What She Saw

Released December 8, 2023

Ravello Records (RR8099)

What She Saw

Dramatic Vocal Music

WHAT SHE SAW features two epic, large-scale works from composer Douglas Anderson. These gripping vocal works focus on the lives of two archetypal women: Cassandra of ancient Greece and The Woman of modern times. The first work, Cassandra Songs, tells the story of a Trojan priestess gifted with the power of prophecy but cursed to never be believed. The 11 songs that comprise this first work depict the arc of her tragic struggle. THROUGH/IN, the second major work on the album, is a one-woman chamber opera in which the modern Woman confronts herself through the looking glass. With words by Andrew Joffe, WHAT SHE SAW is a dramatic tour-de-force.


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Compositions Featured on this Album

  • Cassandra Songs

    For mezzo-soprano and piano (words by Andrew Joffe). Premiered by A Potpourri of Song, Esther Hickman (mezzo) and Mark Victor Smith. (2014)

  • Through/In

    Video opera for soprano with piano and percussion (words by Andrew Joffe). (2001)

Notes from the Composer

In these two gripping works, with words by Andrew Joffe, the music of composer Douglas Anderson plumbs the depths of the lives and experiences of two emblematic women: Cassandra, of ancient Greece, and The Woman, of our time. The drama of their lives is revealed in the diversity of the music, a series of sections or songs building each work into a powerful and moving encounter for the listener. Tender, violent, proud, bitter, sad, loving, confused, sweet, desperate, frustrated, resigned: both of these works reveal a fully human character that all can sympathize with and see themselves in.