- The Other Euridice
- The Lady and the Muck-sweeper
- An Old Way to Pay New Debts
Tales of Hope and Desire was composed over several years for Musica Nel Chiostro, the opera festival which Adam Pollock ran for thirty years in the Convento di Santa Croce, Batignano.
The first two operas in the trilogy were originally performed separately: L’altra Euridice in a programme of Baroque laments, La dama ed il pulitore di Damasco in an evening of works with an Arabic theme entitled I Giardini della Storia. The final opera was written to celebrate Adam Pollock’s 70th birthday, and the complete trilogy was first performed in Grosseto in 2006.
Presented in a single evening, the three operas accumulate performers: a single baritone in the first, tenor and mezzo-soprano in the second, and all three in the third; the complete instrumental ensemble is only used in the last opera.
Storytelling traditions from across the world meet here: Calvino’s individual twist on Greek myth is complemented by a tale from the Arabian Nights, and one of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (this tale also appears in Boccaccio’s Decameron). The stories are united by hope and desire, and by lamenting: Pluto for his lost Euridice, the Muck-sweeper for the Lady, and the Merchant’s Wife for the dress she wishes she had!
Libretto by Adam Pollock