Clemency puts a contemporary twist to a Biblical tale, creating the spiritual intensity and reflection for which James MacMillan’s work is so well known
Sarah and Abraham are visited in their old age by three travellers. Their conversation becomes increasingly unsettling and the visitors make the unlikely claim that Sarah is to have a new child. As the couple wonder who the bearers of such news might be, talk turns to a mission of vengeance, and a horrifying plan that leaves them pleading for their neighbours’ lives.
Clemency puts a contemporary twist to a Biblical tale, creating the spiritual intensity and reflection for which James MacMillan’s work is so well known, and was received to great acclaim at its world premiere in London’s Royal Opera House in May 2011. MacMillan’s richly coloured 50-minute work is for the intimate forces of five singers and string orchestra and is a haunting piece with a potent lasting impact.
Commissioned by Scottish Opera, ROH2, Britten Sinfonia and Boston Lyric Opera. Co-produced by Scottish Opera and ROH2.
Libretto by Michael Symmons Roberts
Derek Clark Conductor
Katie Mitchell Director