Monodrama for Soprano or Mezzo-Soprano and Piano

on a Libretto by Caitlin Vincent

E. C. Schirmer Music Company

Catalog Number

Order : Print
Classical Vocal Reprints
E. C. Schirmer Music Company
J. W. Pepper
Music Shop Europe
Presto Sheet Music
Sheet Music Plus
Stretta Music
Theodore Front

Order : Download
E. C. Schirmer Music Company

Order : Subscription
This work is not available as a subscription.

Godiva was an English noblewoman who lived in the latter half of eleventh century England. By legend dating back to the thirteenth century and memorialized in writing by monks, she was alleged to have ridden naked on horseback through the streets of Coventry as a way to provoke her husband into easing the heavy burden of taxation he had inflicted on his tenants. Throughout the centuries since, her name has been invoked by writers, her face imagined by artists, and her body modelled by sculptors; even modern day marketers have used the legend to turn her into a sex symbol to sell chocolates. It seems the whole world has by now heard of “Lady Godiva” and yet, how many of us really know her story?

The monodrama Godiva was written by composer Juliana Hall as a gift for mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately, who wrote to Hall “I am quite interested by songs about strong, interesting female characters, perhaps mythical or from history or literature.” Based on an exquisite text by librettist Caitlin Vincent, Godiva takes the microphone from medieval government workers, monks, and marketing strategists and gives it to Godiva herself, who proceeds to remind us that women can speak for themselves with truth, act on their own with strength, and pursue justice with compassion…just as men do…and that, as with Godiva, their equality with men is not mythical but real.


Vocal Range
A 3  :  A 5

8′ 00″

Vocal Tessitura
G 4  :  E 5

Year of Composition

First Performance
September 27, 2019
Beverley Chamber Music Festival
Beverley, Yorkshire

First Performers
Kitty Whately, mezzo-soprano
Libby Burgess, piano

“stunning new monodrama from Juliana Hall”

– Robert Hugill,
   Planet Hugill

“Godiva is a fantastic take on the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of thirteenth century Coventry. The librettist, using the voice of the brave protagonist, tells a different side of the story, centered on a historical tidbit not commonly known…the story from Lady Godiva’s point of view is a strong one of social justice and feminism…The result is an effective and affecting tale…”

– Kathleen Roland-Silverstein,
   NATS Journal of Singing

Kitty Whately, mezzo-soprano
Joseph Middleton, piano