Synopes: The Exterminating Angel

Composer Thomas Adès
Librettist Tom Cairns, in collaboration with the composer

Act I

A luxurious mansion. Before a fancy party, some servants inexplicably leave the de Nobile mansion. While the guests enjoy the meal, the rest of the servants, except the butler Julio, escape the house. When it is time to depart, the guests feel no motivation to go home and instead make themselves comfortable for the night.

Act II
The Doctor examines Russell, who is dying. Still, no one can exit the room. Julio arrives with breakfast. Leticia entreats the butler not to enter the drawing room, but he too becomes trapped. The guests begin to panic. During the night, Russell dies.

A crowd of people have gathered outside, but nobody is able to enter the house. Inside, Julio and Raúl burst a pipe for water. Everyone becomes increasingly irrational. Eduardo and Beatriz take their own lives. The guests believe that a sacrifice is needed to secure their liberation. Suddenly, Leticia realizes that everyone is in exactly the same place as when their captivity began. They repeat their actions from that first night and are ultimately able to escape, but their freedom will not last long.