Text for Music

Or Shall We Die?

For You: A Libretto


  • Or Shall We Die? by Ian McEwan

    With music by Michael Berkeley.

  • For You: A Libretto by Ian McEwan


    Charles Frieth, pre-eminent composer, conductor and prodigious womaniser, is oblivious to the growing turmoil around him; his wife's poor health and sadness; the exhausted efforts of his secretary, and the destructive passion of his housekeeper, Maria. With music by Michael Berkeley.

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Editions ~ Or Shall We Die?

London: Jonathan Cape, 1983 (32 p., ISBN: 0224029479).

(Musical Score). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984 (85 p., ISBN: 0193354012).

Performed by Heather Harper, David Wilson-Johnson and Richard Hickox. Hayes, Middlesex, England: His Master's Voice, 1984 (12 inch LP recording, 33 1/3 rpm, stereo/analog).

A Move Abroad: Or Shall We Die? and The Ploughman's Lunch. London: Pan Books, 1989 (117 p., ISBN: 0330309404).

Selected Reviews and Criticism ~ Or Shall We Die?

Davies, Hunter, 'Inside the Novelist's Shell', Sunday Times (London), 6 February 1983: 14e.

Wintle, Christopher, 'For Womanly Times', Times Literary Supplement, 18 February 1983: 156.

Banks, J. R., Critical Quarterly, 25, Autumn 1983: 92.

Editions ~ For You

London: Vintage, 2008 (80 p.).

Selected Reviews and Criticism ~ For You

'Michael Berkeley and Ian McEwan talk about new opera For You.' Music Theatre Wales (YouTube), 18 April 2008.

Jones, Rebecca. 'McEwan's Song.' BBC Today Programme, 1 May 2008 [Visit the BBC Radio 4 Website to listen to the interview with Michael Berkeley and Ian McEwan].

Khandekar, Ashutosh. 'Dual Purpose .' BBC Music Magazine, May 2008 [interview with McEwan and composer Michael Berkeley; Download a PDF of the article at the Music Theatre Wales website].

Morrison, Richard. 'Opera gets between the sheets with Ian McEwan's For You.' Times (London), 9 May 2008 [Includes interview with McEwan and composer Michael Berkeley].

Service, Tom. Music Matters (BBC Radio 3), 24 May 2008 [Interview with McEwan and composer Michael Berkeley].

Hewett, Ivan. 'Ian McEwan: Opera? Great music, terrible plots.' Telegraph, 26 May 2008 [Includes interview with McEwan].

Fisher, Neil. 'For You at Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House.' Times (London), 30 October 2008.

Walker, Lynne. 'For You, Linbury Studio Theatre, London.' The Independent, 30 October 2008.

Clements, Andrew. 'For You, Linbury Studio, London.' Guardian, 30 October 2008.

Clark, Andrew. 'For You, Linbury Studio Theatre, London.' Financial Times, 30 October 2008.

Holden, Anthony. 'Sex, havoc, obsession - it must be Ian McEwan.' Guardian, 2 November 2008.

Driver, Paul. 'For You - the Sunday Times review.' Sunday Times, 2 November 2008.