The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006–…): Season 13, Episode 4 - Nico Muhly: Marnie - full transcript

Serial office-safe thief is finally caught by her latest boss, who then blackmails her into marriage. The psychological underpinnings for her thievery and her rejection of men are revealed.


-Hi, I'm Anthony Roth Costanzo

and I'm so excited
to be your host

for today's transmission of
a brilliant new opera,

commissioned by the Met --

Nico Muhly's "Marnie," with
a libretto by Nicholas Wright

has been transfixing audiences
at the Met.

"Marnie" is the story of

a disturbed and repressed
young woman

with a dark secret
in her subconscious.

She assumes multiple identities

while cleaning out the safes of
a variety of unhappy employers.

Marnie eventually gets trapped

and is blackmailed into marrying
the man who caught her,

not the best recipe
for a happy marriage.

The opera is an adaptation of
the novel by Winston Graham,

the same book that
Alfred Hitchcock used

for his psychological thriller
of a film

starring Tippi Hedren
and Sean Connery.

With a disturbing plot turn
that includes

a husband's attempted rape of
his wife on their honeymoon,

Marnie seems
timelier than ever right now.

Mezzo soprano Isabel Leonard

plays the elusive
title character,

driven to a life of crime
and deceit

by a traumatic event
in her past.

Baritone Christopher Maltman is
the upper crust Mark Rutland,

who catches Marnie red-handed.

Counter tenor
Iestyn Davies plays Terry,

Mark's brother
and conniving rival.

They're joined by soprano
Janis Kelly

and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves,

as a pair of evil moms you
wouldn't want to call your own.

The story is set in regional
England in the late 1950s,

and director Michael Mayer
skillfully guides the action

between the pubs and flats of
the working class,

and the stately homes
of the landed gentry.

Maestro Robert Spano
is ready in the pit.

Here is "Marnie.

[ Orchestra playing ]

1959, Birmingham....

Crombie and Strutt, family accountants.

I'm holding on.

Isn't it freezing?

I can't hold forever.

Not a single receipt.

Actuarial services, may I ask who's calling?

–I like your nails that color.

Gray and muggy.

–I'm seeing my boyfriend.
–An invoice for our services.

I'm having my fortune told tonight.

I enclose an invoice for our services...

–...within seven days.
–She signed it, but she didn't initial every page.

Friday afternoons, don't they drag on forever?

Have you shown these figures to Mr. Strutt?

He's been with a client for an hour.

Oh, well, he'll have to look at them first thing Monday.

–Who's the client?
–Rutland! Didn't you see him?

Well-cut suit. Old-fashioned type.
Hearty handshake....

I wish there were more like him going spare.

Miss Holland, have you found the time
of a train for Mr. Rutland?

I have it here.

If you take the 6:05 from
New Street station and change at Euston...'ll be back in Beaconsfield by 10:15.

You're very kind.

Here is your overcoat.

You have a button missing.

That's none of your business.

Easy does it, Strutt. I don't have anyone
to pull me up to scratch these days.

Thank you, Miss Holland.

Glad to be of assistance, Mr. Rutland.

He lost his wife last year. Very sad.

Look, she's blushing like a lobster!
You've made a conquest there!

He wouldn't know me again if he bumped into me.

He can bump into me any time!

Me, too! I've no objection! Join the queue!

May I drive you home, Miss Holland?

Thank you, Mr. Strutt. I'd rather walk.

I merely offered you a lift, my dear.

Don't flatter yourself.

It's raining. Umbrellas up.

He came sliming up to me.

I felt the smearing of his hand.

I felt defiled.

Goodbye "Mary Holland"!

She's exploded.
Leave that frump to rot.

Captive rabbit. Nibbles the lock.
Shatters the bars.

I'm out!

What shall I be?

Some right-hand help meet to a suave executive?

Or a respected guardian of routine?

Shall I be raven dark or fiery redhead?



Vivacious blonde.

Glacier-gleaming, shimmering sunlight blonde!

What's that noise?

Cash a-crackle.

Banknotes rustling in my handbag.

How many hundred quid, I wonder?

Six or seven, if it's a penny.

This is the kill the hunter carries home.


Are you Marnie?

Yes, I'm Marnie.

Is my mother at home?

She's always at home.

She says you never come to see her.
She's lonely.

Who are you?

Hello, Mother.

Hello, Marnie.

Who's that boy?

Good little lad.

He loves me.
He runs errands for me.

More than you've ever done.
Where've you been?

I've a job in Birmingham, as you very well know.

–How about a cup of tea?
–Let Lucy get it.

My legs are hurting.
It's the damp in this rotten old house.

I've come to solve that problem.

There's a bright new house with a view of the sea.
How'd you like to live in that?

I haven't the wherewithal, you fool.

You've got it now.

Are you pleased, Mother?

Where did you get it?

You're as shiftless as a Gypsy.
Always traveling....

I struck lucky at the racetrack.

Twenty pounds on a rank outsider at thirty to one.

As long's you come by it in a decent fashion.

Won't have you sponging off some fellow.

If I thought you were playing fast and loose,
I would disown you.

Immoral women won't never inherit
the kingdom of the Lord.

Respect your elders. Dress modestly.

Repent that wicked thing you done.

And don't never go blonde again.

Blonde is for tarts and sluts.

Don't you trust me, Mother?

No, I don't, and you know why.

Don't start that up again.
Don't torment me!

I can't remember what I did. I was a child!

Be quiet! Here comes old Lucy.
She's not to hear.

Hello, Marnie darling!
How are you keeping?

Here's some biscuits for our tea.

You can sit if you like, but don't chip in.

Marnie's not come all this way to hear you rattling on.

She's come for me.

She's come for more of your cruelty, has she?
More of your spitefulness?

