The Picnic (1975)Duration: 100 minutes
Opera in two acts
Libretto by Henry Butler (E)
S,M,A,2T,Bar,B 18.104.22.168-22.214.171.124-timp.perc(2):glsp/xyl/SD/BD/wdbl/tamb/cym/tam-t/ tgl/ratchet/whip-cel(=pft)-harp-strings(126.96.36.199.1)
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
New York, New York
Company: Reiman Opera Studio of New York University
|DR. ANDREW MARTIN||Bass|
Time and Place
Time: the leisurely past when a proper picnic took up all the time in a pleasant day. Place: A glade in the countryside, surrounded by trees
Shaun Ferris has become the ward of Anna, a serious youth raised by strict religious moralists, after she is orphaned. During a picnic, Dr. Martin sings of his "heart's desire." Anna is led to smile by the group, and is taught the words, dancing lightly with Shaun. Two rough country locals, Mylo and Carl, interrupt and menace Anna as Shaun protects her, amazed at their ferocity. Rebecca, Shaun's wife, feigns an injury to keep Shaun's attention. Dr. Martin and Shaun administer to Rebecca, who is blind. Mylo and Carl are left alone with Anna and Mother Ames, who tells Anna of the neglected brothers. Sean and Anna meet alone, singing a duet about their secret love. Shaun kisses Anna, but is caught by the brothers, who bring Rebecca. Anna stays to listen in secret. When Rebecca insists on her love, Anna utters a sound and Rebecca realizes they are not alone. Betrayed, Rebecca tells Anna that Shaun would always remember his first love. Anna, crushed, knows she has lost. As the group returns, Mylo teaches her the "language of the flow'rs". Anna decides to go. Shaun begs forgiveness, but Anna graciously says she has "gathered her golden coins of sun, and shall guard the memories well".