Sacred Environment – libretto

 

Sacred Environment

An oratorio by Kate Moore

Libretto

  1. TREES

 

  1. Chorus
    Damp smell, rising mist, distant crow, bare skin, cold water, wiry hair, flickering, shadow.
  2. Chorus
    A tattoo, dirt between, the finger nails.

S/A. Chorus
Toes covered, in moss, a footstep, imprinted, on green. The sound of bodies,
scraping branches, breath hanging, in the air, pale figures, deep emerald, flesh, Rocks.

  1. Chorus
    Nails, toes, moss, foot-step, printed, green, bodies, branches, hanging, air, figures, deep, flesh, rocks.

X2

Solo Sop.
Corymbia eximia, Corymbia gummifera, Corymbia maculata, Eucalyptus beyeriana, Eucalyptus consideriana, Eucalyptus punctata, Eucalyptus pilularis, Eucalyptus propinqua, Eucalyptus agglomerata, Syncarpia glomulifera, Angophora costata, Angophora bakeri.

S.Chorus
Damp smell, rising mist, distant crow, bare skin, cold water, wiry hair, flickering, shadow.

S/A.Choir
Smell, Mist, Crow, Skin, Water, Hair, Flicker, Shadow

A.Chorus
A tattoo, dirt between, the finger-nails.

S/A.Choir
Tattoo, Dirt, Nails

S/A. Chorus
Toes covered, in moss, a footstep, imprinted, on green, the sounds of bodies, scraping branches, breath hanging, in the air, pale figures, deep emerald, flesh, rocks.

S.A. Choir
Toes, Moss, Footstep, Printed, Green, Bodies, Branches, Hanging, Air, Figures, Deep, Flesh, Rocks.

Solo Sop.&Choir
Eucapyptus molucana, Eucalyptus siderophloia, Eucalyptus propinqua, Eucalyptus punctata, Eucalyptus crebra, sycarpia glomulifera, Corymbia maculata, Angophora costata, Angophora bakeri, Corymbia eximia, Corymbia gummifera, Eucalyptus sclerophyla, Eucalyptus sparsifolia, Eucalyptus deanei, Eucalyptus agglomerata.

 

  1. MINERALS

 

Solo Sop.
Blindfolded woman, we see the bush through her eyes, yet she herself cannot see. Her hands are raw, red around the tips of her fingers, and the rest of her body is in darkness, except a line captured by a rare ray of moonlight though an aperture, in the canopy.

  1. Chorus
    Mud and Shadows are mixed.

Sop.
Her outfit is white but smeared with earth, and there is a band across her eyes, made from the same cloth

Solo soprano/ A. Chorus
Blindfold me, I surrender to you, lead me.

  1. Chorus
    She has chosen not to make a decision. To do so she has closed her eyes.
  2. Choir
    There is a sudden chill, a faint smell of smoke, a rising rush of wind, particles of ash.
  3. Chorus
    The air changes.
  4. Chorus
    We don’t know if she is alone. We cannot tell whether the shapes, bodies, limbs and skin are hers, or the increasingly humanlike branches of trees, ferns and scrub.
  5. Choir
    Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna, in die illa tremenda, quando coeli movendi sunt et terra. Dum veneris iudicare saeculum per ignem.
    Tremens factus sum ego, et timeo, dum discussio venerit atque ventura ira
  6. Choir
    Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra.
    Dies illa, dies irae, calamitatis et miseriae, dies magna et amara valde.
    Dum veneris iudicare saeculum per ignem.

A.T. B. Choir
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Tutti Choir
Quartz Arenite, Silica, Siderite, Chalybite, Calcite, Ankerite, Dolomite, Mica, Muscovite, Biorite, Alkali Feldspar, Albite, Anorthoclase, Microcline, Orthoclase, Sanidine, Plagioclase Feldspar, Anorthite, Bytownite Labradorite, Andesine, Oligoclase, Albite, Kaolinite, Illite, Chlorite, Smectite, Zircon, Tourmaline, Rutile, Hornblende, Pyroxene, Garnet, Epidote, Apatite, Andalusite, Magnetite, Carbonate, Haematite, Pyrite.

