CASTING AND PRODUCTION REQUIREMENT for GORMENGHAST
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
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:
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
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.
8 discret tracks of digital audio
Stereo mixdown: digital audio / CD-R / DAT
Parts for string quartet