Giancarlo Menotti: The Unicorn, The Gorgon, and The Manticore
A strange man lives in a castle, by turns mocked and copied by the hypocritical townspeople. He appears with fantastical creatures as his companions, sparking a frenzy of fashion. In an unusual choral suite, Menotti constructs a fable of the whims of society and the treatment of artists by their publics. Menotti was one of the most prolific Opera composers of the 20th Century, yet The Unicorn, The Gorgon and The Manticore does not assign roles to particular voices but animates a cast of colourful characters by throwing their voices through the various parts of the choral ensemble. With clear reference to early music forms (each choral movement is entitled a ‘madrigal’), Menotti crafts a new mode of musical-storytelling with his own uniquely visceral and characterful use of sound.