A musical setting of Eugene O'Neill's domestic tragedy 'Before Breakfast'.
See columns 3 and 4 and page 15
Murder is no novelty in grand opera. On the contrary very few popular operas would exist without it. Tosca, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, and both Cav. and Pag. immediately come to mind. But Erik Chisholm, composer, conductor, and stormy petrel of the Scottish national movement in his younger days, always was original. He always enjoyed the grisly entertainment of Grand Guignol, and conceived the idea of a grand operatic evening of an unusual type-three independent 'acts', each complete in itself, each depicting a murder in unconventional style. Thus he goes one better-or rather two-than traditional opera by offering a 'threesome' or triptych of thrillers which have a good deal in common with The Medium of Menotti, whom Chisholm holds in high regard as a composer of the theatre.
The first of these is Simoon, based on Strindberg's story of an exhausted and frightened traveller, overcome by a desert sandstorm and hypnotised by