24 Hours

One act opera for 8 singers (3f, 5m)
& 8 instruments (flute, reed, horn, keyboard, e-guitar, cello, bass, perc)
based on Stefan Zweig’s novella 24 Hours in the Life of a Woman

Words & music by Michael Maxwell Steer

The piece provides great opportunities for all 8 singers, each of whom is both principal and ensemble player. The two main characters are Irenë, a soprano who plays both an elderly lady & herself when younger, and Haakon, tenor, a Dane who also plays an American of the same age within the 'inner story'.

The characters are guests at a luxury resort. When a Dutch businessman's wife runs off with the tennis pro they gather to comfort him and the party morphs into enacting Irenë's account of a short-lived affaire in which she thought she had found true love. As the story reaches its conclusion the characters resume their primary roles. The opera ends with the Dutchman walking onto the balcony to take a call from his wife.

Read the synopsis

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