Why she tolerates you, I'll never know.

Mr. Strutt! We've been robbed!

We've been robbed!

The safe is empty!

Next week's wages!

It was an inside job.
Somebody knew the combination!

We know who. It's Mary Holland!

Dim little rabbit. Shy little mouse.

We knew she was crooked from the day she arrived!

I'll run her to earth.
She won't sleep easy in her bed.

Get back to work. Look at the time.

Get back to your desks.

Get back to work.

All night long...

...the guilty hear malevolent voices.

All night long, the guilty hear malevolent voices.

The whisperings of suspicious neighbors.

The furtive gossipings.

The hinted accusations.

Guilty, guilty, guilty...the furtive gossipings.

The hinted accusations. Guilty, guilty, guilty....

The sly inferences.

In the hours before the dawn,
the guilty lie and wonder...

...when will discovery come?

Justice cannot be avoided.

Only the timing is indefinite.

Only the moment is unclear.

When will discovery come?

Won't you sit down?
Mr. Rutland's on his way.

Did you say "Rutland"?

You'll be seeing Mr. Rutland.

Excuse me, please.

But he's arrived!

This is Mrs. Hulbert.

Have we met before?

Oh, no. I've just arrived in Barnet.

What brought you here?

Six months ago my husband died.

I was alone.

I wanted to make a new start in life.

Please, tell me about your company.

Halcyon Printing is a family firm.

My late father named it after the shield
of our Crusader ancestor.

I'm the managing director.

My mother intervenes from time to time.

My brother, Terence, is my wayward deputy.

Did I hear my name being taken in vain?

Mrs. Hulbert has applied for the wages post.

Someday, some time...

...somebody's going to tell me
what's going on 'round here.

I've just discovered the price
of our waterproof notebook.

Less than it costs to print.

Would you leave my brother and me to talk this over?

A pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Hulbert.

You can start on Monday week.

Subject to references. This way.

My heart is thumping.

How could I know it would be him?

The overcoat. The look.

The smile.

I'd never have chanced it.

Never have chanced it.

Thought I was for the chop.

It seems my transformation did the trick.

What about bank accounts?

I've a dozen.

What about references?

I'll say they're stuck in the post.

That always works.

That always works.

Your post, Mrs. Macdonald.

No order is too small.

Don't worry, the client will pay the extra.

We'll only need to run it through once.

It fits conveniently in a jacket pocket.

Just one hundred? Two hundred!

It will have to be priced at one and sixpence.
Don't worry, Geoff.

Silver wedding, satin finish.

Five thousand leaflets. Two hundred invitations.

No flowers by the request of the family.

Thank you.

If they want it in full color....

Put your hand on your ha'penny.
Here comes Casanova.

He never gives up!

How can we help you, Mr. Rutland?

I came to see how Mrs. Hulbert's settling in.

She's been here six weeks.

If she hasn't settled in by now, she never will.

Miss Witherby, what do you think of this?

Bit steamy, isn't it?

That's what my brother says.

I think a touch of sex is just
what Bournemouth needs.

Speaking of which....

Mrs. Hulbert, would a poker game
some evening be of interest?

I'll look at my diary, Mr. Rutland.

Let me know as soon as you can.

–Wear your tin knickers.
–I wouldn't be alone with him in a million years!

Look sharp, the boss is coming.

Mrs. Hulbert, I am most cruelly disappointed.

You haven't put your name down
for the annual dance and dinner.

–Do I have to?
–Not at all.

But I was looking forward to a turn
around the dance floor with you.

I decided not to go.
My husband died so recently.

I understand. I'm sorry I asked.

Excellent job on these reports, by the way.

Is there something else, Mr. Rutland?

–What do you know about roses?

Where I grew up, there weren't any roses.
Why do you ask?

I have a pair of tickets
for the National Rose Exhibition.

But I'm expected at my mother's house that day.

How'd you like to go and take a friend?

Why not? It's never too late to learn.

I wish I were coming with you.

What would your mother say?

I dread to think!

Who will you go with?
Some young fellow from the office?

I'll go with Dawn.

Be sure to tell me all about it.

Oh, I will.

It's half-past five!

Time for a pint and a round of darts.

The Old Red Lion.

Cinzano and lemon! Britvic orange!

Half of shandy! Lager and lime!

Liebfraumilch and soda! Cinzano and lemon!

Vodka and coke! That's mine!
Mine is the Babycham.

Half of shandy!

That leaves me with the gin and tonic.

Guess! Guess!

Guess what Terry Rutland did today?

He asked this one to a poker game.

What did she say?
Go on, Maggie, give it a whirl!

We dare you, Maggie! We all dare you!

Maybe I will. Just for the laugh.

To Maggie and Terry!

Hello, stranger.

–Are you speaking to me?
–Don't you remember me?

–Derek Traynor.
–What if you are?

We went for a drink one night when
you sold tickets at the Watford picturehouse.

We had a good laugh as I recall.

You was a redhead then.

Can I buy you a drink?

Leave me alone! Go away!

I'm sorry you're taking it that way.

Goodbye, Martine.

Martine? Martine? Martine?

The cheeky bugger.
Saying he knew you when he didn't.

(Maybe we don't know you either.)

Nobody knows who anyone really is.

When you're having a drink with your friends in a bar...

...are you the same as you are
with your old head-teacher...

...or your gran, or the man of your dreams...

...or the boy at the bus stop?

Do you change from day to day and hour to hour?

I could walk out of that door right now.

The sun would turn my hair to silver...

...and my face would shine.

I could buy a scarlet dress and
a pair of shoes with pointy heels...

...and I would dazzle...

...and I would dazzle everyone around me.

I could be as dainty as a princess
or as waddling as a whore.

