Catalogue Of Scores


Work In Progress

Examples of Libretti

Atlantis Project: Introduction
Opera Plotlines


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Work in Progress

Works in progress, Music & Libretti by Derek Strahan
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Takeover (1989)

Strahan has written the libretto for this opera which is set against the backdrop of a stock market crash. Two corporate raiders vie in love for a woman who perceives that each is treating her as a property for 'takeover'.

Yeshua and Mariam (1994)

There is a growing body of modern scholarship which indicates that the relationship between Jesus, the Nazarene and Mary Magdalene was that of husband and wife. Saying 32 in the recently discovered Coptic Gnostic Gospel of Phillip, describes Mary as the 'Hotre' of Jesus, meaning, literally, the 'yoke-partner' (derived from 'hot(e)r' meaning 'be joined' (in marriage)). In the previous sentence she is referred to by the (untranslated) Greek word 'koinonos' which not only means partner but also refers to one with whom a man has sexual intercourse. Strahan is working on a libretto re-examining the events of the life of Jesus in the light of these and other disclosures and conjectures arising from examination of various ancient documents recently discovered. The libretto takes as fact that Jesus ('Yeshua' or 'Joshua') was the legitimate heir to the throne of an occupied country and, as such, was born a person of importance, burdened with the expectations of his people. He was a trained teacher (rabbi) and, in accordance with the law, was expected to be, and was, married. As in the Middle East (or anywhere!) today, there were rivalries and power struggles (not least within his own family). Jesus was also an original thinker, who introduced concepts of relative morality and compassion. He paid the price paid by nonconformists throughout history.


Strahan has developed a considerable amount of material for a cycle of operas on this topic in two instrumental works (see scores: Atlantis and Atlantis Variations) Strahan is preparing a libretto on the topic of antediluvian, or pre-cataclysmic civilisation which draws not only on Plato but on accounts in many world cultures of an earlier age. Strahan believes the human race is still traumatised by repressed memory of world cataclysm, and will benefit by confronting this memory! Further details on this project can be found in the special 'Atlantis' section in this site.

Song Cycles

Experiences with the Anima (1980-1989)

Strahan has completed the libretto for a song cycle comprising verses written over an eight year period. The work will explore the characteristic intensity of the love emotion in a relationship in which the female has, in the Jungian sense, become the anima of the male.

First Encounter with the Devil (1990)

Strahan has written the libretto for a symphonic work for baritone and orchestra. This employs a contemporary and subjective context in which to explore the reasons for and the psychological reality of a faustian bargain.

Past Life Recall(1990)

Strahan has written the libretto for a symphonic work for soprano and orchestra, in two sections, which explores the theme of women lost to history, that is to say, whose true role and importance has been obscured by historical distortion or outright lies.

The Unfallen Angel(1982)

Strahan has written the libretto for a work for soprano, baritone, chorus and orchestra, in which the two soloists combine voices androgenously to embody in one person the rebel angel, common to all mythologies, who is punished for bringing enlightenment to the human race, and who is variously represented in European legend as Prometheus, Lucifer or Loke.

The projects listed above will clearly occupy the composer for a number of years, possibly the rest of his life! Strahan sincerely invites interest from corporate and private sponsors who might wish to assist him in advancing these challenging endeavours. Strahan has assiduously attempted to attract government funding for music composition but none has eventuated since 1990. Perhaps it was unrealistic to expect assistance from this kind of source due to the radical nature of the ideas underlying many of the above projects.

Such considerations have not deterred composers in the past, and Strahan feels that he should persist in his chosen path.

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