March 1, 1980 | Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater
The Cry of Clytaemnestra
Composer:John Eaton
Librettist:Patrick Creagh
The opera opens with a cry: Clytaemnestra dreams of her long-dead daughter, Iphygeneia, who died at the hands of her father, Agamemnon. Clytaemnestra awakens and tries to persuade her lover, Aegisthus, to be nicer to her children. This causes a terrible quarrel in the course of which, Aegisthus reveals to Clytaemnestra that Agamemnon has taken a mistress in Troy—Cassandra, a prophetess. Clytaemnestra imagines the scene in Troy. Agamemnon asks Cassandra to see into the future. Cassandra envisions a woman with a robe fit for a King. This robe turns out to be the weapon of Agamemnon's destruction. Through this prophecy, Clytaemnestra begins to contemplate the deed she will later carry out. Meanwhile, Electra and Orestes, Clytaemnestra's other children, lament their present situation, tyrannized by Aegisthus. Aegisthus bullies Electra and later makes amorous advances towards her. Electra reacts violently and Clytaemnestra is called in to attempt a reconciliation. A violent confrontation develops between Electra and Clytaemnestra which culminates in Electra and Orestes being banished from the palace. Alone, Clytaemnestra laments the loss of her children and falls into a feverish state of despair. Unconscious, she dreams of Agamemnon's return and foresees, in detail, his murder. When she awakens she knows that this is what she must do. The beacons flare, announcing Agamemnon's return. Clytaemnestra goes to fulfill her destiny with robe in hand.

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Musical Style
Tonal, with microtones and just intonation tuning; blends traditional orchestral devices, percussion effects, and synthesized sound; use of stierhorn fanfares, crumhorns, and drum

Vocal & Musical Forces
Coloratura Soprano, Soprano, 2 Child Sopranos, Mezzo-Soprano, 2 Tenors, Baritone, Bass; Speaking Roles: 3 Tenors, 2 Baritones, Bass

Original Cast
Nelda Nelson and Paula Redd (Clytaemnestra)
Eileen Martinez and Sally Wolf (Iphygeneia)
Robert Bork and Tim Noble (Agamemnon)
Joseph Levitt (Calchas)
Dan Brewer and Jon Fay (Achilles)
Michael Johnson and Richard Walker (Odysseus)
Stanley Springer and Brian Trego (Menelaus)
Marc Lundberg and Martin Strother (Diomedes)
Ted Adkins and Kevin Langan (Ajax)
Richard Cowan and Steve Nelson (Teucer)
Alexandra Richardson (Electra as a child)
Gabriella Richardson (Agamemnon as a child)
Colenton Freeman and Larry Paxton (Aegisthus)
Victoria Frances Czuba and Edith Diggory (Cassandra)
Rebecca Field and Sarah Miller (Electra)
Randall Black and Glenn Siebert (Orestes)
Glenn Gass, John Paul, and Jon Pescevich (Guards)

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