work details

Klytemnestra: the original subversive female

an opera in five scenes

  • Instrumentation: soprano, narrator, viola, and piano
  • Completed: January 2011
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Texts: Original libretto by Misha Penton
  • Video:
    • Klytemnestra - The Original Subversive Female

      Scene 2 - Deception-Attraction from Misha Penton on Vimeo.

  • Audio:
    • Klytemnestra - Overture

      Recording made by Divergence Vocal Theater in the Lone Star College-Montgomery Recital Hall.

    • Klytemnestra - Scene 1: Obsession

      Recording made by Divergence Vocal Theater in the Lone Star College-Montgomery Recital Hall.

    • Klytemnestra - Scene 2: Deception / Attraction

      Recording made by Divergence Vocal Theater in the Lone Star College-Montgomery Recital Hall.

    • Klytemnestra - Scene 3: Weaving Aria

      Divergence Vocal Theater

      Misha Penton, soprano, librettist & artistic director
      Meredith Harris, viola; Kyle Evans, piano

    • Klytemnestra - Scene 4: Iphigenia's Song

      Recording made by Divergence Vocal Theater in the Lone Star College-Montgomery Recital Hall.

    • Klytemnestra - Scene 5: Catharsis

      Recording made by Divergence Vocal Theater in the Lone Star College-Montgomery Recital Hall.

  • Gallery:
    • Crowd for Premiere of Klytemnestra at Divergence Music and Arts
      April 2011

    • With Misha Penton at Houston Public Radio for a taping of Klytemnestra on "The Front Row"
      June 2012

    • Performance of Klytemnestra at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston
      with Misha Penton, Meg Brooker, Meredith Harris and Kyle Evans
      May 2012

  • Press:
  • Quotes:
    • Dominick’s music has a dramatic complexity and depth that really resonates with me. Klytemnestra’s music has an interwoven quality – web-like, veiled, cyclical, a masterful interplay between the parts. The music is deeply psychological and reflective of a Greek heroine.

      Misha Penton, artistic director of Divergence Vocal Theater, courtesy of Sequenza21 and Chris Becker

  • Performance Notes:
    • The soprano, actor, and dancer are members of equal importance in the drama, all offering different psychological portrayals of Klytemnestra.
    • When the soprano speaks, she should always speak quasi-Sprechstimme, differentiating her tone from that of the actress. The dancer should never speak. Thus, we have three dimensions of Klytemnestra portrayed: dancer with movement and no text; actress with text and movement but no musical tone; and the soprano who intersects all three worlds.
    • The piano should preferably be a seven- or nine-foot grand, with lid open to half stick.
    • While the work is conceived in five scenes, the performance should feel seamless and without too-obvious sectional delineation. Do not linger for any great amount of time at these formal divisions.
  • Performances:
    • April 15, 2011 (Premiere) 
      Divergence Vocal Theater - Divergence Music and Arts - Houston, TX
      Misha Penton, soprano, artistic director, concept, libretto
      Meg Brooker, dancer; Miranda Herbert, actor
      Meredith Harris, viola; and Kyle Evans, piano. 
      Costumes and stylist: Sarah Mosher and Serret Jensen. 
    • April 16, 2011 (Premiere)
      Divergence Vocal Theater - Divergence Music and Arts - Houston, TX
      Misha Penton, soprano, artistic director, concept, libretto
      Meg Brooker, dancer; Miranda Herbert, actor
      Meredith Harris, viola; and Kyle Evans, piano. 
      Costumes and stylist: Sarah Mosher and Serret Jensen.
    • June 10, 2012 - 2pm
      Divergence Vocal Theater - Museum of Fine Arts Houston - Houston, TX
      Misha Penton, soprano, artistic director, concept, libretto
      Meg Brooker, dancer; Shelley Auer, narrator
      Meredith Harris, viola; and Kyle Evans, piano. 
    • June 10, 2012 - 5pm
      Divergence Vocal Theater - Museum of Fine Arts Houston - Houston, TX
      Misha Penton, soprano, artistic director, concept, libretto
      Meg Brooker, dancer; Shelley Auer, narrator
      Meredith Harris, viola; and Kyle Evans, piano.
    • May 17, 2013
      Divergence Vocal Theater - Dallas Museum of Art - Dallas, TX
      Misha Penton, soprano, artistic director, concept, libretto
      Meg Brooker, dancer; Meredith Harris, viola; and Kyle Evans, piano.