The Immortal Hour

The Immortal Hour

The Immortal Hour

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The Immortal Hour is an opera by English composer Rutland Boughton. Boughton adapted his own libretto from the works of Fiona MacLeod, a pseudonym of writer William Sharp.

The Immortal Hour is a fairy tale or fairy opera, with a mood and theme similar to Dvořák's Rusalka and Mozart's The Magic Flute. Magic and nature spirits play important roles in the storyline. The Faery people are not mischievous, childlike sprites, but are proud and powerful: immortal demigods who are feared by mortals and who can (and do) interfere with the lives of men and women. Alternatively, the progression of Etain into the mortal realm and her pursuit and redemption by Midir have similarities with the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.

In this work, Boughton combined Wagnerian approaches to musical themes and symbolism with a folk-like modal approach to the music itself, reflective of the Celtic origins of the tale. Banfield, Stephen (1992), 'Immortal Hour, The' in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie (London) ISBN 0-333-73432-7

Performance history

The Immortal Hour was first performed in Glastonbury on 26 August 1914, at the inaugural Glastonbury Festival which Boughton co-founded.*Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of......
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