Massa di Requiem per Shuggay
Maria: But why, my love,
Must I die for you?
Alive I love you only for a day,
But dead, I shall love you forever.
— “Duet Macabre” from Act I, Benvento Chieti Bordighera, 1768.
This opera score and libretto was composed by the Italian Benvento Chieti Bordighera around 1768. Never published, it is said the opera was performed only once, resulting in an audience riot that left several dead and some missing. The composer was arrested for heresy; some say he fled to France where he died in obscurity several years later, but trial records indicate he was executed in 1771. Knowledgeable composers and musicians who have seen the score have pronounced certain portions “unplayable”, but it is said that the ingenious Bordighera contrived various sorts of new instruments and techniques which have been subsequently lost. Handmade copies are in the holdings of the British Museum, the Bibliothéque Nationale, and the Vatican’s Z-collection.
Massa di Requiem per Shuggay tells of the journeys of a family through the stars in search of a new home. The opera deals with the topics of rape, incest, torture, and other degrading pursuits, which resulted in it being banned by both church and civil authorities shortly after its one disastrous performance. Of inhuman tone and temperament, the composition is actually the product of an insect from Shaggai which had lodged itself in the brain of the composer. A special spell is secretly woven into the instrumental score.
Written in Italian, reading the libretto is the simplest way to obtain most of the information the opera contains.
Actually performing the opera with a full orchestra and chorus causes the spell Call Azathoth to be cast about halfway through the third act.