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ΤΗΕ SHADOWY WATERS
(ΤΑ ΧΟΤIKA NERA)
Musical dramatic poem in one act with prologue. Based on the dramatic poem by William Butler Yeats. Free translation by Veta Pezopoulou. Adaptation for the stage by Manolis Kalomiris.
1950/1952.

Cast:
Forgael, Tenor
Dectora, Soprano
Aibric, Baritone
First Sailor, Bass
Second Sailor, Tenor
Third Sailor, Bass
Prologue, Mezzo-soprano
First Bird (sung from the orch. pit), Soprano
Second Bird (sung from the orch. pit), Mezzo-soprano

Orchestra: 3 3 3 3 - 4 4 3 1 - Tympani, Percussion, 2 Harps, Celesta, Strings, mixed choir

Duration: 1:10'

First Performance: 4 January 1951
Olympia Theatre, Athens
National Opera of Greece
Conducted by Alec Sherman
Directed by Pelos Katselis
Choir master: Mihalis Vourtsis
Sets by Kleovoulos Klonis

First Performance in England: 23 October 1953
BBC Third Programme [link]
The New London Orchestra
Conducted by Alec Sherman
Production & English adaptation by Geoffrey Dunn

Publication
Full score: Unbublished.
Piano/vocal score: Manolis Kalomiris, Athens 1951.


The Shadowy Waters is dedicated to “little Hara”, the composer’s granddaughter, whom he calls “light of his old age”. In the Forward to the piano – vocal score, Kalomiris explains his constant “preoccupation” with the eternal theme of love. He refers to the heroines of his musico-dramatical works as “the six gems on the same ring”, Stella, Smaragda, Erofili, Maro, Andriomeni, Dectora.Three of these women are from his early works Stella Violanti, The Master Builder, The Mother’s Ring, the last three near the end of his career, in Anatoli, The Valiant Woman and The Shadowy Waters. Kalomiris also attempts a theoretical explanation of his development as a composer. He thus acknowledges the incessant use of the leitmotif in his operas together with a “freedom from the tyranny” of folksong. He contends however, that a liberation from spatiotemporal conditions (meaning a freer relation to folksong) does not affect the spirit of his music, which he claims “remains essentially Greek”.
[Maria Voelker-Kamarinea]

William Butler Yeats' (1865–1939) biography at Poetry Foundation
 
Here you can read/download Yeats' original dramatic poem.
 
SUMMARY OF THE PLOT
Click here

A tireless traveller of this world, the Poet, has explored the seven forests of Koula. There, in his sleep, he imagined that he saw creatures happier than humans. In his thoughts, he met Forgael and Dectora, and heard about the story of the fathomless waters.

The curtain rises and reveals the deck of an ancient ship. Aibric stands by the tiller. He is captain Forgael's trustful man, currently sleeping. The ship has not come upon a shore or ship these dozen weeks. The resentful sailors sing the story of the two elves, Aengus and Edain, the wondering lovers of the seas. Disappointed with Forgael, the sailors try to kill him and urge Aibric, who has the ability to read the stars, to be their new captain. Aibric, remaining loyal to Forgael, prevents them from doing so.

At that moment the captain awakes and Aibric informs him about the discontent of the crew. The captain worries that "the shadows have deceived him severely", and thinks that only a new love will heal his broken heart. Forgael explains he is looking an unprecedented love of an unheard-of kind, that is not in the world.
Another ship appears on the horizon. The sailors wonder, "Is it perhaps enchanted?" Soon they realise that the ship is full of treasures and women, flank and attack it. Having killed the king, the sailors bring riches and the queen Dectora in front of Forgael. Upon seeing her, he falls in love with her. "I am Aengus and expect to find Edain in your eyes," he says.
Dectora not only does she remain untouched by Forgael's expression of love, but, from the highest point of the deck, she also promises her treasures to anyone of the sailors who would kill Forgael. Everyone raises their swords except from Aibric. Forgael is about to play the fairy harp made of ash, a reminisce of Aengus's passion for Edain, which magic and evil spells had deprived them of that love. A strange light springs from the harp and the sailors, bewildered, cry: "He placed the moon between us now", yet they are not abashed.
But once the harp's magic sound is heard, the sailors drop their swords and start mourning the dead king of the other ship. Helpless, Dectora, grabs Forgael's sword determined to take her revenge. But the tone of her voice lowers, the sword falls off her hands and she herself loosens her hair. Forgael and Dectora realise they are meant to be together and confess their mutual love.
Sailors return from Dectora's ship, thrilled to have found it full of gold and precious stones. It's time for parting: Everyone found what they had been looking for. The sailors, together with their new captain, Aibric, depart leaving behind the couple who renounced earthly possessions for the immortality of ideal love.

