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Thea Musgrave

Publisher: Novello & Co

Mary, Queen of Scots (chamber version) (2016)
An arrangement produced by the composer of her 1977 grand opera
Work Notes
A reduced version of Musgrave's 1977 opera Mary, Queen of Scots. This version is shorter in duration, contains fewer lead singers and has no chorus.
Novello & Co Ltd
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Chamber Opera
Year Composed
1 Hour 45 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
3 Baritones, 2 Sopranos, 3 Tenors, 2 Bass-Baritones
Programme Note
Thea Musgrave Mary, Queen of Scots (chamber version) (2016)

Mary, Queen of Scots (Soprano)
James Stewart (Baritone)
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell (Tenor)
Henry, Lord Darney (Tenor)
David Riccio (Bass-Baritone)


Cardina Beaton / Lord Gordon (Bass-Baritone)
Earl of Morton (Baritone)
Earl of Ruthven (Tenor)
Mary Seton (Soprano)
Monk/Onlooker/Bothwell's Soldier/Lord (Baritone)


Three 'other' Mary. 2/3 Courtiers for the supper room scene. 2/3 soldiers of Bothwell. Lord in Act 1 Scene 2, Act 2 Scene 4 and the supper room scene. Act 3 needs a big crowd, one in which Riccio, Darnlet, Bothwell, Morton, Ruthven, Mary Seton and 'Lord' can be hidden.


The set must allow for fluidity of action since all the scenes are continuous. There should be upper and lower levels. Perhaps Mannequins could be used for the crowd at the end of the opera.


Edinburgh, 1561-1568

Mary, Catholic Queen of Scotland and widowed Queen of France, has been invited by the Protestant Lords to return and assume the Scottish crown. The opera concentrates on halfbrother, James Stewart. Mary’s personality is expressed through the different situations in which she finds herself – her marriage to Darnley; her stormy relationship with Bothwell; and her confrontation with her brother. In each she vies with the other to win the favour of the Lords of the Council and the allegiance of the people so as to have ultimate power and control. It is a struggle to the death.

Preview the score

Or go to Act 2 or Act 3.

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