Text by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver. Performances of this work are only permitted with advance permission by the Wylie Agency.
The Invisible City was composed for countertenor Patrick Terry; we premiered it while we were both resident artists with Chautauqua Opera. The text is excerpted from Italo Calvinoʼs miraculous Invisible Cities, in the translation by William Weaver. “Baucis” is the city described in this song. It occupies the exact center of Calvinoʼs symmetrically-constructed novel and is the only city in the book that is literally invisible: the speaker (Marco Polo) can only describe the “slender stilts” on which the city is built. He speculates as to what manner of people would choose to live there, so distant from the surface of their beloved earth. The Invisible City was composed while I was in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, New York, as a recipient of the Copland House Residency Award.