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'I find myself increasingly occupied with matters of the human soul, it's sublimation and spiritual abyss. Certainly my opera The Ocean Betrayed betrays this preoccupation. This music has been to Hades and back, with Monteverdi and myself.' Hans-Werner Henze. Henze originated this storyline by following his fascination that he had of the work of the enfant terrible of post-war Japanese literature, Yukio Mishima (1925 - 1970), whose novel "Gogo no Eiko" forms the basis of the opera. This novel, like almost all of the author's creations, sketches a suffocating scenario of hopelessness in which the struggle for normality is doomed to failure. Henzes free-tonal score ties in with musically-dramatic principles of composition following the tradition of Richard Strauss. In symphonic interludes, the luxurious orchestra gives the eponymous hero a voice: the angry "betrayed sea."