Sublimation is a short opera with a libretto by Zoë Strachan. It was commissioned by Scottish Opera for their 2010 Five:15 series. It premiered in May 2010 at Elphinstone Hall, Aberdeen, followed by performances at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and Òran Mór, Glasgow. In November 2010 it played for a week at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, featuring in Cape Town Opera’s Five:20 series.

In the opera, a woman is haunted by her traumatic past and unable to separate it from the present. As she is overwhelmed by memories her story takes a mythical turn, inspired by the myth of Dryope. The music follows the intercutting of the narrative between past and present, reconfiguring blocks of musical material to create alternating stasis and progression.

It is scored for two sopranos, mixed chamber ensemble and electronic soundtrack. The original cast were Lee Bisset (‘woman’), Miranda Sinani (‘sister’), Kally Lloyd-Jones (‘tree’), and Matthew Tollan/Luke Forsyth (‘son’). The production was directed by Matthew Richardson, choreographed by Kally-Lloyd Jones, conducted by Derek Clark, with sound diffusion by Pippa Murphy. A video is available but cannot be distributed for licensing reasons (please contact me). The score can be downloaded here.