Am I how I was made...
or what I have made myself to be?

And which are you?

And which are you?

When I was born... mother took one look at my face
and screamed in horror.

My father cursed me on his deathbed.

My ex-wife only speaks to me through her lawyer...

...and my brother treats me like an office boy.

He's an idiot not to take your advice.

Mark will regret it soon enough.

Time's running out for these
old-fashioned family businesses.

What's your opinion, Maggie?

Why ask her?
She's hardly qualified to judge.

–I'm in.
–I'll fold.

I'll see you.

–Full house.
–I've got sod-all.

–Four of a kind. All sixes.
–Bloody hell!

Good bluffing.

I'm beginning to think that
that's what she's good at.

Look at the time! I'd better go.

Can we offer you a lift?

I'll get my coat.

Skip the lift. I'm on to a good thing here.

Sure thing, old pal.
That little number's there for the taking.

Don't be too sure.
I doubt she's as simple as she appears.

Where have they gone?

They just took off.
Why don't you stay for another drink?

–I want to go.
–Why so soon?

Whatever you've got in mind, you can forget it.


Are you revolted by my birthmark?
My mark of Cain?

–Keep away!
–I love a spirited woman.

Did your late husband know how lucky he was?

Terry, if you don't stop, I'll slap your face.

Do it! What are you hiding?
Was your husband not a ladies' man?

Is that your secret?
Have I stumbled upon a painful truth?

Let me go home!

Too late.

The sun is up.

It's early morning after a sleepless night.

That's the time for making love.

You're painlessly hungover.

You're unblushing, weary, heavy,
musky, damp, and shameless... to all that a man can do
to the woman he loves.

Slap me as hard as you like.

Slapping goes with kisses.

Let me kiss you.

Let me kiss you.

If I let you, will you ring for a taxi?

Trust me.

You've never been married, have you?

How many more lies have you told?

Let me go!

Good morning, Mother.
Nobody told me you'd arrived.

I have been reading the annual figures.

If we carry on at the rate we're going...

...Halcyon Printing will not survive.

You sound like Terry.

What if I do?
A child of two could see that the firm is failing!

–Don't interrupt.

I often think that Terry would make
a better fist of the job than you.

You are much nicer than your brother...

...but you lack his flair, his enterprise.

You are not tough enough.

You employ too many people.

Stage a clear-out.
Sack the troublemakers.

Make a bonfire of the rules.

Don't interrupt.

Good morning, Mr. Rutland.

–Who is this?
–Maggie Hulbert from my office.

Maggie, meet my mother.

How do you do?

I'll leave you alone.
Good day, my dear.

Will you show me the artwork, please?

What do you think?

It's better now.
I thought the earlier draft was too suggestive.

I thought that too.

Thank you for coming all this way
on a Saturday morning.

Is that all?
I should have kept the taxi running.

Stay till the rain has stopped.

That would be nice.
It's pelting down.

Whose field is that?

It's mine, right down to the river.

It's a perfect paddock for a horse.

Do you ride?

I do.

I bought a horse named Forio
with some money that I was left.

I love him more than anything in the world.

He's stabled far away.

When I was a girl,
I wanted to be with horses all the time.

I fancied myself as a country squire,
but I went into the firm.

Everything's out of kilter
since the death of my wife, Estelle.

I rattle around this house like a pea in a drum.

I eat out of tins.

The cups are chipped...the silver is tarnished.

There are rooms that I never go into.

It's a melancholy place, but it fits my mood.

We're very similar, you and I.

We're very similar, you and I.

I lost my wife.

You lost your husband...

...but of the two of us,
you seem the more alone.

(Baby's cold. My brother's cold.)

(What...what have I done?)

There's nothing to be afraid of.

I'm all right now. Thank you.

I should thank you. I've been
looking forward to seeing you all morning.

Don't say that.

Haven't you noticed how I linger at your desk?

How I call you to my office on the smallest pretext?

I have to go.

I'll see you on Monday.

No, never again.
I can't come back.

(It's time to murder "Maggie Hulbert.")

Goodbye, Mr. Rutland.

That suffering soul has ruined it all.

His slobbery lips, his mouth, his flickering tongue!

Damn you, Mark Rutland!

Where to next?

Can't be Bournemouth.
Been to Bournemouth.

Blackpool neither. I'll be spotted.


Been there, too.

What about Bristol?

As long as I'm out of Barnet.

Never in Barnet. Anywhere else.

Never again.

Put the money back.

Mark, I know how this must look. I....

Don't make excuses.

I'm so sorry.

Just do it.

–How'd you know I'd be here?
–You've got a nerve to ask questions.

You should be answering them.

I'll tell you anything.
Just don't call the police.

–How could you do this to me?
–It's difficult to explain.


I was afraid of getting hurt.

–By what?
–By you.

I love you, Mark.

What did you say?

I've loved you since I came in for an interview.

But what future could the two of us have?

I come from the gutter.
You're a million miles above me.

If even half of that is true,
why have you played your hand so badly?

I don't understand.

I'm alone in the world. I need a wife.

Is there any reason that wife can't be you?

We can't get married!

Give me one reason.

I'm a thief.

I'm a thief, I'm a liar, I'm a thief....

Would you rather I call the police?

I'll drive you home.

Is this what horror feels like?

What does he think I am?

A tart? A slag? A good-time girl?

The office bike?

Mary, Martine, Maggie,
whatever your bloody name is.

Do you take this man...?

I have no choice!

I do!

He'll regret it.

It will cost him.

I'll bleed him dry.

He'll never touch me.

Not a nuzzle, not a grope, not a grab.

He'll never touch me!

What have you got for us today, young man?

I bought the cigarettes you asked for.

Ten "Senior Service."
Here's the change.

–Hand it over.
–Here you are.

