Close Your Eyes was commissioned by Mezzo-Soprano, Susanne Mentzer as part of her Standing Still: Still Standing, Thoughts from a Pandemic Isolation Set to Music project. The poems are taken from a collection of poems written by Reg Huston during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The three poems I selected were put together to create a monodrama for the singer. The scene is that of a dying elderly person and a younger loved one sitting together. We enter in the middle of their conversation. In the first song, the singer is an elderly person, telling of hardships she witnessed and remembers in her past. In the second song, the singer switches roles and is in her head, barely listening while the old person is talking. She imagines being the old person, lying there, and what must go through their mind, until she realizes she IS that elderly person, reliving her memories until abruptly it stops, and she realizes where she is. In the third song, the singer takes the role of the spirit of the elderly person’s partner who has passed on. The spirit guides and tells the elderly person that everything is ok, to let go and find peace.
Susanne Mentzer, Fracture Quartet
Matthew Worth - 3rd movement