Siren Song (1994)

For Solo Voices and Ensemble   70 minutes

Siren Song is a bizarre, true story.  A young sailor on HMS Ark Royal exchanges letters with a beautiful and successful model.  Over time a romantic and passionate relationship develops, but a meeting proves increasingly difficult to arrange…

When Dove came across the extraordinary story of Dave Palmer, he knew it was the plot for an opera.  Almeida Opera liked the idea, and commissioned him to write it.  In 1994, Siren Song played to packed houses, received rave reviews, and attracted considerable attention.

Its compact scale – a 70-minute work for five singers, an actor, and an orchestra of ten players – and a skillful, witty libretto by Nick Dear (well-known as a playwright and successful television screenwriter) make it ideal for the small screen.  The work is full of opportunities for visual magic, including exotic locations and, especially, the character of Diana, the model who Dave could see so vividly in his mind’s eye, but who did not exist.

Libretto by Nick Dear, based on the book by Gordon Honeycombe

Commissioned by the Almeida Theatre

First performance: 14th July 1994, Almeida Theatre.

Instrumentation

S.2T.Bar.B Soli—Actor

1(Picc).1.1(BCl).0—1.0.0.0—Pf(Cel)—Hp—Perc—Str(1.0.0.1.1)