Geoffrey Kidde, 
Composer
 
Click on the song titles in quotations in the synopsis to hear samples from a reading of the work from 2007 with voices and rehearsal piano part.
Excerpts from the chamber orchestra score:
(from Act 1, Scene 2)
(from Act 3, Scene 2)
Samburan (2007) - An opera for five voices and chamber orchestra in three acts based on the novel Victory by Joseph Conrad.

Act One: The Schomberg Hotel. Sourabaya, Java. Around 1900.

Scene One: Schomberg and wife are at their hotel's outdoor piazza in Sourabaya, Java. A few drinking customers are there. Schomberg complains of money problems; he is in debt. Schomberg gossips and rages about a certain Baron Axel Heyst (Director of the Tropical Belt Coal Company), whom he blames for his financial troubles. Frau Schomberg tends to the customers, and defends Heyst behind her husband's back. We learn the T.B.C.C. was based on a volcanic and deserted island (Samburan), two days sail from Sourabaya. The T.B.C.C. is out of business, and Schomberg’s hotel is no longer visited by its employees. In Schomberg’s mind, Heyst (as director) is to blame. After Schomberg exits to check the store room, Heyst miraculously arrives at the hotel for a short visit to Sourabaya on business. He first meets Frau Schomberg. While checking in, Heyst sees a poster for the Zangiacomo’s Ladies String Orchestra. From Frau Schomberg he learns the sad plight of the women of the orchestra ("They come from everywhere"). Schomberg returns to the piazza, and is shocked and frightened by Heyst’s arrival. He insists that Heyst come to the evening’s musicale to be given in the outdoor piazza at the hotel.

 

Scene Two: At the musicale’s intermission, Heyst see Schomberg pinch the young beautiful violinist Lena. Finding himself alone with her later, Heyst asks Lena about being pinched. Lena immediately senses that Heyst will be her saviour ("I knew it would be alright"). Heyst asks Lena to return to the Piazza at midnight, thinking he must do something to help her. Meanwhile, Schomberg suggests to his hotel patrons that they enjoy the female companionship of the Ladies Orchestra. Schomberg tracks down Lena. He rants about sending Frau Schomberg back to Europe, and starting a new life with Lena. Lena escapes from his grasp. When Schomberg is busy with other guests, Frau Schomberg tells Heyst to steal Lena away. She informs him about a schooner which is leaving Sourabaya at dawn, and she gives Heyst money to pay for passage for both of them. At midnight Heyst and Lena meet again and elope.

 

Scene Three: Schomberg is furious because Lena has escaped with Heyst. ("Not here, not here") Later in the day, an unsavory new hotel guest Jones arrives. When Jones plans to set up a high stakes poker game at the hotel, Schomberg tells him that real treasure is waiting for him if he will come with Schomberg to Samburan and steal the treasure from Heyst. Jones agrees thinking that there really is treasure to be found on Samburan.

 

Act Two: On the island of Samburan. A week later.

Scene One: Heyst and Lena have arrived on Samburan. Heyst leads Lena to his cabin ("This is the house"). At one point, they look out to sea and Heyst sees a small sailing vessel in the distance. Lena is distressed by the expansiveness of the view.

 

Scene Two: Schomberg and Jones arrive at the island by small sailing vessel, much distressed by the difficult trip. Schomberg convinces Jones to give him his gun, and that he must find the treasure by cunning ("I'm surprised at you"). Schomberg has been practically crippled by the trip and he hides in a deserted cabin. Heyst meets Jones, and, although troubled by his arrival, is a good host. Later, at their cabin, Heyst makes vague comments about Jones to Lena. Finally, Jones returns to Schomberg's hiding spot and they discuss Heyst ("Here's your food and water")

 

Act Three: The next afternoon.

Scene One: Jones sneaks into Heyst’s cabin, looking for clues of treasure. Thinking Heyst lived alone, Jones is surprised to find Lena there. Jones quickly decides to put doubts in Lena’s mind about Heyst, and he asks her about the treasure ("Listen"). When Heyst returns, a panicked and confused Lena helps Jones escape from the cabin. Unaware of Jones and Lena’s meeting, Heyst decides he must take action against Jones. He tells Lena to hide in the forest until the confrontation is over.

 

Scene Two: Jones comes back to Heyst’s cabin to demand the treasure directly. Heyst mockingly counters that there is no treasure, and Jones stabs Heyst in anger ("Don't talk so rashly"). Hearing the fighting, Lena returns from the forest and she places herself between them. Trying to buy time, she reminds Jones that Heyst ostensibly knows where the treasure is, and that therefore Heyst cannot be killed. She lets Jones embrace her ("I will be anything you wish"). Meanwhile, Schomberg approaches and sees Jones embracing Lena. In a fit of rage, he fatally shoots Jones in the back, but then collapses himself and dies. The scene ends with Lena comforting the wounded Heyst, and vowing that they will survive.