Orphei mysteria : for mezzo-soprano, soprano and ensemble
by Nigel Butterley (, this version: 2008)
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performed by Halcyon
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Year: , this version: 2008
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, soprano, flute, cor anglais, bass clarinet, guitar, violin, viola, cello.
Duration: 23 min.
Contents note: I. Prologue -- The Head of Orpheus -- The Lemon Tree -- II. The Lyre of Orpheus -- III. The Lemon Tree -- The Song of Orpheus -- Epilogue.
The text is a response to the Orpheus myth by Patricia Excell. The Prologue and Epilogue are from the Petelia Tablet, Southern Italy 3rd-4th century BCE.
Highly commended in the Paul Lowin Award for Song Cycle, 2009.
Awards & Prizes
|2009||Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize||Highly Commended||Nigel Butterley|
- In the form/style of: Song Cycles
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My favourite Australian art song repertoire
Posted by Australian Music Centre on 22 July, 2013
The AMC asked leading practitioners to select their favourite Australian art song repertoire, to provide delegates to the 2013 International Conference of Vocal Teachers (Brisbane 2013) with an introduction to this rich and diverse landscape.
Although written as a work for two voices, Mysteria Orphei is a beautifully crafted work primarily for mezzo soprano (with interspersed unearthly duo 'refrains') demonstrating Butterley's typically mellifluous and subtle instrumental writing and evocative text setting. The vocal line, which gives the singer room to convey drama and narrative as well as mystery and serenity in turns, is demanding of good intonation and pitch accuracy (instrumental unison pitches often sounding after the singer's entry). The melodic lines are fluid and extremely satisfying to learn.