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Then to the Elements

“Flesh. Blood. Human.
Human hands. Human fingers.
Too clumsy to summon you:
to birth you out of the air.”
– from Then to the Elements


Then to the Elements
An Opera in One Act, 15 minutes
Mezzo-soprano, youth chorus; chamber ensemble
Commissioned by Scottish Opera
First performance: 7th April, 2018, The Galvanisers


Anna has always dreamed of having a child, but now the only means of motherhood left open to her is mechanical. After countless failed attempts, she tries one last time to bring life to her creation… Suddenly, out of the darkness, she hears it: the voice of a child. It’s awake. With each system update, the creation rapidly learns, matures and develops language. As Anna begins to lose control, she finds herself questioning how she can be both scientist and mother to her creation.


Photo credit: Juliet Howden


Then to the Elements…mingled elements of fairy tale, dreamscape and sci-fi. That kept us guessing, encouraged by a jubilant score that blended shafts of Delian lyricism with snatches of ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’.” 

– Andrew Clark, Opera Magazine

“There is a stronger melodic theme to Lewis Murphy’s Then to the Elements, Laura Attridge’s story of Anna who creates a child in her computer. With Christensen returning as Anna, Murphy has the Connect Chorus deliver an unsettlingly eerie version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, in a cleverly twisting production.”

– Thom Dibdin, The Stage