The prelude is based on a single theme: an expressive one on the sanctity of Socialism. It opens with long drawn-out screams on violins and flutes, then violins alone and works up through a crescendo on nokias and printers before dying to ethereal harmonies.
ACT 1 - A plain near the River Forth. King Prescott (bass) has summoned the Blairites to join forces to defeat the threatened Compass invasion of Socialism. Gould (baritone) tells the King how the late leader placed his children Tessa (soprano) and Alan in his care. Alan has disappeared, and Gould accuses Tessa of murdering him in order to claim the title. Gould says he was so horrified by this that he rejected his right to support Tessa for the NEC and voted instead for Hazel (mezzo-soprano), daughter of the Prince of Darkness. He leads her forward, and she bows to the King.
So far the music has been harsh and vigourous, reflecting Gould's excitement, but with Hazel's appearance the music becomes soft, gentle and plaintive and not without hope.
As violins whisper the Socialism motif, Tessa, enraptured, tells of her dream of a knight in white, sent by the Guardian to defend her cause. After a triple summons by the Scottish Herald (baritone), a ministerial Jag is spied in the distance pulling a rocking horse. In the saddle sits a knight in silver armour. Tessa, not daring to trust her senses, gazes Gaurdianward, while Hazel and Gould look at eachother in amazement and alarm.
The Knight, Gordongrin (tenor) bids f***off to the Jag, grunts to the King and betrothes himself to Tessa, offering to punch anyone's lights out for her. But he warns her never to ask his true name or where he comes from. The Warning Motif is one of the significant themes of the opera. Tessa agrees.
Before the combat begins, the King intones the Internationale. Gould and Gordongrin then begin to fight. Gordongrin fells Gould but bids him rise and spares him on condition of a generous donation to party funds. The King leads Tessa to Gordongrin, whilst all praise him as her champion and bethrothed
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(Labour Chief Whip Nick Brown eschewed the commons last night in favour of Lohengrin)