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CHAN 10508
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CHAN 10508

Maconchy: The Sofa/ The Departure

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2009

Originally recorded in 2008


Independent Opera Orchestra

Dominic Wheeler

George von Boden

baritone - Edward

Hakan Vramsmo

baritone - Mark

Josephine Thorpe

mezzo-soprano - Dominic's Grandmother

Louise Poole

mezzo-soprano - Julia

Patricia Orr

mezzo-soprano - Yolande

Anna Leese

soprano - Laura

Alinka Kozari

soprano - Lucille

Sarah Tynan

soprano - Monique

Patrick Ashcroft

tenor - A Suitor

Nicholas Sharratt

tenor - Prince Dominic


Henry Wood Hall, London


Natalie Murray


William Brown

Simon Eadon

Record Label



Total Time - 69:53
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The Sofa

  Comic Opera in One Act  
  Libretto by Ursula Vaughan Williams  
  Freely adapted from Le Sofa by Crébillon fils  
1 'Ah, my sweet consolation!' 2:14
  Dominic, Monique  
2 'How light the grace, the delicate twist' 3:07
  Dominic, Monique  
3 'Dominic, Casimir, Marie-Joseph, St Just, Balthasar' 2:29
4 'This time my patience cannot still endure' 4:36
  Grandmother, Dominic  
5 'My mother says all girls grow sad and languish for love' 4:14
  Lucille, Yolande, Laura, Two Young Men  
6 'Lucille. Ah, Lucille?' 3:24
  Suitor, Lucille, Sofa (Dominic)  
7 'Ha, ha, ha! Where's Dominic?…' 4:38
  Ensemble, Guests, Sofa (Dominic)  
8 'Come and dance!' 6:01
  Ensemble, Edward, Monique, Dominic  
9 'What's happened? What's happened! Has anything happened?' 1:55
  Emsemble, Dominic, Edward  
10 'Oh. what an intriguing, fascinating situation!' 3:05
  Ensemble, Edward, Lucille, Laura, Yolande, Dominic, Monique  
11 'Have they all gone' 3:15
  Dominic, Monique  
 Nicholas Sharratt tenor - Prince Dominic
 Sarah Tynan soprano - Monique
 Josephine Thorpe mezzo-soprano - Dominic's Grandmother
 Alinka Kozari soprano - Lucille
 Anna Leese soprano - Laura
 Patricia Orr mezzo-soprano - Yolande
 Patrick Ashcroft tenor - A Suitor
 George von Boden baritone - Edward
premiere recording

The Departure

  Libretto by Anne Ridler  
12 'I shall never be ready in time' 3:20
  Julia, Ensemble  
13 'Weightless beyond the burning margin of our air' 5:03
  Julia, Ensemble  
14 'But what has happened?' 3:41
15 'Julia, are you trying to speak to me?' 2:53
  Mark, Julia, Ensemble  
16 'Where is that Death they paint…' 0:47
  Julia, Ensemble  
17 'Oh, why did we leave the house that day?' 1:33
  Mark, Julia  
18 'Don't leave me!' 1:39
  Mark, Julia  
19 'But our child lives still' 2:09
  Mark, Julia  
20 'Then do not leave me' 6:14
  Mark, Julia, Ensemble  
21 'But I hear nothing! Not a voice, not a word' 3:36
  Mark, Julia, Ensemble  
 Louise Poole mezzo-soprano - Julia
 Hakan Vramsmo baritone - Mark
 Dominic Wheeler
  23 November (The Departure) and 24 & 25 November (The Sofa) 2007  
The English composer Elizabeth Maconchy’s one-act operas The Sofa and The Departure were performed by Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells in 2007. No one predicted that this double-bill of unknown operas would cause such a stir, but they proved a highlight on the London performance scene. Geoffrey Norris of The Daily Telegraph commented, ‘These two productions showed the bold Independent Opera at its best, with conductor Dominic Wheeler and a compact instrumental group wholly at one with the cast and with the contrasting moods that the operas evoke’. These wonderfully surreal and yet contrasting works were composed between 1956 and 1961 and premiered at Sadler’s Wells. The Departure here receives its premiere recording, and The Sofa makes a welcome return to disc.

Winner of the 2001 International Early Music Network Young Artists’ Competition, Apollo & Pan is a dynamic young group which explores the numerous hitherto neglected works for violin, bassoon and keyboard from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, using both Renaissance and baroque instruments.

Tassilo Erhardt and Sally Holman met and formed Apollo & Pan while studying at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In England they were joined by the keyboard player Steven Devine who was the winner of the inaugural Broadwood Harpsichord Competition in 1993.

"...Both operas receive performances that any composer would die for. The casts are first-rate, and the orchestra is excellent. Dominic Wheeler’s direction is flexible and deeply compelling."

Arlo McKinnon

More reviews from the 2007 production:

The outstanding performance came from Louise Poole in The Departure: this is a voice you’d be glad to hear in a bigger theatre…
Financial Times

If Independent Opera, the vigorous young company that staged this, carries on in this vein – inventive staging, outstanding musical performance, good-looking ensemble cast – it’s in serious danger of giving opera a fashionable name…
Evening Standard

My first reaction, on seeing Independent Opera’s double bill of operas by Elizabeth Maconchy, was “why have I not seen these operas before”, and my second was “when can I see them again”
Music and Vision

J Smeets

K Curwen