 

III. ANIMALS

 

  1. Chorus
    They join her as companions and accompany her on this journey led by what she hears. She navigates her mind, a great Cathedral of caves and ridges ornamented with roots and giant trunks of trees.
  2. Chorus
    Blindfolded, this woman is led into the bush. She can hear and smell and feel but she cannot see and she will not speak.

Tutti Choir
Melithreptus gularis, Xanthomyza phrygia, Pomatostomus temporalis, Ninox strenua

S/B. Chorus
Tyto novaehollandiae, Tyto tenebricosa, Dasyurus maculatus, Phascogale tapoatafa, Phascolarctos cinereus

  1. Chorus
    She surrenders to her fate and listens without judgement.

Choir
Cercartetus nanus, Petaurus australis, Petaurus norfolkencis, Petrogale penicillata, Pteropus poliocephalus, Mormopterus norfolkensis

Solo Sop.
Dromaius novaehollandiae

  1. Chorus
    She carries with her the burden of memory and the burden of fear but she is not afraid.

Tutti Choir
Chalinolobus dwyeri, Miniopterus austrealis, Minipterus schreibersii, Scoteanax rueppellii

 

Solo Sop.
Tachyglosidae

S/ B. Choir
Heleioporus australiacus, Pseudophryne australis, Varanus rosenbergii, Hoplocephalus bungaroides Ixobrychus flavicollis.

Solo Sop.
Macropodiae

T/A. Chorus
She allows herself to be vulnerable, there is no escape, no help. She accepts that.
Her mind is filled with the sound of near and far, the smell of life and death, the sense of light and dark.

Choir
Melithreptus gularis, Xanthomyza phrygia, Pomatostomus temporalis, Ninox connivens, Ninox strenua, Tyto novaehollandiae, Tyto tenebricosa, Dasyurus maculatus, Phascogale tapoatafa, Phascolarctos cinereus, Cercatetus nanus.

Solo Sop.
Varanus

  1. Chorus
    She feels warm and cold but she is not afraid.

Solo Sop.
Tachyglosidae, Dromaius novaehollandiae, Varanus, Macropodiae, Tachyglosidae, Varanus, Dromaius novaehollandiae

Tutti Choir
Petaurus australis, Petaurus norfolkensis, Petrogale penicillata, Pteropus poliocephalus

Solo Sop.&Choir
Arm, a back, genitals, a wound, a nose, a face, a lump, a tattoo, an ant, a spider’s web.

  1. STARS

 

Solo Sop.
Lacrimosa dies illa qua resurget ex favilla judicandus homoreus.
Lacrimosa dies illa.

Tutti Choir
Sirius, Polaris, Canopus, Antares, Betelgeuse, Arcturus, Capella, Spica, Aldebaren, Alpha Centauri, Proxima Centauri, Regulus, Altair, Deneb, Vega, Eta Carinae, Castor, Pollux

Tutti choir
In each hand she balances lore and progress, Nature and destruction, nurture and obliteration, freedom and subjugation. One move and both sides shall tumble upon her she knows that and accepts her fate.

A/T. Choir
She surrenders. Behind her a treacherous sea and the promised land, or a barren land. Before her is the bush, an open book in an ancient script to be deciphered.

Tutti Choir
Vega, Regulus, Capella, Altair, Deneb

 

  1. WATER

 

Tutti Choir
Blindfolded woman, surrenders herself. She says nothing. She is silent, ready to listen, submitting to her fate. She is unable to speak or move. She accepts her situation with repose. Her arms are crossed against her heart. She is vulnerable, out of her own choice. She allows herself to be judged. Behind her is a treacherous sea. There is no going back, no escape, no help. She knows this and will not fight.