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The Consul – a chilling story for our times

Guildford School is presenting four performances of Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera about a political dissident on the run from the secret police

26 October, 2017 — By Sebastian Taylor

Menotti wrote the music and libretto for The Consul in 1950

Gian Carlo Menotti’s tragic – and extraor­dinarily topical – opera The Consul is being performed next week by the Guildhall School’s music department at Silk Street Theatre, Barbican.

The opera was written by Menotti in 1950. It launched his distinguished career and won him the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1950. The piece follows a political dissident on the run from the secret police and the bureaucratic nightmare faced by his wife trying to get a visa for him.

It was written response to stories Menotti heard, news reports and personal encounters with refugees fleeing Europe at the Second World War.

Tragically, Menotti would find much resonance in the headlines of today’s papers. The story of The Consul has never been more relevant. Only recently, the UN’s human rights chief attacked Europe’s “chilling indifference” to the fate of refugees and the record number of displaced people.

The Consul, Monday October 30/Wednesday November 1/Friday November 3/ Monday November 6, £25/cons £15, Silk Street Theatre, Barbican, EC1, 020 7638 8891,


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