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Libretto by the composer, adapted from the play by William Saroyan (E)

Scoring

Major roles: S,Bar; minor roles: T,2speakers,mime
1(=picc).1.1.1-1.1.0.0-timp.perc(1):susp.cym/tamb/BD/SD-
pft(=harm)-strings(1.1.1.1.1 or larger forces)

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
5/27/1954
Columbia University, New York, NY
Felix Brentano, director
Conductor: William Rhodes
Company: Columbia University Opera Workshop

Roles

THE YOUNG MAN, a gambler down on his luck Baritone
THE GIRL Soprano
THE HUSBAND Tenor
Another Man speaking role
Third Man walk-on role
The Wife speaking Role
Time and Place

Now, a small town jail in Texas

Synopsis

A vagrant young man, imprisoned in a Matador, Texas jail for raping another man’s wife, strikes up a conversation with the jail’s cook, a local girl in her teens, and attracts her strongly. Afraid that he will be attacked in the deserted jail by the offended husband, the young man sends the girl home to get her father’s gun. While she is away the husband and a group of his friends appear. The young man reveals that the wife is a loose woman, and the incredulous husband shoots him. The girl returns as the angry mob carries off the young man’s body.

Moods

Dramatic, Romantic, Tragic

Subjects

Literary, Relationships, Society

Recommended Recording
cd_cover

Columbia University Opera Workshop / Frederic Waldman
Bay Cities Music BCD 1034
(not currently available on sale)




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