Opera Scotland

Punch and Judy

Music

Harrison Birtwistle (born Accrington, 15 July 1934).

Text

Stephen Pruslin

 

Premieres

First Performance: Aldeburgh (Jubilee Hall), 8 June 1968.

First Performance in Scotland: Edinburgh 1968.

 

Background

Punch and Judy is the first of Birtwistle's extensive operatic output. Consisting of a prologue, epilogue and nine episodes, it is characterized by its tremendous energy and violence. The Aldeburgh premiere was extremely controversial, and the Edinburgh performances a few weeks later also had a mixed reception.

 

Characters

Punch (high baritone)

Judy & Fortune Teller (mezzo-soprano)

Pretty Polly & Witch (high soprano)

Choregos & Jack Ketch (low baritone)

Doctor (basso profundo)

Lawyer (high tenor)

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