JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): Clemency.
Catalogue Number: 10Q076
Description: MacMillan's chamber opera is based on an odd episode in the Book of Genesis in which the elderly Abraham and Sarah are visited by three strange figures who seem to possess divine knowledge and who gradually reveal themselves, via some disturbing anecdotes, to be vengeful angels en route to destroy the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleads with them for mercy if they can find just a few good souls in the condemned cities. MacMillan's score is in his now customary extended tonal style, here and there containing passages with a suggestion of middle-eastern flavor. The work achieves a concentrated intensity which belies its modest scale and duration, and contains some vocal writing of remarkable melodic beauty, while the final confrontation between Abraham and the three strangers is a passage of extraordinary cumulative potency. Libretto included. David Kravitz (baritone), Michelle Trainor, Christine Abraham (sopranos), Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra; David Angus.