Friday, 26 March 2010

The Descent of Inanna!

Intrigued by Michelle's recent excellent post in relation to Inanna the Sumerian heroine, I took the time to investigate this myths appearance in our own world.
I discovered that a dance Opera about this myth had been created by 2 women ( obviously ) composer Jenni Roditi and librettist Lyn Gambles which premiered in London in 1992.
This story is such an obvious setting for an opera as so many have been based on myth such as Purcell's Dido and Aineas based on Virgil's Aeneid, Wagner's Ring Cycle bsed on Norse teutonic myth amongst others.
Being a musician, I was excited to hear how the range of drama and emotion was portrayed musically.
This is a substantial work in 2 acts with with 50 songs/arias.
There are 9 soloists and a chorus.

Inanna - Queen of Heaven and Earth, sister of Utu, marries Dumuzi - Mezzo
Ereshkigal - Queen of the Netherworld - Mezzo
Geshtinanna - Prophetess and sister of Dumuzi - Soprano
Spinner - The Story Teller - Alto
Dumuzi - Shepherd King , husband of Inanna, brother of Geshtinanna - Tenor
Enki - God of Wisdom - Tenor
Utu - Brother of Inanna - Baritone
Gilgamesh - in service to Inanna - Baritone
Free Voice - an improvising singer - representing the spirit of ancient Iraq.

Chorus Roles - all singers except Inanna
HuluppuTree, Citizens, Laughing Demons, Holy Flies

You can go here to view a short film made about the opera featuring 8 songs. You will notice the great difference between the songs from each Act. Enjoy those of you who can bear the thought of listening to a musical dramatisation of this interesting myth.

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