What follows is a concise synopsis of Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress
. W.H. Auden
and Stravinsky began work on the libretto
together in Los Angeles
on 15 November 1947. Chester Kallman eventually became involved in the process, which at first irritated Stravinsky. In the end however, the opera became something all parties were proud of.
From Stravinsky's journal
Early next morning, primed by coffee and whiskey(!) we began work on The Rake. Starting with a hero, a heroine and a villain and having decided these people should be a tenor, a soprano and a bass we proceeded to invent a series of scenes leading up to the final scene in Bedlam, that was already fixed in our minds. We followed Hogarth closely at first and continued until our own story began to assume a different signifigance.
(Synopsis removed for copyright reasons. - Ed.
Source: John W. Freeman