In Guilty Night

Virtual Content

Collecio Musicorum

Purcell: “In Guilty Night”

Henry Purcell, composer

Scena by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) based on 1 Samuel 28.

CAST

Saul: Patrick Fennig
Witch of Endor: Amanda Sidebottom
Ghost of Samuel: Richard Lippold
Lute: Christopher Morrongiello

Chorus:
In guilty night, and hid in false disguise,
Forsaken Saul to Endor comes and cries.

Saul:
Woman, arise, call powerful arts together,
And raise the ghost, whom I shall name, up hither.

Witch:
Why should’st thou wish me die? Forbear my son,
Dost thou not know what cruel Saul has done?
How he has killed, has killed and murdered all
That were wise and could on spirits call?

Saul:
Woman, be bold, do but the thing I wish,
No harm from Saul shall come to thee for this.

Witch:
Whom shall I raise or call? I’ll make him hear.

Saul:
Old Samuel, let only him appear!

Witch:
Alas!

Saul:
What, what dost thou fear?

Witch:
Nought else but thee,
For thou art Saul, alas! and hast beguiled me.

Saul:
Peace, and go on, what seest thou? let me know.

Witch:
I see the gods ascending from below.

Saul:
Who’s he that comes?

Witch:
An old man mantled o’er.

Saul:
Oh! that is he, let me that ghost adore.

Samuel:
Why hast thou robbed me of my rest to see
That which I hate? this wicked world and thee?

Saul:
Oh! I’m sore distressed, vexed sore;
God has left me and answers me no more;
Distressed with war, with inward terrors too,
For pity’s sake tell me, what shall I do?

Samuel:
Art thou forlorn of God and com’st to me?
What can I tell thee then but misery?
This kingdom’s gone into thy neighbour’s race,
Thine host shall fall by sword before thy face.
Tomorrow then, till then farewell and breathe:
Thou and thy son tomorrow shall be with me beneath.

Chorus:
Farewell, oh! farewell.