Saturday, May 19, 2012

We Break Your Bones: Entry for ENO's Mini-Opera Competition



This is a piece for a Chorus (Villagers) and three soloists (Wife, Husband, and Death). The place is an unnamed Iranian village.
Wife
No!
                                                                Villagers
                                                                Hear how she begs…
                                                                But no mercy
                                                                She spread her legs
                                                                Our verdict is read
                                                                Bury her
                                                                Up to her head
Wife
I’ve done no wrong
I’ve known no hand
Only my husband
                                                                                                                                Husband
                                                                                                                                Save your last breath
                                                                Villagers
                                                                We condemn you to death.
Wife is buried up to her neck as Husband continues:                                    Husband
                                                                                                                                We gather here
                                                                                                                                We gather stones
                                                                                                                                You are my shame
                                                                                                                                We break your bones
                                                                                                                                And cleanse my name
Wife                                                      Villagers                                                 Husband
Once we were one                       Draw a circle around                                 Once we were one
Days filled with grace                  the wife – a border                                    Days filled with grace
Now we are cursed                      they must stand outside of                      Now we are cursed
In this dark place                          when they throw stones -
                                                         as the Husband and                                 Because of your face
                                                         Wife confront each other                       A seductress
                                                                                                                             A slut temptress
A wife, mother,
A daughter.
I kept your home
                   You shamed me there
I bore your son
                                                                                                                             And you he shuns
It’s me he loves                                                                                                As a harlot, a whore
Liar!                                                                                                                    Liar!

                                                                Villagers
                                                                The circle is drawn
Wife                                                       Gather around
I’ve done no wrong                             The circle is drawn
No crime, no sin                                  Gather around
I’ve done no wrong                             The circle is drawn
No sex, no men                                    Gather around
                                                                The circle is drawn
                                                                Gather around
Wife
I’ve done no wrong –
                                                                                                                                Husband
                                                                                                                                Begin. Throws first stone.
Wife                                                      Villagers
No! cuts off halfway                           Justice and peace
through villagers                                 Honor and blood
                                                                Justice and peace
                                                                Honor and blood
                                                                Justice and peace
                                                                Honor and blood
                                                                                                                                Husband
                                                                                                                                Justice and peace
                                                                                                                                Honor and blood.
                                                                                                                                Drops his last stone.

The Villagers and Husband move to the background – focus shifts to the Wife, who has died.
Enter Death, dressed as a normal man. He goes to the Wife.
                                                                                                                                Death
                                                                                                                                Time to rise
                                                                                                                                The winds blow in
                                                                                                                                The horizon clouds carry
                                                                                                                                The dust of the dead
Wife
I’ve done no wrong –
                                                                                                                                Death
                                                                                                                                helps her out of the hole
                                                                                                                                You committed no sin
                                                                                                                                Still
                      the winds blow in
Wife
I’ve done no wrong                                                                                             You’ve done no wrong
Committed no sin
Still the winds blow in
The horizon clouds carry                                                                                   The horizon clouds carry
The dust of the dead.                                                                                         The dust of the dead.
                                                                                                                               Walk past the circle
                                                                                                                               Wait for the wind.


1 comment:

  1. I've found it! Another innovative and compelling piece! Justice and peace, honor and blood= haunting. Best wishes and good luck! Shall I link this to my site? I think I shall!

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