FULL Six Characters In Search Of A Stage (Lambert) London 2014
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: Six Characters In Search Of A Stage
- Composer: Lambert Edward
- Libretto: based on the play by Pirandello    Libretto Text, Libretto Index
- Venue & Opera Company: St.Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park, Chiswick, London
- Recorded: May 2014
- Type: Staged Opera Live
- Singers: Mark Beesley, Lindsay Bramley, Olivia Clarke, Sheridan Edward, Jon Stainsby
- Orchestra: Edward Lambert, PIANO
- Stage Director: Ian Caddy
- Costume Designer:
Information about the Recording
- Published by: Edward Lambert
- Date Published: 2014
- Format: Streaming
- Quality Video: 3 Audio:3
- Subtitles: nosubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
A Director is waiting in an empty theatre for the cast of modern work he evidently does not really understand. Six Characters from an opera suddenly appear in their period costumes and insist on telling the Director their story which they re-enact for his benefit as they go along. The Father, clearly a gentleman of some wealth and learning, had a wife, the Mother, with whom he had a Son, now a taciturn young man. The Mother, however, ran off with a lover a long time ago and abandoned them both.
There is with the group an attractive young woman; this is the Daughter of the Mother and Father who was born after the Mother had moved away. There are two children also, a Boy of about fourteen, the son of the Mother and her lover and a young Girl, not much more than a toddler, who is the Daughter’s child by an unknown partner.
The mother’s lover has recently died and, now in mourning and destitute, the Mother has sought work from Madame Pace, the manager of a business which fronts as a fashion-house but which is also a brothel. Madame Pace is not one of the Six Characters and her appearance defies logic. But she is central to the plot and so she is there, the only character who clearly enjoys her role. She is played by the singer doubling the role of the Son – (tenor, a retake on the traditional role of the castrato).
The Mother is unaware that Madame Pace has begun to arrange clients for her Daughter and it is the Daughter’s earnings which are keeping them alive. One day, the Father approaches Madame for sex and is introduced to the Daughter; neither knows the other since they have lived apart. The Mother bursts in and interrupts them and the situation horrifies them all: the Daughter has been abused and exploited, the Father shamed, and the Mother is tormented with guilt.
The Characters go on to explain that the family came back to live with the Father and the strains of the various relationships came to a head when… in the garden… by this time the Characters are traumatised by re-living the events as they recall them. The distinction between the narration of their story and their attempts to stage it for the Director has broken down: their experiences are real to them in the present moment.
Everything depends on the Son: unwilling to play his part in the drama, it takes much persuasion to get him to relate his discovery of the little Girl drowning. As he does so, the Girl is indeed found dead in the fountain which the Director has provided for them. The others turn, horrified, to the Boy – who has been watching from his hiding place – shoot himself with a revolver he has found. Carrying the two dead children, the Mother and Father are left together with the Son they started out with all those years ago, while the Daughter makes her escape into the world alone.
The Director was beginning to feel involved in the drama but suddenly finds the cast has evaporated and he is left to clear up the mess.