Harlequin looks to hold up a mirror to society, examining the sometimes primitive emotions that arise when people are confronted by something 'different'. As a non-singing character in anoperatic scene, the Harlequin – displaced from his natural world of Commedia dell'Arte – symbolises 'otherness'. His 'operatic muteness' and strangeness of appearance provoke a range of behaviours from the other characters: curiosity, flirtatiousness, sympathy, condescension, distrust, anger and ultimately, fatal violence, as he is stabbed to death. The opera ends on an ironic and bitter note as another character reads from a newspaper that the murder was, in fact, a heroic and necessary act; the work of an upstanding citizen. This is a reference to the way in which much of our press can be rather selective about the details that it prints.
Harlequin - Commedia dell'Arte interpreter
Jane - Soprano
Michelle - Soprano
Billy - Baritone
Professor - Baritone
Music and Libretto by Peter Longworth
Duration: 10 minutes approx.