MINIATURE operas composed by a woman about women and for women are to be staged in Scotland for the first time – 300 years after they were written.

The three stories about sex and power are described as “extraordinary historical jewels” and focus on the heroic moments in the lives of the Biblical stories of Susanne, Rachel and Judith who endure and overcome different but equally perilous situations.

The Cantates Bibliques are being brought to life by Scotland’s Dunedin Consort, one of the world’s leading Baroque ensembles, together with Hera and Mahogany Opera.

Written by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, they tell bold, unflinching tales about love, marriage, tragedy and adultery, each one a tiny opera.

Dunedin Consort’s chief executive, Jo Buckley, said the operas deserved to be better known and would be staged in Scotland before moving to York and London.

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The production is directed by Mathilde Lopez who said there would be “knives, watermelons and destruction – with regular cleaning and resetting”.

“Surprising and complex, these baroque vignettes display varied dilemmas and moral contortions but all have in common the very recognisable fear, solitude and violence generated by constant unwanted sexual attention, harassment and objectification,” she said.

“Our women are all kneaded by male violence and the thousand years of abuse that comes with having a female body.

“In Out Of Her Mouth, we are presenting these three pieces together as variations on female oppression.

"Performed by three different singers, four musicians, five watermelons and seven large blue rolls, we are staging the one long story of the accumulated frustrations and anger of Susanne, Rachel and Judith and laying it bare for the audience to see.”

A film of the Out Of Her Mouth production will be released later this year as part of the National Centre for Early Music’s online Christmas festival.

Among the stars of the pieces are Alys Roberts, Anna Dennis and Carolyn Sampson. The operas have been translated by Hera’s Toria Banks.

“I’ve been thinking about this project since I first read and heard the Cantates Bibliques, particularly those that tell knotty stories about Biblical women, because while there are exceptions, complex narratives about female experience are pretty rare in the operatic canon,” Banks said.

“But as much as the stories themselves, it’s also about the way they’re told, with a single female singer holding the stage in an authoritative way, and presenting the different characters including the men.”

The project marks the culmination of Dunedin Consort’s 22/23 season.