And I met the postman on my way.

Here's a card from Mrs. Miller at the church.

"May God be with you in your sickbed."

Bloody old hypocrite.

This is from Marnie.

Read it.

"Dear Mother, I hope you're feeling
better after your bout of flu."

Fat lot she cares.

"I'll send you a bit of spending money soon."

"Don't worry if you don't see me for a while."

"There's been a surprising turn of fate."

"Your loving daughter, Marnie."

It's another fifty quid!

What do you think of that?

She's not all bad.

Not all bad?

Not all bad?

Have you forgotten what she did?

I will not speak of that.
I promised you not to speak–

What did she do?

What did she do?

Marnie's baby brother
would still be alive if it weren't for her.

She killed that innocent child.

She's bad all through.

♪ She's bad ♪

♪ All through ♪

Mrs. Rutland, do you remember
the night I proposed?

You mean the night you trapped me?

Why were you sitting in the dark?

I was waiting for you.

How did you know that I would come?

I knew you'd do the same as Mary Holland.

Who's Mary Holland?

Don't pretend you don't remember.

"If you take the 6:05 from
New Street station and change at Euston..."

"'ll be back in Beaconsfield by 10:15."

Oh, Jesus Christ.

I saw your name in the local rag.
You'd stolen seven hundred pounds and disappeared.

Then you materialized at Halcyon Printing as a blonde.

–You knew who I was, you bastard!

–Why did you give me a job?
–I couldn't resist it.

More Champagne?

I've had enough.

Tell me about your late husband. Did he exist?

I invented him.

And your mother and father?
What about them?

My father was lost at sea.
My mother died of grief.

An old woman called Lucy brought me up.

Why did you steal from Strutt?

He was a monster.
He thought I belonged to him.

–Who else have you stolen from?
–Stop asking questions.

What's your real name?

Call me the name old Lucy called me.

Marnie? I like that name.
I'm going to say it a lot.

Marnie. Marnie.

Don't do that!

But I'm in love with you.

You can be in love without behaving like a beast.

What quaint ideas you have about love.

It ought to flow into sex without any interruption.

–That's just animal.
–Human beings are animal.

Feet in the mud where we belong.

We can despise the mud that
makes us human or exult in it.

Try exulting for a change.

I've had seven sleepless nights
lying next to a beautiful woman...

...who flinches when I touch her!

Hasn't anyone ever kissed you?

–Your brother.

–And you let him?
–No! I pushed him away.

–Another lie.
–Stop bullying me!

You don't even let me near you!
Do you call that love?

It isn't love. I never loved you.

–Why did you say you did?
–You threatened me.

You said you would call the police!

Now go away.
Find a cabin for yourself.

You can't get rid of me.

Where's the bell?
I'll ring for a steward.

I watched you through a pane of glass.

You broke into a darkened office.
You smashed a drawer.

You turned the handle of the safe
and found the money.

You snatched it while I spied on you like a voyeur.

My heart was pounding.
My eyes were blurry with excitement.

I felt the thrill of my father being defied.

And of my mother's treasure-house being robbed.

I knew I would capture you.
I knew you would yield to me.

I knew you would be my wife.

Hold my hand. Feel the tensing of my fingers.

Feel the pulsing of my veins.

That's the strength your crimes have given me.

I've been waiting. I've been watching.

Stop it, Mark. You're drunk.

Maybe I need to be drunk
to teach you how to love.

Do you know what I mean when I say no?

Don't do that!

Stop it! Please!

[ Glass shattering ]

Marnie! Marnie!

[ Applause ]

[ Orchestra tuning ]

-At the end of the previous act,
Marnie has slit her wrist

rather than succumb to
her husband.

Although Marnie's wounds
will heal,

her ultimate fate
is another matter.

Here is Act II of "Marnie."

[ Applause ]

[ Orchestra playing ]

The shattered glass, the ragged vein...

...the splash of blood.

Why was I weak?

Why so feeble?


Never again.

Be strong.

Survive him.

Yield him nothing.

Owned and fed like a dog.
Kept and kennelled.

Chained and collared.
Never a victim.

The hint of a cut.

The trace of a scar.

The wounds have faded.

The wounds have faded, but the pain is here.

Wounds never heal.

Wounds never heal.


-♪ Marnie? ♪

Are you listening to me?

Are you listening to me, Marnie?

Why won't you speak to me?

Can't you forgive me?
Can't you just try for once?

Can't you face up to what you did?
You tried to rape me.

–You fought me off.
–I'll fight you off again if you try it again.

Just keep away from me.

So you prefer the company of my brother.

Did you have a good poker game with him on Tuesday?

I was with Dawn Witherby, as I told you.

Dawn Witherby is in Scotland.

–Why do you lie to me?
–I thought you'd disapprove.

I do.

The poker table is the only place I feel at home.

Malcolm and Laura Fleet were there.

What do you know about them?

They're speculators. Dodgy as hell.

Terry wants more status in the firm.

That makes sense.

Someone's buying up the public shares.
It must be him.

Terry must be planning
a hostile takeover, the bastard.

Don't I get a reward for that useful information?

I'll give you a kiss.

I don't want that.

Then you can help me with my tie.

Turn around.

If only you and I made love occasionally,
we'd get along fine.

I'll try to forget you even said that.

Is it sex with me or sex in general?


Would you consider changing that?

It can't be done.

A psychoanalyst might help.

I'll never go.

Is there nothing that would persuade you?


Early this morning I walked into the meadow.

It was cool for summer.

A sky like oyster shells.

I sat on the bench.

The meadow was quiet.

Then I stood up and felt
a quiver and a whirr behind me.

I had frightened a deer.

She sprang into life and bounded
past me toward the forest...

...almost close enough to touch her.

