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Carlisle Floyd

 b. 1926Carlisle Floyd © 2000 Jim Caldwell

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Carlisle Floyd has created a distinctively American idiom for opera, drawing on national folk and religious music traditions * His nine music theatre works combine penetrating social commentary with acute psychological insight * Writes his own librettos, in which he has treated such themes as the aftermath of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and rural fundamentalism * Susannah, his best-known opera, has entered the permanent repertory with countless productions in the U.S. and a growing number in Europe

Works by Carlisle Floyd include:
Susannah (1953–54) musical drama in two acts
Of Mice and Men (1969) opera in three acts, six scenes
The Passion of Jonathan Wade (1962, rev.1989) musical drama in three acts

Looking Ahead: In September 2014, San Francisco Opera will put on a production of Carlisle Floyd’s ever popular Susannah. Floyd is currently writing a new opera based on the stage play Compleat Female Stage Beauty by Jeffrey Hatcher about the last of the boy players who played women’s roles onstage during the period of the Restoration in England.

"With a commitment that rivals Smetana's in Bohemia or Britten's in Britain, [Floyd] has striven to create a national repertory … He has learned the international language of successful opera in order to speak it in his own accents and to enrich it with the musical and vernacular idioms of his own country." — Andrew Porter, The New Yorker


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