Casting and Production Requirements

an opera in three acts

Music : Irmin Schmidt,
Libretto : Duncan Fallowell
(inspired by the GORMENGHAST Trilogy by Mervyn Peake)
Programming and engineering : Jono Podmore

Lord Sepulchrave: the Earl of Groan lyrical Baritone
Lady Gertrude: the Countess lyrical- dramatic Soprano
Fuchsia: the daughter Soprano
Titus: the son Dancer / Mime- artist
Cora & Clarissa: the Earl’s twin sisters Coloratura sopranos
Barquentine: the Master of Rituals Rocksinger / Actor
Steerpike: the kitchenboy Rock / Musical Tenor
Dr. Prunesquallor: the court physician Tenor or Countertenor
Flay: the Earl’s manservant Actor / Bass
Swelter: the kitchen master lyrical Tenor
Nanny Slagg: the children’s nurse Actress
English Libretto.

No Chorus or Orchestra.

The Orchestra (and Chorus in nr. 3) are prerecorded and reproduced from digital audio.
The live component of the music is a string quartet.
The prerecorded material is prepared in 8 discrete tracks of digital audio. The 8 tracks are
grouped as four stereo pairs:
1. Percussion:
This group which directs the rhythmic drive of the piece is a complex mix of: studio
recorded percussion, played partly on traditional instruments and partly on objects such
as stones, logs, china, oil- drums, steel joists etc. ; and electronically generated
percussion (synthesizers, samples, break beats etc.).
2. Electronic textures:
Also a multi layered mix of synthetic and concrete sounds.
3. Symphony Orchestra:
The Orchestra was recorded in separate groups and later extensively electronically
manipulated in the studio, sometimes to the point of the unrecognisable, to create a
seamless continuum of synthetic and natural sound.
4. Instrumental solos, discrete electronic events and additional effects etc.
The prerecorded material is prepared as four groups to facilitate distribuition through a
complex loudspeaker system thereby allowing the mix to be tailored to different
performance spaces.
There also exists a stereo mixdown of the 8 tracks. This is for :
a) rehersal purposes, as an accompaniment to the piano reduction,
b) reference and alignment for reproduction of the 8 tracks,
c) also for use as performance material in cases of limited technical facilities.
Performance material:
8 discret tracks of digital audio
Stereo mixdown: digital audio / CD-R / DAT
Piano reduction
Parts for string quartet