Opera Scotland

Day After The Day After

Music

Jonathan Dove (Born London, 18 July 1959)

Text

April de Angelis

Source

Classical Greek mythology

 

Premieres

First Performance: Utrecht (Fort Rijnauwen), 29 June 2015.

First Performance (revised choral version): London (Lilian Baylis House), 26 May 2017.

First Performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Alexander Gibson Studio), 3 March 2018.

 

Background

A chamber piece, originally designed for open air performance, The Day After is based on the Greek myth of Phaeton, son of the Sun God Phoebus (Apollo). Phaeton is a reckless and impetuous youth who, convinced he is a god, searches for his father. The revised version with chorus was premiered by ENO in a studio theatre.

 

Synopsis (from RCS Programme)

Survivors of a global catastrophe gather after scavenging unsuccessfully. They relive the events that led to the disaster. One survivor takes on the character of Phaeton, who gets bullied at school for repeating what his mother told him: that his father was Phoebus, god of the sun. He reproaches his mother for lying to him, but she convinces him she was telling the truth, and he sets off to find his father.

He journeys east until he reaches the palace of the sun, where he meets Phoebus. The god of the sun remembers Phaeton’s mother, and swears to give him anything he asks for. Phaeton asks to drive the chariot of the sun. Too late, Phoebus tries to go back on his oath, but Phaeton is determined,and sets off. The horses sense his weakness, and run wild, dragging the sun too close to the earth, causing devastation. The people of the earth cry out for help. Phoebus kills Phaeton with a bolt of lightning. He and the chariot fall to earth.

The survivors have finished their story. One of them has found an olive stone. She plants it.

The Cast

Mother
 
Old Man
 
Old Woman
 
Phaeton
 son of Phoebus Apollo
Phoebus
 
Schoolkid
 8
Schoolkid
 7
Schoolkid
 6
Schoolkid
 5
Schoolkid
 4
Schoolkid
 3
Schoolkid
 2
Schoolkid
 1
Woman
 
Young Man
 
Young Woman
 

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