Text by Nikos Dontas. Greek National Opera programme, season 1997-1998.
English translation: George Athanasopoulos and Kostas Rekleitis.

 

Audio
Manolis Kalomiris, The Shadowy Waters - Prologue [link]
BBC Third Programme
The New London Orchestra
Alec Sherman, Conductor
Geoffrey Dunn, English adaptation
October 1953
ΟΡERΑS

THE MASTER BUILDER
Ο Πρωτομάστορας

THE MOTHER'S RING
Το δαχτυλίδι της Μάνας

SUNRISE
Ανατολή

THE SHADOWY WATERS
Ξωτικά νερά

KONSTANDINOS PALEOLOGOS
(The Fall of Constantinople)

Κωνσταντίνος ο Παλαιολόγος (Πήραν την Πόλη)

WORKS FOR VOICE AND ORCHESTRA

MAGIC HERBS
IAMBS AND ANAPAESTS - PART II
Μαγιοβότανα

THE PEDDLER
Ο Πραματευτής

I LOVE YOU
IAMBS AND ANAPAESTS - PART I
Σ’ αγαπώ

SONGS OF SIKELIANOS
Τραγούδια του Σικελιανού

FIVE SONGS FROM
THE FOURTH BOOK OF

THE CITY AND THE SOLITUDE
Πέντε τραγούδια από το τέταρτο βιβλίο Της πολιτείας και της μοναξιάς

THE TWO TOWNCRIERS
Οι δυο διαλαλητάδες

THE CURSE
Η κατάρα

“HAIDE HOURDE”
Χάιντε Χούρδε

WORKS FOR SOLO PIANO

ORIENTAL PAINTING
Ανατολική ζωγραφιά

THREE BALLADS
Τρεις μπαλάντες

NOCTURNE
Νυχτιάτικο

PATINADA
Πατινάδα

TWO RHAPSODIES
Δύο ραψωδίες

PRELUDES FOR PIANO
Πρελούδια για πιάνο

THE DEATH OF THE VALIANT WOMAN
Ο θάνατος της Αντρειωμένης

ΙΝΤΕΡΜΕΖΖΟ (from the opera SUNRISE)
Ιντερμέδιο (από την όπερα Ανατολή)

PRELUDE (from the MAGIC HERBS)
Πρελούδιο (από τα Μαγιοβότανα)

WORKS FOR TWO PIANOS

PRELUDE AND FUGUE
Πρελούδιο και φούγκα

ROMEIKI SUITE
Ρωμέικη σουίτα

SYMPHONY No. 3, “PALAMIKI” – Third part
Συμφωνία αρ.3 «Παλαμική» – Τρίτο μέρος

MINAS THE REBEL - CORSAIR OF THE AEGEAN
Μηνάς ο Ρέμπελος – Κουρσάρος στο Αιγαίο

PEDAGOGICAL WORKS FOR PIANO

FOR THE GREEK CHILDREN
Για τα ελληνόπουλα

FIRST PIANO LESSONS
Τα πρώτα μαθήματα για πιάνο

INCIDENTAL MUSIC

MUSIC AND MELODRAMA FOR “STELLA VIOLANTI”
Στέλλα Βιολλάντη – Μουσική και Μελόδραμα

SABBATH OF SOULS
Ψυχοσάββατο

PARGA
Η Πάργα

MACBETH
Μάκβεθ

THE SHEPHERDESS’ LOVER
Ο αγαπητικός της βοσκοπούλας

MUSICO-PEDAGOGICAL WORKS

ELEMENTARY THEORY
Στοιχειώδης θεωρία

VOCALISE – ÉTUDE

HARMONY
Αρμονία

MUSICAL FORMS
Μουσική μορφολογία

INSTRUMENTATION
Οργανογνωσία

FIRST PIANO LESSONS
Τα πρώτα μαθήματα για πιάνο

LESSONS IN MUSIC
Μαθήματα μουσικής

MELODIC EXERCISES
Μελωδικαί ασκήσεις

RHYTHMIC EXERCISES
Ρυθμικαί ασκήσεις

HARMONY EXERCISES
Θέματα αρμονίας

WORKS NOT LISTED IN THE MAIN BODY OF THE CATALOGUE
Έργα που δεν αναφέρονται στο κυρίως σώμα του Καταλόγου



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