David Sawer: Skin Deep
David Sawer: Skin Deep
- Year of composition:
- Operetta in 3 acts
- David Sawer
- Armando Iannucci
- Dr. Hermann Needlemeier, a plastic surgeon: baritone Lania, his wife: soprano Donna, his receptionist: mezzo-soprano Elsa, his daughter: soprano Robert, her boyfriend: tenor Luke Pollock, a Hollywood actor: bass-baritone Susannah Dangerfield, a news repor
- 1. & 2. Akt: Klinikpersonal (12 Stimmen): 4 S, 2 A, 2 T, 2 Bar, 2 B Dorfbewohner (24 Stimmen): 6 S, 6 A, 6 T, 6 B 3. Akt: SATB (36 Stimmen)
- 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 2 1 - timp, perc(2), hp, pno/cel, str
- Instrumentation details:
1st flute (+picc)
2nd flute (+picc
2nd oboe (+c.a)
2nd clarinet (+bass cl(Bb))
2nd bassoon (+cbsn)
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
- Commissioned by Opera North (Leeds), Det Kongelige Teater (Copenhagen), Bregenzer Festspiele and Komische Oper (Berlin)
David Sawer’s Skin Deep takes us on a journey of physical perfection, to a place where beauty is created: Dr Needlemeier’s Alpine Clinic – Putting right what nature got wrong. We meet his family, patients and even the odd Hollywood celebrity in a tale that charts desire, spans continents and, ultimately, asks the question: What is the real price of perfection?
The satirical libretto is by multiple-British Comedy Award winner Armando Iannucci.
The world première of Skin Deep was given by Opera North in Leeds, and was followed by performances in Copenhagen and Bregenz.
The Times wrote of Sawer’s score: “He commands a light touch, a terse rapidity, a witty scherzando manner that is Stravinskyan in its biting clarity, but aids him in emulating those masters of comic texture Rossini and Offenbach, whom he cites as models for Skin Deep.
Sawer uses tonality in a completely fresh way, while drawing freely on more acerbic, modernist sounds native to him. An atonal operetta would be a strange beast indeed, but Sawer has found a plausible stylistic compromise. … There is a seductiveness, a glamour, to some passages; others are hard-hitting; and the general spareness of the approach (its resemblance to minimalism is skin deep) proves highly effective.”
- Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds (GB)
- Opera North
- Richard Farnes
- Main soloists:
- Geoffrey Dolton - Doktor Needlemeier, Janis Kelly - Lania, Heather Shipp - Donna, Amy Freston - Elsa, Andrew Tortise - Robert, Mark Stone - Luke Pollock, Gwendoline Christie - Susannah Dangerfield