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Abelard and Heloise : opera

by Ross Fiddes and Paul Kavanagh (1997, this version: 1999)

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Abelard & Heloise


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Abelard & Heloise : a musical drama in two acts.

Library shelf no. CD 1156 [Not for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (2 more)  

Work Overview

This is the very best kind of love story. It's true, absolutely true, based on the passionate letters of the lovers themselves and an autobiography by Abelard. And it's tragic, in the most intimate way you can imagine. At the height of their passion Abelard is castrated by Heloise's enraged uncle and relatives. Then, in his shame and horror, to add separation and waste to the recipe, Abelard orders Heloise into a nunnery, and becomes a monk himself.

Work Details

Year: 1997, this version: 1999

Instrumentation: 4 sopranos, 3 mezzo-sopranos, mezzo-alto, 8 tenors, 5 baritones, 4 basses, SATB chorus, piano (reduction of instrumental parts).  Chamber orchestra is required.

Duration: 140 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Quality voices are needed with good enunciation. Dramatic and/or highly lyrical singing of a high order needed. Some complex passges, especially for chorus.

Contents note: Two acts.  Simple staging.

First performance: 10 Oct 02. Christchurch Cathedral, Newcastle

A mix of opera, musicals, jazz, with some "pop".

In 1997 the creators were awarded the supreme CONDA (City of Newcastle Drama Award) for Exellence in Newcastle Theatre based on a concert performance of the work. In 2002 Fiddes was awarded the CONDA for Musical Direction of the premiere staging of the work.

Performances of this work

7 Aug 2019: at The Poet, the Music and the Muse - Concert 4 - Newcastle Music Festival (Adamstown Uniting Church). Featuring Ross Fiddes, Genevieve Dickson.

10 Oct 02: Christchurch Cathedral, Newcastle

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