Pavane for an invisible princess
Invisible Princess - Soprano
Old Lady - Mezzo Soprano
Prostitute 1 - Soprano
Prostitute 2 - Mezzo Soprano
Writer - Tenor
Old Man - Bass
Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Trumpet, Violin, Accordion, Piano, Double Bass, Percussion or, Piano Solo
Duration: 15 minutes
A promenade opera, Pavane for an invisible princess is a street scene set during the turn of the Nineteenth Century in a bohemian quarter of a European city. Told through the gossip and speculation of the characters, the story questions the identity of a woman living in a house at one end of the street whom nobody has actually seen. The only people seen to enter her house are men dressed in suits.
An impoverished writer who lives next door to the woman, hears her singing and imagines her as his muse. The two prostitutes he frequents, jealously believe that she is another prostitute who steals all of the best customers (hence the men in suits). A devout old woman spreads further rumours - incensed that the unseen woman does not attend church. The old woman's husband (and friend of the writer) is more defensive of her, preferring to mind his own business, and suggesting that others should do likewise.
Ultimately, unable to suppress his curiosity, the writer borrows the old man's suit after he has come out of church, so as to pose as one of the suited men who enter the woman's house. Once inside he discovers that the woman is bedridden and that the men who visit her are doctors; the mood of the piece swinging abruptly from comedy to tragedy.