April in the Amazon

Laurence Osborn

  • Duration

    31 mins

  • Year of composition


  • Number of performers


  • First performance

    Lore Lixenberg, CHROMA, The Platform Theatre

  • Commissioned by
    Tête à Tête Opera Company

April is a cabaret singer with an appetite for love, an addiction to strong coffee and stronger sedatives, and a story to tell. Having invited us in and introduced her band, she regales us with tales of her travels, and the numerous love affairs she has enjoyed along the way. Over the course of five anecdotal songs, April leads us from performances in Berlin music halls, to botanical expeditions in the depths of the Peruvian jungle, to a particularly bad trip in the sterile corridors of a mysterious hospital. April’s stories are about love, adventure, drugs, and our insatiable lust for the people and places we are yet to come across.

The initial ideas for April in the Amazon sprang from our desire to present a traditional narrative through the medium of a series five anecdotal songs performed by its protagonist. Both of us view opera as an expansive and advanced form of storytelling squeezed uncomfortably into a score, and our love of the genre is fueled by the wonderful array of contradictions and complexities that result. April in the Amazon is essentially a one-woman cabaret show, the headline act of which is also the central character in her own fantastical stories. Doubling as narrator and protagonist, April constantly flits between past and present, fantasy and reality. For us, April in the Amazon therefore presented an interesting opportunity to explore different approaches to form and time, and the consequences of forcing a single, meandering narrative into five self-contained songs. When creating opera, the priority for us has always been to use the medium to tell a story: in April in the Amazon the story is intentionally at odds with the medium. We want to see what happens. Libretto: Theo Merz

Full Scoring:

Solo Soprano

Flute doubling Piccolo & Alto Flute
Oboe doubling Cor Anglais
Clarinet doubling Bass Clarinet
Horn (in F)
2 Violins
Double Bass

To enquire about hiring the score and parts for April in the Amazon, please complete the form below.