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TO 0154
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TO 0154

Sappho - Opera in Three Acts

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2013

Originally recorded in 2012


Orquestra Gulbenkian

Jennifer Condon

Roman Trekel

- (baritone)

Laurence Meikle

- (baritone)

John Tomlinson

- (bass)

Wolfgang Koch

- (bass-baritone)

Maria Markina

- (mezzo soprano)

Deborah Polaski

- (soprano)

Jacquelyn Wagner

- (soprano)

Bettina Jensen

- (soprano)

Martin Homrich

- (tenor)

Scott MacAllister

- (tenor)

Coro Gulbenkian


Grande Audiório, Fundaçao, Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon

10-20 July 2012


Pierre Lavoix & Thibaut Maillard

Record Label



Total Time - 128:11
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  ACT 1  
1 Overture 3:43
  Scene 1  
2 'Hurry, Joy, hurry!'... 'Is your lady up? 4:14
  Chloe, Joy, Doris, Diomedes, Minos  
3 'Now, at last you are here' 6:13
  Minos, Sappho  
4 Aria - Sappho: 'My sleep if fragile like an eggshell is' 4:17
  Sappho, Minos  
5 'Minos!' 5:14
  Kreon, Minos, Sappho  
6 'So, Phaon's back' 3:19
  Minos, Sappho, Phaon  
7 Aria - Phaon: 'It must have seemed like that to them' 4:33
  Phaon, Minos, Sappho  
8 'Phaon, how is it Kreon did not ask you to stay' 2:24
  Sappho, Phaon, Minos  
  Scene 2 - 'The Symposium'  
9 Introduction... 'Phaon has become much thinner'... 6:22
  Song with Chorus: The Nymph in the Fountain Minos, Sappho, Chorus  
10 'Boy! Bring us the laurel!'... 'What are the fortunes of the world we live in?' 4:59
  Diomedes, Sappho, Minos, Kreon, Phaon, Alexandrian, Chorus  
11 'Wait, her me first!'... The Epigram Contest 2:55
  The Epigram Contest Minos, Diomedes, Sappho, Chorus  
12 'Sappho! Sappho!'... 'If death be noble' 3:56
  Sappho, Chorus  
13 'Ah, it is you' 6:27
  Phaon, Sappho  
14 Duet: 'Nay, but always and forever' 2:45
  Sappho, Phaon  
  ACT 2  
  Scene 3  
15 Introduction... 'What are you making?... 'Here's Minos coming!' 4:47
  Sappho, Phaon, Minos  
16 Chorus: 'Hail to Pittakos!' 1:34
  Phaon, Minos, Chorus  
  Scene 4  
17 'Sea begotten heroes' 3:54
18 'Admit it now'... 'Now, where is this brother of mine' 5:31
  Sappho, Pittakos, Kreon, Phaon  
19 'Ah, here you are at last' 6:37
  Pittakos, Sappho  
20 Aria - Pittakos: 'You think I do not feel'... 'Sappho! Sappho!' 4:29
  Pittakos, Sappho, Minos  
  ACT 3  
  Scene 5  
21 'Diomedes, oh Diomedes, what have you done?' 5:31
  Sappho, Diomedes  
22 'Sleep now' 3:26
  Sappho, Diomedes  
  Scene 6  
23 'Priestess of the Oracle'... Invocation 3:49
  Sappho, Priestess, Chorus  
24 Kreon's confession: 'Oh Mask!' 5:52
  Kreon, Sappho, Chorus  
  Scene 7  
25 Introduction 1:27
26 'The voting must be over' 6:30
  Minos, Sappho  
27 Aria - Minos: 'I am very tired' 1:51
  Minos, Sappho  
28 The Verdict: 'Sappho! Sappho! It is exile' 4:24
  Pittakos, Sappho, Minos  
29 Monologue: 'Now everything is silence and remoteness' 7:08

Sappho, the last grand opera of Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912–90), was written in her stone cottage on Mykonos in 1963. Never heard before this recording, Sappho reflects Glanville-Hicks’ fascination with the orient and folk music, encapturing the colours of ancient Greece, with a heroic brass fanfare and epic writing for chorus, haunting woodwind solos and shimmering percussion evoking the stillness of crystal island waters. Deborah Polaski, who creates the role of the disenchanted Sappho, describes it as ‘the kind of music that singers want to sing’. The libretto, based on Lawrence Durrell’s verse-play, incorporates fragments of Sappho’s own verse.
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