Librettist’s note

Anna Moody talks about the libretto she wrote for Agreed.

This is a story that needs to be told.

The incredible gift of this project is that we can hear it expressed by the voice of our community today. It is so present, so close and yet the characters also speak from the past. To tell it, I wanted to write a text that uproots ancient myths of the land as much as the energy of our political climate.

This is a story of love, of Elin’s immense courage to swim across forbidden seas at night. She follows her heart with a strong sense of who she is and of justice. It is this power which connects to the young chorus and her story sets free their voices. I wanted to capture the vital instinct and intensity in following one’s heart despite the risks, binding their language to the currents of the sea, the danger and thrill in being lifted, lighted, filled, pushed and torn away.

This is a story of conscience carried through generations as the wounds of a family are re-opened and set in new forms. The family spans three generations, as does the chorus who surround them. I wanted to express the unravelling that happens when links of trust between these generations are broken. The word ‘undone’ recurs, voiced by the community who suffer the effects of ‘trust woken up undone’ and mourn that ‘we were one, now undone.’

This is a story of the sea and the land. Both destructive and healing, its currents and borders reflect everything that happens, whether that be Maya’s scars or the rivers that Alex wades through when pushed to accountability. Expressed by the voice of Kronos and the music of the Spirits, each character has a different relationship to this world. It was liberating to draw on motions of the landscape as dramatic momentum whilst also finding inspiration in its endless possibility for change and the aspiration to become ‘one current’.

Finally, this is a story of song. Where events make resolution impossible, it is the song heard by Elin in her dream at the beginning that must sound again. What was broken cannot be mended but when this song comes full circle, there is space to voice hope for a more truthful and expressive world, a more open heart.

Anna Moody

Image credits: Agreed rehearsals, photo by Sam Stephenson | Agreed 2019, photo by Robert Workman

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