(1987 rev. 1988) 

Dance opera in 1 act - 40'

Libretto by Mark Morris

Commissioned by the Banff Music Theatre Studio Ensemble

A girl is expelled from her Inuit tribe for being disruptive and arrogant. She undergoes great hardship in the Northern wastes, and finds generosity and compassion at the hands of an elderly huntsman. 

Susan Chilcott in the premiere of  The Skin Drum

Susan Chilcott in the premiere of The Skin Drum

Premiere: 18 February 1988: Margaret Greenham Theatre, The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada

Director: Mark Morris

Designer: Catherine Handfield

Conductor: Julian Grant


Revised version - Premiere: 15 February 1990: Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler's Wells, London WC2

Director/Choreographer: Clare West



Conductor: David Parry


Susan Chilcott, Christian Fletcher, Banff Studio Ensemble (original)

Susan Chilcott, Mike Henry, Contemporary Opera Studio, English National Opera (revised)

Girl - soprano

Old Man/Young Man - tenor

Polar Bears 1 & 2 - tenor and baritone

Villagers, Ravens - 2 tenors, 2 baritones, bass

Stag - dancer

Flute (+ piccolo), clarinet in Bb (+ bass cl),  horn in F, trumpet in Bb,  percussion (2 players),  piano (4 hands),  'cello, bass