Patria is a cycle of music-theatre works written over a period of 40 years by R. Murray Schafer. The title derives from the Latin word for "homeland". The cycle starts with The Princess of the Stars and includes five other major works. All six of the works place heavy emphasis on the location of performance. The third production in the series, Patria 3: The Greatest Show, was adapted into the film Carnival of Shadows.
In 1966, Schafer originally conceived of Patria as a bipartite work, where the two halves would be performed simultaneously on separate stages. Instead, the two halves became Patria 1 and 2. By 1979, Schafer began to think of Patria as a cycle of six works. By 1990, the cycle settled into its current form of a dozen works.
- Patria — The Prologue, The Princess of the Stars
- Captured by Three-Horned Enemy, the Princess sings an aria across a lake before a sunrise ritual. The audience sits on the shore while the ritual is performed on the lake in canoes. Wolf, who represents the id, leaves the lake to search for the Princess, hoping she will redeem him with her compassion. Only then can he rise to the heavens and inherit the moon. The Princess will return to the heavens as well. Wolf's search will take him through many identities and many generations. The Princess will become the human Ariadne.
- Patria 1 — Wolfman
- Wolf's first incarnation is as a refugee, who is unable to integrate into his new country. He locates Ariadne at a party, but he is unable to meet her. He stabs himself in the stomach with a knife over this heartbreak.
- Patria 2 — Requiems for the Party Girl
- The Star Princess has incarnated as Ariadne in her first transformation on Earth. She is committed in a mental asylum with no exits. The doctors are completely unable to treat her. Ariadne searches for an exit, and she is the only patient to do so.
- Patria 3 — The Greatest Show
- The music of Patria 1 and 2 is pulverized and performed at an outdoors carnival at night throughout various tents and booths. The fairgrounds are destroyed at the conclusion.
- Patria 4 — The Black Theatre of Hermes Trismegistos
- In a deserted mine or factory at midnight, Hermes Trismegistos (the thrice great) guides the work of medieval alchemists who are gathered around a crucible. They attempt to transmute gold (King and Queen) and silver (Sun and Moon).
- Patria 5 — The Crown of Ariadne
- A dance drama set in ancient Crete is the setting for a staging of the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur.
- Patria 6 — Ra
- An audience of 75 are dressed as initiates and lead into the underworld by Anubis (Wolf), who guides them through an 11-hour sacred drama which dramatizes the death and rebirth of Ra. Before dawn, the Ra is reborn and ascends to the Hall of the Double Maat. On the scales of Maat, the King's heart is weighed against the feather of truth. Ra and the King rise into the dawn sky, and the initiates are led out after them.
- Patria 7 — Asterion
- This section is set in the heart of the labyrinth, where the audience meets the Minotaur.
- Patria 8 — The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix
- Wolf seeks enlightenment in the East.
- Patria 9 — The Enchanted Forest
- Outdoors on a summer evening, the audience searches for a missing child (Ariadne). They encounter a villain who has transformed Ariadne into a birch tree as a lure for Wolf. Earth Mother instructs the audience to respect the tree.
- Patria 10 — The Spirit Garden
- Ariadne is worshipped as a corn goddess by sowers who are cultivating a garden.
- Patria — The Epilogue
- And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon
- For a week in the forest, participants camp at sites separated from each other by large distances. The groups learn their clan rituals throughout the week, and on the final day, they perform a ritual to reunite the Wolf and the Princess.
- MacKenzie, Kirk Loren. A twentieth-century musical/theatrical cycle: R. Murray Schafer's Patria (1966-). University of Cincinnati, 1992. p. 1
- MacKenzie. 1.
- Schafer, R. Murray. Patria and the Theatre of Confluence, Arcana Editions. 1991.
- Schafer, R. Murray. Patria, Liner notes. Opening Day Recordings, 1996. CD.