeida
Theatre, London with subsequent performances on June 10, and June 11, 1989.
*Annabel Arden, diector
*Willow Winston, designer
*Jane Davidson, soprano
*Lore Lixemberg, contralto,
*Conductor: Jeremy Arden
*Company: Theatre de Complicite
Second staging: May 29, 1993, Ballroom
StudentТs Union, Keele University, Staffordshire.
*Director and soprano: Jane Davidson
*Conductor: Rahmil Fishman
Thel Ц Soprano
Clod of Clay Ц Contralto
Lily of the Valley Ц Boy or girl soprano
Cloud Ц Coutertenor ( or soprano)
Worm Ц Mime
Ghost Ц Mixed chamber choir (SATB)
Time and Place: The Vales of Har, the
Places of the Dead
Duration: 52 minutes
*Singers: soprano, boy (or girl) soprano,
countertenor, contralto, mime, mixed chamber choir
*Orchestra: flute (=piccolo) , oboe,
clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, 2 percussion players
(timpani, jingle bells, triangle, suspended cymbal, gong, bass drum, tam-tam,
glockenspiel, tubular bells, xylophone, vibraphone) celesta, harp, 2 violins,
viola, violoncello, double bass.
This work is represented by Boosey &
Hawkes in the UK, British Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and the Republic
Internationale Musikverlage Hans Sikorski,
Hamburg, for Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Iceland, Israel,
Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia, Turkey.