A short hexagonal opera

A princess… a kingdom… a destiny.



Script by Germán A. Panarisi y José Miguel Delgado

Music by José Miguel Delgado

Original idea by Germán A. Panarisi



PRINCESS / QUEEN Mezzosoprano

The story takes place in a kingdom, a very special kingdom, a kingdom where everything works as it should, a kingdom where nothing is left to chance, a kingdom that belongs to everybody, that is for everybody and in spite of everybody…

“You'll be what you should be or you'll be nothing.”

José de San Martín



Daybreak in a very particular kingdom...

In this Kingdom everything works like clockwork. Coexistence is harmonious, and everyone has to be happy to perform his or her appointed duties. for, as everybody knows, the Whole is always more important than its parts.

The murmur of the masses.
Gossip is circulating all over the kingdom… it is the murmur of the masses.

The Kingdom is upset. Word that the Mother Queen is soon to pass away has spread.
But there is nothing to worry about for social order is assured. It is simply a matter of preparing her successor.


Royal chambers

The curtain rises: Several cradles are set out  in the royal bedchamber. All of them are protected by conical mosquito nets, covering them from the ceiling to the floor.

The heiresses to the Crown are sleeping peacefully. They are waiting for their time to ascend to the throne.
Many aspire that position, but only one can rule.
Whoever is ready must act speedily and precisely if she is to rise to power.

A Queen is born

The Princess lies in one of the cradles, in as almost foetal position. As if waking from a dream, the Princess stands and leaves her cradle. She wears a white robe.

Like a flower
I open softly towards the sunrise.
The miracle of new life
is born once again.
The throne is awaiting
her royal majesty.
I accept this mission
It is my fate to reign.
The Princess walks towards another cradle and slips below the mosquito net. Kneeling before her sister, she sings to her.

Sleeping in  peace,
my sisters are quiet.
But I must,
I must reach the end!

Holding her sister in her arms, she tenderly cradles her with sisterly love, meanwhile a lullaby can be heard.
It is a bitter fate
to accept the rules of duty
It pains me to sacrifice
those I love the most.
Baby in arms, the Princess walks towards the audience.
Inside me
my instincts yearn to awaken
But I must,
I must reach the end!
Will I be capable?
Doubt hovers when I act.
Alea jacta est,
fate will take its course.
The fratricide

The Princess turns her back on the audience. A dagger can be seen hanging from her waist. She slowly returns to the cradle, cuddling her sister. She takes the dagger and, with a sudden movement, stabs the baby.

The Princess leaves the body in the cradle and appears from behind the mosquito net in great sorrow. Her white robe, previously spotless, now shows the red stain of fratricide. She falls to the floor, releases the dagger and weeps.

It’s harsh, but living, ruling, implies death.
A great sacrifice is necessary to ensure the common good.
Kill or be killed.
There is no choice.
That is the way it has always been.

Suddenly the Princess sits up. She removes her robe, and beneath it her new majestic dress can be seen. She picks the dagger up from the floor and resolvedly walks towards the next cradle, dagger in hand.  The lights go out abruptly.

The curtain falls.
Life in the palace
The curtain rises. Lying on a couch, the Princess, now crowned Queen, fans herself while eating grapes from a bowl on her lap, having nothing better with which to occupy her time.

The new queen enjoys every commodity and attention.
Bonded to her destiny, there is nothing to worry her, nor will there ever be.
Her privileged life resembles an eternal sea of calm.

There are few joys
that go with the throne.
I want for nothing
That is certainly true,
but it is not everything. 
For the Crown
existence is long
there is little I can do
being the one who rules.
Hours pass
in eternal waiting
and I wonder
if such privilege
is finally worthwhile …
… if, instead of the Realm
I had had
the chance
of a decision,
of choosing my fate.

Visibly upset and anxious, the Queen walks up and down the stage like a convict in prison, thoughtful and meditative. Suddenly she stops and turns towards the window. The view from there is a green land, as far as the eye can see.

After a brief moment of meditation, the Queen seems to be calm again. She begins to hum.

I know that sometime
from this long isolation
I will be freed,
and instilled
with an intense love.

From on high a white gown descends, one that might be a wedding gown, as if it were an angel. The Queen sings enthusiastically because the day has come at last when she will have her first rendezvous with the sun, the sky, and freedom.

At last, this longed for appointment
has arrived.
The Sun will I see
and a celebration in my honour
will be held.

Overjoyed, the Queen sways slowly while grabbing her dress, as if he were being led on a ball.
Maybe love
or friendship
will be waiting for me.
Today I think I will know
what freedom is. 

Exhilarated, the Queen grabs her wedding gown, then leaves the room and the stage.
The curtain falls.


In the immense field… 
The curtain rises.
Today is the big day. Today the wedding ball will be held. The Queen must leave the palace and encounter the barons of the Court, to guarantee the continuity of her kingdom.
In fact, it is the first time the Queen sees the sun.
Gallantry and romance
Presentation of the barons
The musicians alone on stage, now representing members of the aristocracy, perform the music that will win the heart and favour of the Queen. She is barely to be seen on one side of the stage. She is wearing the white gown.

The Queen enters, walking slowly and sensually, rather like a model, though without abandoning her royal posture. She is a young Queen beginning to experience the power of seduction and thus appraises each of her suitors, with whom the coquetry begins. 

When the serenade is over, the musicians stand and bow to the Queen. The lights go down, creating an atmosphere of intimacy. The Queen looks at the conductor and gives him the signal to begin the danzon

Nuptial Danzon, mortal dance
Obeying the Royal command, the Conductor begins the danzon.

Each instrument represents one suitor. The Queen dances around each musician, giving the instrument in turn a leading role, then silencing them with a caress until only the clarinet remains. 
The Queen stands behind the clarinettist, placing her hands upon his shoulders. As he finishes his solo, the Queen leans upon him, throwing her arms around his neck. 

Silence. The lights and curtain fall.

Dawn and longing
The Queen enters from one side and walks towards the throne, contemplating the field through the window. Her old age can be guessed from her weary movements.
The years have passed. This old Queen, like her predecessors, and like those who will succeed her, has managed to fulfil the mission that was her fate.
Her life has been dedicated to the throne, confined to the kingdom, the common good placed before any personal desire.
She has never lacked for anything, except perhaps to determine her own existence, yet in exchange for that she has been more privileged than anyone could dream of.
She has lived the life she robbed from her sisters. It was her destiny, and none can reject his destiny.

Death and Liberty
The Queen, standing next to the throne, cannot stop contemplating the field visible through the window.
It shines in my memory 
the bright sunshine 
as brief as a flash - unforgettable!
The life of a queen 
is so sad and long,
like a honeyed penance.

It is my fate. I held it in my hand.
The price I paid was my freedom!

Close to death,
 if you think of it, 
too much time and too little life…
a candle that was never lit…
Queen of darkness.
It was my destiny. I killed to achieve it.
The price was too high… my freedom!
Daughters and heiresses
I ask myself
who among you will succeed me,
does that one know well what awaits her?
Before it is too late,
change! Choose life!
Live! Fly! High! Free!
Fill yourself with Light!

Drained and exhausted, the Queen allows herself to collapse upon the throne and lies there motionless. 

At the back of the stage a single cradle, previously unseen, is illuminated. The Queen raises herself and walks towards it.

Thus, another cycle closes. The old Queen has died, but one of her heiresses shall succeed her and the kingdom will prevail.

The Queen kneels over the cradle and raises the baby with her arms, holding her and humming the Lullaby.

As the music comes to an end, she puts the child back on her cradle.

The lights go out and the curtain falls.

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