Music: Salvatore Sciarrino Libretto: Salvatore Sciarrino after C.A. Cigognini and C. Le Jeune Libretto translated into English by Paola Loreto and set to the music by Kit Hesketh-Harvey.

This two-act chamber opera is based on the true story of Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo's brutal murder of his wife and her lover. 


UK Premiere: Tuesday 16 July 2013 Buxton Festival


  • The Duchess Amanda Forbes (soprano)
  • Guest William Towers (counter tenor)
  • Servant Michael Bennett (tenor)
  • Duke George Humphreys (baritone)


  • Conductor Michael Rafferty
  • Director Michael McCarthy
  • Designer Simon Banham
  • Lighting Designer Ace McCarron


“Arguably the most significant event at Buxton this year was the first UK performance of Salvatore Sciarrino’s Luci Mie Traditrici, given by Music Theatre Wales as The Killing Flower…… The festival cannot be too highly praised for securing one of the most important first UK performances of recent years.”

Opera magazine on The Killing Flower

“Michael McCarthy's period production... nicely captures the gathering sense of unease and uncertainty through chiaroscuro effects, sudden flashes of light and unexpected plunges into darkness…..The dominant performance comes, as it should, from George Humphreys’ Duke, wonderfully convincing as the handsome sensualist whose passions gradually coalesce into obsession. He's in superb command of Sciarrino's elusive style, too. Amanda Forbes, more conventionally operatic, is his wayward Duchess, meltingly beautiful in her duet with William Towers’ enraptured Guest. It's finely conducted by Michael Rafferty, too.”

The Guardian on The Killing Flower