Delphic Forge's first project is the promotion of GRACCHUS, a new opera by David Hughes and Richard Munkelt.

Along with exploring the promise and discontents of populism, GRACCHUS is a meditation on the powerful utopian strain in human thought and history from Plato’s Republic to Wagner’s Parsifal. Accordingly, the central conflict between Gaius, the protagonist, and his political adversary embodies the perennial tension between visionary community and individual liberty.

However, it is not just the conflict without that is meant to affect and change us, but more deeply the struggle within the hero and the heroine.  In their own and ironic ways, they travel a path from the wilderness of despair, to thoughts of retribution, and finally to a hope in eternal love.

That said, opera consists chiefly of music and voice in their relation to lyrics. The score adheres to classical forms while employing many and varied colors and textures. In particular, the composer has observed a strong (and, for modern opera, unusual) distinction between recitative and aria. By turns, the music propels forward the dramatic arc, and lingers in contemplation over it. The score’s modern vernacular opens a window into the pageantry of antiquity.

We hope you will enjoy some representative samples of the musical score. A brief audio introduction precedes most of the clips.


"Ah, my love, let us be true"

Rehearsal video


Act I, scene ii

Old age and swift mortality

Judith Malafronte, mezzo-soprano



Act I, scene iv




Act I, scene v

Dance of the Lads and Lasses



Act II, scene iv

Ah, my love, let us be true

Kristian Benedikt, tenor