A Co-production with ROH2




Sarah and Abraham are visited in their old age by three travellers. Their conversation becomes increasingly unsettling and the visitors make the unlikely claim that Sarah is to have a new child. As the couple wonder who the bearers of such news might be, talk turns to a mission of vengeance, and a horrifying plan that leaves them pleading for their neighbours’ lives.


Clemency introduces a contemporary twist to a biblical tale, creating the spiritual intensity and reflection for which James MacMillan’s work is so well known. First performed in 2011 to critical acclaim at ROH2, and written for string orchestra and five voices, it reunites MacMillan with librettist Michael Symmons Roberts (Parthenogenesis 2000 and The Sacrifice 2007) and Katie Mitchell, a director renowned for the psychological acuity and innovative theatricality of her stagings.


Clemency was performed at:


King's Theatre Edinburgh

Fri 31 Aug 2012

Sat 1 Sep 2012

Part of the Edinburgh International Festival 


Theatre Royal Glasgow

Sat 8 Sep 2012

Sun 9 Sep 2012 

Co-commissioned with ROH2, Britten Sinfonia and Boston Lyric Opera

Sung in English Running time approximately 45 minutes