Fleeting Opera
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The Making of Fleeting Opera 2000 (continued)
by Max Couper

The central figure was the pregnant matriarch Angelica. She was the dominant figure of respect to whom everyone performed. Her fertility and ability to reproduce life was the source of her ability to attract the other performers to her. She had her own personal assistants that followed her everywhere; including a lady trumpet player, who complimented her own musical virtuosity, and her storyteller, the actress Judi Dench in her first operatic performance. For her I wrote a form of metred narrative.

Photo by David Graeme-Bater
Judi Dench (Narrator)
Kate McCarney (The Pregnant Matriarch),
Ruth Shaddock (Her Trumpeter)

The Stories unfolded fast
faster than
you can imagine
made manifest by
the East
the West
the South
and North

And it was
the winds
and currents
and tides
that brought them together
and mixed them into
the fragments of
things that
became known as
the birthrights

That were begotten of
the mixtures
and ingredients
that were forgotten to
the much-later-on
who had them in
their every last
and Fleeting Gene

Children who
were born of
the Ionic
the Arabic
the Cyclopic
and the Romanic

With memories of
the grandmothers
and grandfathers
who served as
the fashions for
their living style

Aboard vessels
made of metal
floating as
tubs of steel
sounds of brass
wood and wind
skin stretched tight
over barrels

And there was dance
that owed much to
the origins of
those long past
frenzies of
the hips
that joined
for the future
now looking back at
the impregnation
that gave them
their birthright

The right to dance
and to find
the rites of
the love
and lust
that drives them on
to the places
to enjoy
the Un-quenchables

And there was peace
provided that
the unthinkable
was kept to

That your lust
and my lust
each other
as display
of colour
emblazoned across
your open chest

so that only
etched in movement
ever sways
the other
the Vast

Fleeting Opera, narrative for The Intriguer (Judi Dench)
by Max Couper


Fleeting Opera, composition sketch for Birthrite, by Max Couper.  

Fleeting Opera, sketch by Trevor Wishart.  

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