Riders to the Sea


Writers: Ralph Vaughan-Williams John Millington Synge


Riders to the Sea is a through-composed piece without strict scene delineations. Guidelines given here are intended to give a general idea of the different events which occur through the opera, and which characters are involved. Scene titles are author’s own.

Maurya is sleeping, something from the priest ‘Where is she?’ ‘She’s lying down’ - Nora, Cathleen

Maurya wakes up ‘Isn’t it turf enough you have’ - Maura, Cathleen, Nora

Bartley comes home 'Where is that bit of new rope, Cathleen’ - Bartley, Cathleen, Maurya, Nora

Bartley leaves ‘He’s done now, God spare us’ - Maura, Cathleen, Nora

The sisters examine the items from the priest ‘Wait, Nora, maybe she’d turn back quickly’ - Cathleen, Nora

Maurya returns ‘You didn’t give him his bit of bread?’ - Maurya, Cathleen, Nora

Maurya’s visionI went down to the spring well’ - Maurya, Cathleen, Nora

Maurya’s losses ‘Bartley will be lost now’ - Maurya, Cathleen, Nora, Chorus of keening women

Bartley is brought home ‘Is it Bartley it is?’ - Cathleen, A Woman, Nora, Maurya

It is finishedThey are all gone now’ - Maurya, keening women, Nora, Cathleen

A song with an asterisk (*) before the title indicates a dance number; a character listed in a song with an asterisk (*) by the character's name indicates that the character exclusively serves as a dancer in this song, which is sung by other characters.

Riders to the Sea guide sections