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A SILENT MIRROR

(WITH ALEXIA PENIGUEL)

Grimhilde is old. It’s been years since she had to co-parent her step-daughter, Snow White, with all the challenges that brought, and deal with a loving but absent husband. Years since she was renowned more for her beauty and attitude than her intelligence. And years since her magic mirror, her one true friend who she could always rely on to be honest with her and give her advice straight up, had suddenly stopped speaking mid-sentence and never spoken again. Unable to throw it away, she had packed the mirror up with great reluctance and put it in the attic. She missed the friendship terribly but learned slowly to live without its guidance.

One day, while searching for something in the attic, she comes across the mirror again — still silent — and reminisces on their relationship.

A Silent Mirror is an opera scene created in collaboration with librettist Alexia Peniguel, composed for solo unaccompanied mezzo-soprano in autumn 2023.

There are versions of ourselves we wish we could revert back to; versions of ourselves where we might feel more confident, more comfortable in our own skin, less worn down by the world around us and our own lived experiences as we navigate it. I like to imagine Grimhilde as somebody who, while worn down through her own experiences, still pines for the nostalgic naiveté of the magic mirror’s guidance. Despite the ridiculousness she might feel about how she received her mentorship, she knows deep down that she would not be the person she was without it.

To an extent, one wonders how free she has been from the mirror’s grasp since it last spoke to her. To a similar extent, I wonder how free we truly are from the mechanisms that shaped us...
 

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'A Silent Mirror' was written as part of the MA in Opera Making and Writing at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The piece is scheduled to be workshopped in December 2023 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, in association with Guildhall Opera Department.

Director:
Olivia Bell

Performers:
Grimhilde (mezzo-soprano) -
Abbie Ward


 

Interested in performing this work or perusing a score? Get in touch!

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