A chamber opera with James MacMillan, a commission by the Britten Sinfonia and Cambridge University. Performed at 2001 Edinburgh Festival, and in Spain and Italy. Broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Re-staged in a new production directed by Katie Mitchell at the Royal Opera House in 2009.

Reviews of Parthenogenesis

“Roberts’ punchy text is engaging, allusive and teasingly ambiguous, while MacMillan’s music adds a tortuous dimension, wracked with turbulent open emotions, and periods of gorgeous serenity.”


Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman

“Michael Symmons Roberts’ thoughtfully imagined poetic libretto spells out the private thoughts of a parthenogenetic mother and her worried guardian angel (Lisa Milne and Christopher Purves, intense and lyrical throughout), enclosed within spoken commentaries by the daughter who knows herself to be her mother’s almost-sister and perfect double (Anastasia Hill) troubled down to rare expressive depths”


David Murray, Financial Times