The composer of the world’s shortest opera has died

I’ve just learned that Peter Reynolds, composer of the world’s shortest opera, ‘Sands of Time‘, died recently.  The Telegraph reports:

The work, Sands of Time, “a tempestuous tale of boiling eggs and boiling tempers”, was written to last precisely three minutes and 34 seconds, the time it takes to boil an egg (though it sometimes lasted a little over four minutes).

“The intention was to create a piece which bore the same relationship to opera as a miniature does to a full-length portrait,” Reynolds told the Guardian in 2004. He also hoped to slash the existing shortest opera record set in 1928 by Darius Milhaud with Deliverance of Theseus, which ran for a comparatively flabby seven minutes and 27 seconds.

Reynolds and his librettist, Simon Rees, created a suburban domestic scenario of a couple, Flo and Stan, having an argument at breakfast, starting with the egg timer being turned on and ending with the egg coming out of the saucepan.

At the height of the argument representatives from the soccer pools arrive to tell them they have won a large amount of money, and peace is restored.

There’s more at the link.

For those interested, here’s the entire opera.

An opera timed to boil an egg?  Verily, the musical mind doth boggle . . .



  1. I need to add that to my "silly opera" collection along with PDQ Bach's "The Abduction of Figaro." If y'all haven't seen that, do not rest until you locate a copy.

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