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Photo: Courtesy of Operaletta, Bath, UK
Performed by Operaletta, at the Rondo Theatre, Bath, UK July 2003

Burnham, Cardon V

Nitecap (1955)

Duration: 30 minutes
A chamber opera in one act, one scene

Libretto by the composer (E)

Abbreviations (PDF).

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
New Orleans, Louisiana
Company: Tulane-Newcomb Opera Workshop


Diana Smith, about 25 years oldLyric soprano
Christopher Lynn, about 28 years oldBaritone
Oliver Bentley, man across the hall, age 50Tenor
Hortence Bentley, his wife, age 50Mezzo soprano
Mr. Waters, building superintendent, age 60Actor

Time and Place
The present, any medium-sized city in the USA, a hallway in an apartment building after midnight

Diana accidentally locks herself out of her apartment. She knocks on her neighbor’s door. Sleepily, her neighbor Christopher hands her a pillow and closes his door. Diana becomes angry at his attitude and demands a blanket. When he opens the door to give her a blanket, she reaches behind him and closes his door! Christopher goes to see if the building superintendent, Mr. Waters, is home. Diana thinks Christopher is attractive. He returns. Mr. Waters is out so Christopher leaves a note telling him about their situation. Diana and Christopher ask another neighbor, Oliver, for help. His wife Hortence becomes quite irritated and locks him out of his home. Oliver then tricks Hortence to open the door and come into the hallway. He then reaches behind her and locks her out in the hall as well. All four, now stuck in the hallway, attempt to settle down and get some sleep. Mr. Waters enters, happily drunk, with Christopher’s note. He lets them all back into their apartments. Diana and Christopher both slowly emerge and close their doors, pretending they cannot get back in. Arm in arm, they sit next to the back wall and put the blanket over themselves.

Comic, Romantic

Contemporary, Relationships, Society

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