Royal Hunt of the Sun, The
- Hugo Cole
Opera in three acts by Iain Hamilton to his own libretto after Peter Shaffer’s play; London, Coliseum, 2 February 1977.
The opera is set in the early 16th century, at the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru. Pizarro (bass), leader of the Spanish expedition, entices men to follow him by displaying Peruvian gold. His expedition is blessed in Panama Cathedral. The Inca sovereign Atahuallpa (high baritone) welcomes the Spaniards. When he refuses to acknowledge the white God the priests authorize Pizarro to massacre the Indians. Atahuallpa is spared and is promised his freedom if a room is filled with gold, but the promise is broken. Pizarro and Atahuallpa form a strange friendship. When Atahuallpa again rejects Christianity, he is garrotted. Pizarro, half-converted to the Inca faith, waits in vain for the miracle which will restore his friend to life....