I thought of the way
you've been running away from me.

I saw our separate bedrooms.

I saw your shyness when you're getting dressed.

And how our eyes don't meet each other's gaze.

What can I do?

What can I do to mend the break?

How can I win your heart... you win mine each morning
over the breakfast table?

How can I lure the wounded deer
from her dark tangle in the trees?

What if I shouted,
"It's a beautiful day! Come out!"

How many centuries has that field been a field?

How many deer have cropped its grass?

–How empty it seemed without any life in it.
–I know what you're trying to do.

You're trying to blackmail me again.

I remember the first time you saw it.

The rain, the thunder.

"It's a perfect paddock for a horse," you said.

It is.

He could be here.

–Your Forio could be here.

You'd find him grazing in the meadow.

I'd slip out of the house at dawn.

I'd twist his mane around my fingers.

I'd mount him, spur him, drive him...

...through the gateway, into the lane.

Over the meadow, over the stream.

Would you like me to arrange it?

I'll take you up on that.

You've got a deal.

Will you see an analyst?

I'll consider it.

That's a start.

It isn't the start of anything.

Bring Forio here, and I'll see whoever you want.

That's the deal.

That's all.

Last week, I asked you how
you would feel about having a child.

No need to answer.
Thoughts go wandering around the room.

I look at the ceiling.
Crack in it is getting wider.

Think of beetles scuttling out.

I look at the pictures.
A sailing ship in a stormy night.

The moon is full.

One mast is broken,
and the sails are torn in the wind.

Why did you say you didn't want a child?

Who wants to know?
My analyst or my husband?

Let me put it a different way.

Did you love the woman who gave birth to you?

He ought to ask me if I loved the man I married.

Imagine a child who feels for you
the love that you felt for her.

Why does Mark say he loves me when he hates me?

Isn't it natural for a woman to think about childbirth?

Why can't I stop thinking
about my husband night and day?

Tell me the words you associate with childbirth.

Baby. Sleeping.

Mother. Mother, I'm cold.
I'm freezing.

I'm feeling sick.
Blood of the lamb.

Baby. Crying....

Can we stop?

What comes into your mind when I say "Mother"?

Mother, I want to stay in bed with you. I'm cold.

Mother, Mother...Mummy, I'm scared.

Marnie. Speak to me.
What are you remembering?

Mother? Who's that man?

Don't take me out of bed.

Another man at the window. A soldier.

What do you see? Marnie? What is it?

There was a storm.
Rain on the roof. Thunder.

I hear...I hear....

I hear my mother crying out.

I hear my mother crying out.

Somebody help her! Lucy!

[ Screaming ]

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
bless the bed I lie upon.

Soggy pillow.

–You did this. Look what you did.
–Mummy...never been good.

Bad all through. Going to hell!

I'm scorching! I'm burning!

Baby on fire!

The poor little mite weren't never christened.

I saw the baby that I killed.
I saw my crime.

Got to be true if Mummy says it.

Newborn brother. Struggling, choking.

Nice new word for you, Marnie...


"S" and a "u" and an "f" and an "o"...

...O God forgive me!

God forgive me!

–Midsummer eve.
–Well-tended lawns.

Discreetly welcoming.

–On festive evenings.
–Violet shadows.

–Twinkling silver.
–Clattering glasses.

Dinner first, then dancing after.

Sequential lighting of the paper lanterns.

–When did I last see you?
–Arthur Croft's retirement?

–Prawn cocktail.
–Chicken Kiev.

–Lutomer Riesling.
–Easy drinking.

–(Who's that woman?)
–(A gold digger.)

–(A fortune-hunting little tart.)
–(Where's she sprung from?)

Welcome, my dears! Welcome!

Your brother is in a hostile mood.

He senses trouble in the air.

I should avoid him if you can. Now circulate!

–(That's her?)
–(That's her.)

–(He's getting his rocks off.)
–(Pert little thing.)

–(Shifty eyes.)
–(Arrived from nowhere.)

–(Dodgy accent.)
–(What's the attraction?)

–(Good in the sack.)
–(Two years without a wife.)

You're looking radiant.

What is the dress?


–Aren't you a lucky girl!
–Mark is splashing out on you!

We hope you're being appropriately grateful.

–What do you want?
–Will I see you at the hunt tomorrow?

I shall have to check my diary.
Marriage is such a time-consuming occupation.

Do you love my brother?

Tell me the truth.

I hate him.

So you're lying to him as well?
I see right through you now.

You have less substance than a shadow.

I could blow you away like smoke.

Your pretty dress would turn to rags.

Your husband's heart would break beyond repair.

I can destroy you both with a flick of my fingers.

(Look at the second Mrs. Rutland.)

(See her cringing. Going pale.)

(What's her crime? Addictive lying.)

(Cool deceptions. Duplicitous frauds.)

(Tell us the truth for once.)

Terry is on to me.

What does he know?

He didn't say.

–Is there anything you haven't told me?

Then there's nothing to be afraid of.

(She's terrified. She's white as a sheet.)

(Might make a scene.)

Look! Strutt is here! Quick, let's go.

Too late. He's seen us.

–(Who's this?)
–(Watch him.)

Good evening, Rutland.

Good evening, Strutt.

What a pleasant surprise.

My wife, Patricia.

My wife, Marnie.

Damn good of you, Tom,
to come all the way from Birmingham.

My mother tells me I must circulate.

Mrs. Rutland, I believe we've met.

I'm sure we haven't.

Have you a sister?

Only a brother who died when he was a baby.

Then I'm amazed!

Ladies and gentlemen!
Won't you please join me in the dining room?

My wife isn't well.
I'm taking her home.

I have a question for you.

Wait in the car.

What was your wife's name before you married?

What business is that of yours?

