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Miss Havisham’s Wedding

Dominick Argento

TUE 16 JUNE 2020

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Dates and tickets

Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night is a fantasia on Dicken’s Great Expectations.

Miss Havisham is a wealthy spinster, once jilted at the altar, who wears her wedding dress for the rest of her life. Dickens’s own notes indicate that she is only in her 30s – though in film she is often portrayed as elderly.

The opera monologue gives the backstory to her tragic lonely existence, revealing a most unliberated woman who can’t  “let go” of the betrayal.

Dominick Argento (1927 – 2019) composed Miss Havisham’s Fire in 1979 as a full evening which narrated the circumstances surrounding Miss Havisham’s death, requiring a cast of 19 named roles. In 1981 Argento revised it to create this monodrama.



Smoked Mackerel Paté

by Claire Booth (who sings Elle in Poulenc Voix Humaine)

Smoked / peppered mackerel fillets – more than 4
Cream cheese – 1 tub or thereabouts
Horseradish – 1 jar
Double cream – splash
Lemon juice – splash


Skin the mackerel and put fillets, cream cheese and horseradish in a food processor. Let down with double cream if it’s too stiff. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Never fails.