Italian Christmas legend, or concert opera in four parts

words by the composer



La befana is an old witch who brings gifts to children on the night before epiphany - befana is a corruption of epifania. Bad children get a sack full of  ashes. Legend has it that La befana, obsessed with her housework, ignored the procession of the three kings and was cursed to run around the world, searching for the Christ-child in every child. An early version of this work was performed in 1991, but was expanded into this piece written expressly for the forces at St Paul's Girls' School. 

First performed 10 December 2002 at St Paul's Girls' School, Brook Green, London W6

La befana - contralto

A voice from heaven - soprano

The voice of God - spoken

Three Kings - children's voices

Vocal quartet, SSAA choir, chorus of urchins

solo guitar, wind band, percussion ensemble and string orchestra