I have an excellent memory for faces.

She was my wages clerk
under the name of Mary Holland.

She stole seven hundred pounds
from the office safe and then vanished.

I hired a private eye to find out more.

Under the name of Miriam Hawtrey, she'd stolen...

...three hundred and seventy pounds
from a restaurant in St. Ives.

What are you doing? I'm waiting.

Stay in the car!

Melanie Haskell...
two hundred and fifty pounds from Brent post office.

Martine Holmes, four hundred and twenty pounds
from the picturehouse in Watford.

–You're making this up!
–Muriel, Muriel....

Muriel Howard, the majestic hotel in Hove...
one thousand, six hundred and eighty pounds!

You're out of your mind!

These are the cases I know about.
There must be more.

You have no proof.

I recognize her. That's my proof!

Call at my house tomorrow morning.
We'll come to terms.

Very well.

Will you divorce her?

Certainly not.

She says she hates you.

I don't care.

–What about Strutt?
–I'll pay him off.

–There will be others.
–I can afford them.

What if one of them tells the police?

Then I'm in trouble.

Getting out of trouble is what I do.
Hire a top lawyer.

Go to the police.
Marnie delivers a full confession.

Mental breakdown.
Desperate to return the loot.

She could go to prison.

Not if you get her pregnant.

Shut up, Terry.

Did you know she was a thief when you proposed?

I did.

So she was powerless.

You had her trussed and tied
like a Christmas goose.

You preyed on her. You sicken me.

What kind of man blackmails a woman into marriage?

What kind of bastard takes advantage of a slave?

She's not your wife.
She's an indentured prostitute.

–Come and help!
–Somebody stop them!

I knew it would happen.

Bad blood between the two.

–Drunk, of course!
–Ruined the evening!

Stop at once!

Terence, you have disgraced us all.

Mark, your behavior is appalling.

–Shake his hand.
–He's working behind our backs!

He's buying up shares!
He's planning to take us over!

I am not!

Be quiet.

I am the one who's been buying the shares.

I have a majority holding, and I'm in charge.

I've given the task of turning the
company around to Malcolm Fleet.

It's for the good of the company, Mark.

It had to be done.

It's too late now to raise objections.

You betrayed your father's memory.

The firm has become an abscess.
This will drain it clean.

I see Forio standing still...

...a vast immensity, wet from the rain.

The storm is over.

Steam is rising from his back.
I touch his flank.

He flicks his tail and turns his head.

He gazes back indifferently.

His eyes are deep and dark as wells.

I know he will never hurt me.

I know he will never disappoint me.

He will always bring me peace.

He's all I love.

He's all I love.

I've talked to Strutt.
I've paid him off.

–Thank god!
–But he'll be back.

He can't be trusted.
He'll want more money.

The whole pack will be after us.

The Wednesday meet. Crispy morning.

Friendly faces. It's Mrs. Rutland.

Cheerful voices. Morning. Shoulders thumping.

More of a crowd than usual.

(Have you heard?
A scandal in the country club?)

(A shocking scene. She was the cause.)

Excellent chap that Mark.

(I hear the marriage is in trouble.)

Here are the hounds. Leaping. Yelping.

So you came after all?

I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I'm sure you'll run the others flat.

[ Trumpeting ]

They've found!

They've found!
Through the gate and up the hill.

We're stuck in the lane.

Oh, for a good clean canter.

Hoorah, we're through!

The thrill of the horn! Look!

The fox dodges. Look how she runs.

Savages! Monsters!
Well done, fox! Run for your life!

Don't let them destroy you.

Forio leaps, his flanks are heaving,
over a fence and down.

Here are the hounds! Please!
Somebody save the fox!

Cornered the fox! The hounds are baying.

Their hackles are up, their tails alert.

How can I save her?

How can I stop them?

Tearing her! Ripping her heart.

Save the brush! Hoorah, hoorah!

Forio's bolting!

Pull on the reins. Hold fast!

I can't control him!

Let me help.

–Take away your hand!
–Look out for the wall!

Too high, too high.

Don't try it, Marnie!

Forio's tensing.
He's going to try. He's leaping!

I'm flying. Flying.

I see the wall. I see the ditch below.

I hit the ground.

I see Mark somersaulting after.

Mark is injured.

Forio screaming.

Forio flecked with foam.

Oh, God, they'll shoot him!

Marnie, it's over.

Don't look.

-♪ Forio... ♪

[ Gunshot, wingbeats ]

[ Sobbing ]

I've never cried. Not ever.

You're feeling grief.

Grief for your steed.
Grief for your husband.

Grief for yourself.

Now that you've felt it once,
you'll feel it all your life.

It's part of being alive.

The ambulance is leaving.
Go with Mark.

Wherever you are,
remember I'll be there, too.


I wanted to free you from your lies.

I'm sorry I failed.

I won't give up.

I'll hunt you down for as long as you live.

For as long as you lie.

I'll see you torn apart by the hounds of truth.

I'll do it to save you, Marnie.

All for you.

All for you.

Are you angry with me, Mother?

I feel blank incomprehension.

After your father died, I asked Estelle to dinner.

That was the only time we spoke as friends.

She said she felt she didn't know you.

I'm your mother, and I don't know you either.

What did you hope to find in Marnie?

Was it a quest for self-destruction?

Well done, if so.

That dreadful man who came to
the country club has called again.


He has discovered Marnie's mother.

She died of grief during the war.

She died two days ago in a seaside town...

...and certainly not of grief.

You have been very much lied to, darling.

Marnie, Marnie....

I'm sorry.

–Being sorry won't change things now.
–That's what I said so many times.

–Being sorry is not enough.
–I'm sorry I ruined it all, Marnie.

We can get through this
if we're honest with each other.

