Bow Down, Harrison Birtwistle’s music-theatre work from 1977 employs 5 actors and 4 musicians (using bamboo flute, bamboo pipes, oboes, penny whistles and percussion) to tell the ancient ballad of 'The Two Sisters'.
One sister drowns the other to take her lover. The murdered sister’s body is discovered and her bones and hair are used to build a harp which is played at her sister’s wedding. The harp denounces the murderess, who is put to death.
The Opera Group is joined by the London Sinfonietta this May for performances at the Brighton Festival, the Norfolk [&] Norwich Festival, the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival in London, and the Latitude Festival.
The Opera Group’s Frederic Wake-Walker directs.
Harrison Birtwistle: Bow Down
music theatre for 5 actors and 4 musicians
bamboo flutes and -pipes, oboes, penny-whistles and percussion
first performance: 17.05.2012 @ Brighton Festival, The Opera Group, London Sinfonietta
new production: Frederic Wake-Walker