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Two One-Act Chamber Operas on The Lyric Stage August 16

We have two one act chamber opera this week on The Lyric Stage. In 1829 Hector Berlioz finally won the Prix de Rome on his fourth try, with the submission of his one act opera (officially a cantata) La Mort de Cleopatre, The Death of Cleopatra. Augustas Caesar has defeated Cleopatra and Mark Anthony at the battle of Actium, Anthony has died in her arms, and there is no way out of her predicament in the face of the implacable Augustus Caesar who will otherwise parade her in disgrace through Rome before executing her. Dame Janet Baker sings Cleopatra with Sir Alexander Gibson conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.

Gustav Holst wrote Savatri in 1908. It is a story of Death defeated based on an episode in The Mahabharata as Savatri tricks Death from taking her husband. Felicity Palmer leads the cast, and Richard Hickox conducts the City of London Sonfonia and the Richard Hickox Singers.