–You know me better than that.
–Was nothing about us true?

Nothing at all. You loved a ghost.

I loved a woman at first sight.

–She helped me with my overcoat.
–You loved a ghost.

The air between us seemed alive.

But if you hate me, why do you stay with me?

You'll call the police if I escape.

I can't. I've been protecting you.

I'm your accomplice.

Then why did I stay?

Go on! What's happening?
I've got to take it, Mark.

I'll never escape.

I'll have to love you.

But I can't. I can't.

Take it! Take it all!

Take it all!

A couple of lines in the births and deaths.

A telephone call one weekend morning.

The occasional Christmas card.

A spidery note refusing our invitation.

She kept to herself, a martyr to her arthritis.

On Sundays she appeared in her pew
in the Methodist church.

Though in contradiction of appearances.

Older folk who remember the wartime years
describe a rackety life.

Soldiers calling at all hours of the night.

Complaints from her exasperated neighbors.

We take a tolerant view of these reports.

The world was different then.

Ungrateful daughter.
Poisonous minx.

Went to the city.
Shamed her mother.

Hello, Marnie.

I used to sit with your mother when she was ill.

She thought I was someone else.

Who did she think you were?

Your baby brother.

Her mind was wandering towards the end.

I murdered him.


It wasn't you.

She wouldn't admit there was a baby on the way.

Though half the neighborhood was talking.

When her waters broke,
she wanted no one to know.

She turned the nurse away
at the door and took to bed.

How do you know?

I was the midwife, dear.

What was he like?

A bonny boy.

I heard you crying outside the door, so I let you in.

I left the room for a bowl of water.

When I came back, the child was dead.

She'd smothered him with a pillow.

She told me we'd have to put the blame on you.

She'd have killed me if I told.

She was a wicked old girl, your ma.

She was a devil.

Praise Him, praise Him....

Praise Him, praise Him widely as His mercy flows.

Angels, help us to adore Him.

I lied and stole...and lied and stole...
and lied and stole again.

To test the limits of forgiveness.

To prove that even the
worst of crimes can be forgiven.

Because I couldn't forgive myself.

Because my guilt was too terrible.

Now I reject that guilt.
It isn't mine. It never was.

The liar was you.

Mary Holland.

–The liar was you.
–Melanie Haskell. Martine Holmes.

–The liar was you.
–Maggie Hulbert. Muriel Howard.

Meryl Hunnicutt. Margaret Herbert.

–The liar was you.
–Mercia Hart.

Maxine Hooper.

–Maudie Hammerton. Myra Hesketh.
–Farewell, Marnie.

–Millicent Hulse. Molly Huston.
–Farewell, Marnie.

Mandy Halliday.

Hello, Mark. I don't know why
I'm glad to see you, but I am.

The office safe was broken into–

I tried to rob you, but I couldn't.

My hands refused.
My heart refused.

I knew that part of my life was over.

Were you expecting me?

Sooner or later.

Sooner is kinder, Marnie.

I know.

I'll wait for you as long as I have to.
I'll never desert you.

I'll never forget you. Marnie....

Will you come back to me when this is over?

I'll be here for myself.
That's all I know for now.

I'm free.

I'm free.

[ Applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Loud cheering ]

[ Applause continues ]

[ Applause continues ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Loud cheers and applause ]

[ Applause continues ]

-You are awesome!

-We're all so happy and so sad
all at the same time!

-Thank you.

-That was such a powerful scene.

-Hi. [ Laughs ]

-Tell us about this mysterious
character you're playing?

-Oh, there is a lot to tell.

I think she's quite a complex
and, I think,

rather tragic character,

But she means no one any harm.

-It's hard to know if she's good
and evil,

but not only is it
dramatically complex,

it is a vocal and physical
tour de force, oh, my gosh.

You were working with composer
Nico Muhly,

who wrote this with
you in mind.

Is it exciting to collaborate
with a living composer?

And it's a huge responsibility

and Nico's a friend,
and, you know,

he just pops into the dressing
room to say hello,

and I am always thinking,
"Oh, my God,

Please let me do it right
for you!"

-Do you ask him for things?
-Sure, sure.

We had a lot of, uh, dialogue
and a lot of conversations

between Michael Mayer,
our director, and Nico

and Nicholas Wright,
our librettist.

And everybody was really active,
hands on, and --

and really, uh, there to create
a good story

and to drive the drama forward.

-It's so cool to collaborate on
a piece of art like that.

So you're on stage
for most of the opera,

and when you're offstage --

-You're running around,
changing costumes

into all of your
different identities.

At this last performance,
we actually followed you

for your
offstage action.

-I remember. At some point, I
started noticing the cameras

and then I started making
silly faces.





-That is so fun.

So now we are joined by your
unsung hero,

Suzi Gomez-Pizzo,

the Met's ladies wardrobe

And also, the official chief of

the Isabel Leonard
pit stop crew.


-Couldn't do it without her.
-Takes a village, though.

-It takes a village.
-It takes a village.

-And we see you're giving your
own tour de force

performance here.

Can you describe -- like,
this is 12 costume changes?

Oh, my gosh.

-Let's get it right.

-Okay, let's get it right.

What is it like?
Is it hard?

-It's crazy.
I mean, it takes two of us.

By the way, Nancy Phillips,

She's my second.

And then Juliet does the hair.
I mean, we're --

it's literally,
she comes off --

She actually has the harder job
because she's got to sing --

-After the couple of seconds'

quick change,
but, I mean, it's like zzz, zzz,

she comes in, we just all grab
her and pull her.

-And is it snaps and Velcro
and you have a --

-No Velcro.
-No Velcro.

-The Met does not use Velcro,

just so that we're all
on the same page.

-Yeah. In this case,

it's 1960's clothes,

so there's zippers
going up the back.

