The Hunt(2023) world premiere
Commissioned by Miller Theatre at Columbia University
The HuntRead Program Notes
Major support for The Hunt is provided by Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts.
“The composer, singer, and theatre artist Kate Soper is one of the great originals of her generation – a maker of erudite entertainments that inhabit a self-invented realm.”
A forest clearing and a castle, somewhere in the speculative future
All text by Kate Soper unless otherwise indicated
Three virgins, Fleur, Briar, and Rue, audition for a job: to attract a majestic unicorn for the King and his Court
Monoceron: Text by Isadore of Seville and Pliny
Some weeks later, the virgins share a livestream update of their progress. After receiving the King’s comment, the virgins pass the time with lunch, a riddle, and an ode, “On the Unicorn.”
On the Unicorn: Text Hildegard of Bingen, translated/abridged Soper
Rue sings of the reasons for her chastity
Rue’s solo: Text by H.D.
Some weeks later, the virgins share a livestream update of their progress. The King’s comment reveals a lack of patience with the persistent failure in their mission. The virgins pass the time with lunch, a riddle, and songs.
Virginsong: Text by Christina Rossetti, abridged Soper
Briar sings of love
Briar’s solo: Text by H.D.
Some weeks later, the virgins share a livestream update of their progress. There is no response from the King and it seems a storm may be brewing. The virgins sing a tribute, “The Noble Unicorn.” A rainstorm erupts over the clearing and the virgins run for cover.
Fleur sings of her frustration
Fleur’s solo: Text by H.D.
Some weeks later, the virgins share a livestream update from the castle of their progress and of the continued rain. The King’s response is ominous and troubling. The virgins pass the time with a song, during which Briar teaches Fleur how to play the ukulele. Rue shares a riddle which is unexpectedly interrupted.
Troubadour Song: Text by Thibaut de Champagne, abridged/translated Soper
Riddle 3: Text from the Exeter Book, translated Erin Sebo, abridged Soper
A short time later, the virgins once again gather in the forest clearing where the foliage has become significantly overgrown. Left to entertain themselves, the virgins experience a remarkable surprise.
That evening, in the castle, the virgins sing a song of love offering and undergo a transformation.
Not Honey/Holy Satyr: Text by H.D.
The next day, Fleur, Briar, and Rue share a livestream update from the forest and face their future.
Riddle 4: Text from the Exeter Book, translated Erin Sebo, abridged Soper
Monoceron reprise: Text by Isadore of Seville and Pliny