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Lord Byron
PREMIERE4/20/1972
COMPOSERVirgil Thomson   
LIBRETTISTJack Larson   
 
Synopsis
The opera is set in London from 1812 to 1824.

In the nave of Westminster Abbey, Lord Byron's friends, wife and sister have arrived to present a statue of Lord Byron to the Dean of the Abbey, and to lobby for the poet's burial there. They learn that Byron had written his memoirs, which causes them concern for his reputation. The statue of Byron arrives, which sets off memories in the minds of Byron's relations and friends. These include the courtship of Byron with his future wife. However, the memories also include that Byron committed incest with his half-sister Augusta Leigh and fathered her daughter, which led to Byron's self-exile and Byron's wife insisting that he must never see Augusta again. While they have not read Byron's own manuscript, their memories cause enough fear that they burn the memoirs. The Dean of the Abbey arrives, and upon learning that the relatives considered Byron's memoirs unfit for reading, he denies permission to have Byron buried in Westminster Abbey. At the end of the opera, the shades of the poets in the Abbey's Poets' Corner welcome Byron among them.
MOST PRODUCED SINCE 2000
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n/aLord Byron0
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