The Great God Pan takes its story from an eponymous 1890 novella by Welsh author Arthur Machen, which explores themes of scientific hubris, transcendental medicine, and unexplainable supernatural behavior. Composer Ross Crean adapted Machen’s narrative into the work’s libretto himself, an ambitious and rare undertaking for a composer. The story begins with a surgery gone wrong. Dr. Raymond invites Mr. Clarke to witness an important experiment based on elements of nontraditional, ancient rituals. Raymond sacrifices his ward, Mary, as the subject of his attempt to access a higher spiritual plane – referred to as, “seeing the Great God Pan” – and unwittingly initiates a series of mysterious supernatural occurrences that Clarke encounters over the next few decades. Crean’s ingenuity in composing the accompanying piano parts with the sounds of strumming and plucking combine to make the music that much more vibrant. — Courtesy Naxos of America
This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.
Music and Libretto by Ross Crean
Based on Arthur Machen’s novella