'The Yellow Wallpaper' (2016)

A Chamber Opera in One Act

Duration: 20'

'The Woman' - soprano
'John' - baritone
'Jennie/The Woman In The Paper' - mezzo-soprano

flute/picc.
clarinet/bass cl.
violin
viola
'cello

Commissioned by the Helios Collective for first performance at ENO Lilian Baylis House (25/11/16)

©Cover Image: 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Grace-Evangeline Mason 2016

“Grace-Evangeline Mason, a composer barely out of her teens, who already seemed to me to show a strong theatrical flair in her piece, The Yellow Wallpaper, which made an immediate impact on us all. I was not the only one to find it the most mature and persuasive”
— Brian Dickie, Opera Artistic Consultant, on 'The Yellow Wallpaper'
“This wasn’t the first setting I’ve seen of this striking little story, but Grace’s version leapt out of the page with particular vigour; I loved the musically animated wallpaper.”
— Judith Weir on 'The Yellow Wallpaper'

'Taking place entirely in one room, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is a chamber opera in one act based on the story of the same name by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935). The story is centered on a nameless young woman’s descent into psychosis as her mental health issues, namely post-natal depression, are left misunderstood.

The woman and her physician husband, John, move into a spacious and airy mansion, which he believes will help her health to improve by undergoing the rest cure; a common treatment developed in the late 1800s for the handling of hysteria and other nervous illnesses. With nothing to stimulate her mind, the woman becomes growingly obsessed with the yellow, distressed wallpaper that covers the room and her imagination begins to run wild as she starts to believe it is moving and coming alive. As her fascination with the wallpaper spirals out of control, so does her quest to break free.' ©G.E.M.2016