Enid Sutherland

Daphne and Apollo Remade

Instrumentation4 mezzo-sopranos, 1 soprano, 1 baritone, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, saxophone (player also plays glockenspiel and cymbals), and percussion. (The 4 mezzo-sopranos share the solo role and also rotate into a chorus of from 3 to 5 "back-up" singers.)
Length2 hours and 24 minutes
DifficultyChallenging. For professional musicians.
CommentsThis musical drama is a setting of ten poems by Alice Fulton retelling from Daphne's point of view and in modern language Ovid's ancient myth. (Fulton's poem sequence, entitled Give: A Sequence Reimaging Daphne and Apollo, is from Sensual Math, Norton, 1995.)

Though like an opera in length, that category is not a perfect fit. The instrumental ensemble is center stage. There is some dramatic activity, along with optional costumes and props, but no direct action or dialogue between protagonists. A chorus of three to five "back-up" singers lends an element of Greek theater.

The musical goal is to illuminate and magnify Fulton's words and to parallel through music her rich and varied verbal landscape. As Apollo morphs into Frank Sinatra, a dog, a raptor, a marble statue, an Elvis impersonator, a weekend warrior, and Daphne turns from hunter to dolphin to electron to Annie Oakley to Amelia Earhart to daughter of Big Mama Thornton, and finally to a tree, so does the music morph from one musical style to another - from early to classical to romantic to jazz, rock, rhythm and blues, and then some in between.

SourcesSelf-published by Enid Sutherland. Scores and parts are available for rent or sale.
E-mail: desuth@umich.edu
Address: 801 Miner St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103
ExtrasCDs and program notes are also available.
HistoryWith the support of grants from the Ford Motor Company, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, and the American Music Center, the work was completed in 2002 and premiered by the Phoenix Ensemble at the University of Michigan's Lydia Mendelssohn Theater in Ann Arbor, MI on October 24, 2003. It was recorded in November, 2003.
ContributorEnid Sutherland: Adjunct Associate Professor of Viola da Gamba and Early Cello, University of Michigan., and independent musician, teacher, and composer.

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