-Lots of zippers.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.

-Lots of zippers, lots of
magnets, actually.

-Oh really?
-Yes, oh yes.

-See, we're getting the secrets.
I love it.

-Isabel, I know that you have

a huge social media following,
and the Met has, like,

hundreds of thousands
of followers.

I'm doing an Instagram takeover.
Shall we do a selfie?


We're going to do it on-camera.
Are you ready, guys?

-I can't believe
we're doing this.

-I know, I love it.
Okay, Suzi, we need you.

Thank you guys so much.

Bye, guys.

Now I'm going to speak with
two men

who conceived this
powerful new opera:

composer Nico Muhly
and director Michael Mayer.

Hey guys.
-Hi, hello.

-So great to see you.
Nico, this is

your second opera for the Met.

Can you tell us what was
the inspiration for this one?

-It was, it was a phone call
from Michael.

-Yeah, yeah.

I was watching the movie,

which has always
fascinated me.

And I thought this character was
really complicated

and weird,
and the story's very operatic.

So I called Peter Gelb,
and I said,

"Peter, I think 'Marnie'
would make a great opera."

And he said,
"Well, who should write it?"

And I said, "Nico."
-Of course.

-And so, he said, "Well, if Nico
wants to do it,

I'll commission it."

So then I called Nico.

-And so, then you began
working with

Nicholas Wright.

-Nicholas Wright, exactly.
-What was your creative process?

How did you put it together?

-Well, because we were all
together from the beginning,

um, we worked really closely
with Nick on, um,

getting a kind of outline of how
the libretto would work.

-You're adapting this book --

what are the changes that you
make for the opera?

-Well, one of the changes is
that in the book, the brother,

Terry, played by Iestyn Davies,
is actually a cousin.

And the familial relationship is
more complicated,

and you want something a little
more clear and sturdy

for the opera,
so that's one thing.

-Thing, like,
I found for an opera, it's like,

you really have to reduce
everything to its simplest form,

so that the complexity can be
musical and emotional

rather than, "This plot is so
complicated, I can't keep up."

-Fascinating. So you layer it so
that the music can speak.

-And that's --
and the production can speak

and the actors can --
can sing.

- Thank you both for joining me.
-Okay, thanks.

-See you.

-And we're back with composer
Nico Muhly, next to the pit,

where the magnificent musical
engine of the Met,

the Met orchestra, resides.

Nico, tell me,
Marnie's character,

how did it inform
your composing?

-So, because she's -- well,
everyone in this opera lies.

That's the whole point, right,
is that the whole thing

is based on layers of lies.

So I thought what would be great
is to use the orchestra

kind of like an extension of
that problem.

So when she sings, her lines are
picked up by the oboe,

or sometimes responded to by
the oboe,

as a sort of
internal instrument.

And it also works for the --

with a bunch of
the other characters.

So Mark is represented by
the trombone

and Terry by the muted trumpet,

so that was sort of a way to get
the orchestra involved.

-It's so interesting, because
the textures come across,

and then there's this thing that
they call twinning,

where you're, as you're saying,

pairing these instruments
with voices.

How does that then,
to the audience,

transmit the drama,
would you say?

-Well, I think what, for me what
it does is, it makes the --

it makes the orchestra pit feel
like an additional character.

And so, it's less like,
"This is -- this is the singing,

this is the accompaniment,"
and much more,

"This is a total thing."

-I love how you've also created
these four inner voices

for Marnie -- the so-called
"shadow Marnies."

Tell us about the role they play
and how you thought of that?

-So, from the very, very
beginning, I was thinking,

you know, what would be
important for me is to have

a little semi-choir

that functions in a completely
unreal way.

They're never seen by anyone
else, except for her.

And the idea was that they were
going to be four women

who looked like her,
who sounded very different,

who sing in straight tone,
who sing without words,

who sing in a kind of
abstract way.

-You must relish the chance to
compose for

the storied Met chorus.
-It is great.

It's a very, it's a very
different idea.

I really wanted a bunch of
places where the chorus had

surreal function -- so, you'll
see a lot in Act II

where they function as,
you know, people at a party.

And then, all of a sudden,
they represent her anxieties.

And I knew that because they're
such a great acting chorus

that they could, uh --
they could pull it off.

-And in spades.

I love the mixture of

and real storytelling.

Nico, thank you so much.
-The pleasure is so mine.


-This is baritone
Christopher Maltman

and my fellow counter-tenor
Iestyn Davies,

who plays his rival.
Hi, guys.


-Chris, you play a complicated
character here.

He does reprehensible things.
How do you approach that?

-Uh, well, I think you're going
to find something to love about

anybody you play, and there's
not a great deal to love

in his behavior in this piece.

Um, as you say, he is pretty
reprehensible, but at his core,

he really loves Marnie.

-He expresses it in a terrible,
terrible way,

but I think I have to hang onto
that, that little,

that little core
of true love

that lies at the heart of it.

It's his obsession.
-The germ of goodness.

Yes. And, Iestyn,
what about Terry?

Does he have redeeming
qualities, do you think --

-Does he care about Marnie?

-Let me say that. No.

-He does care about Marnie,

because I think he identifies
with Marnie

in the same way she does --
in the book, she says,

she sees this thing on my face
and she thinks,

"He's an outsider like me.

He --
he can sympathize with me."

-Also, Terry's the one character
who always tells the truth,

for better or for worse.

Is that liberating to perform?

-Completely liberating, to the
point where I'm the only person

on stage --
it's wonderful.

But yeah, it's one of those
moments, where right at the end

of the opera,
I speak some truth.

And, uh, yeah, it's a really,
it's a nice moment.

-Chris, Iestyn, what incredible

Thank you so much for
speaking with me.