The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore by Gian Carlo Menotti


'''''The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore or, The Three Sundays of a Poet''''' is a "madrigal fable" for chorus, ten dancers, and nine instruments with music and original libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti. Based on the 16th-century Italian madrigal comedy genre, it consists of a prologue and 12 madrigals which tell a continuous story, interspersed with six musical interludes. The unicorn, gorgon, and manticore in the title are allegories for three stages in the life of the story's protagonist, a strange poet who keeps the mythical creatures as pets. The work premiered in Washington D.C. at the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium on October 19, 1956.