Commissioned by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

World premiere choreography by Cathy Marston (2007)

Percussion list (1 player):
5 Japanese temple bells, 4 tuned glasses or bowls, crotales (highest octave C-C, with damper bar if possible), suspended cymbal (+bow), Chinese cymbal, sizzle cymbal, very small cymbal, Chinese opera gong, tam-tam, 2 bongos, 4 muffled tom-toms, piccolo side drum, bass drum, small cowbell, flexatone, lion’s roar, tambourine (no skin, stand-mounted).

  • cl/tbn/perc/pf(Sampler)/
  • Soprano, Tenor
  • 30 min
  • Edward Kemp
  • English

Programme Note

A collaboration between composer Stuart MacRae and choreographer Cathy Marston featuring a libretto by Edward Kemp based on the myth in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Punished by Hera for her incessant chatter, Echo is condemned to repeat the words of others, unable to give voice to her own feelings and desires. Lost in a hunt, Narcissus encounters Echo and love strikes. Echo dogs him, but then - rejected - hides in a cave. Her body becomes a shadow and her voice a fading cry. The gods, for love of Echo, curse Narcissus to know the pain of unrequited love. Seeing himself in the mirror of a pool, he falls for own untouchable beauty. Despite Echo’s hopes to save him, he cannot turn away from his watery self and dies.