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*Deutsch

Photo: Michael Tourtellot
Performed by The Kansas City Lyric Theater, 1973. Musical Director: Russell Patterson

Beeson, Jack

The Sweet Bye and Bye (1956)

Duration: 105 minutes
Opera in two acts (five scenes)

Libretto by Kenward Elmslie (E)

Scoring
2dramS,colS,M,2T,2BBar,4dancers(1=pop soprano),2child actors(silent) 2(I=picc,II=picc).1.2(II=bcl).1-3.1.1.0-timp.perc(1,=cel,pft):BD/SD/ susp.cym/xyl/tamb/glsp/cyms/tam-t-harp-pft-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
11/21/1957
New York, New York
Frederic Cohen, director
Conductor: Frederic Waldman
Company: Juilliard Opera Theater

Roles

SISTER ROSE ORA EASTERSpinto Soprano
MOTHER RAINEYMezzo-Soprano
BILLY WILCOXTenor
SISTER GLADYSColoratura Soprano
SISTER REES, the Sister ElectDramatic (or Spinto) Soprano
BROTHER SMILEYBass
MARY JANE RIPLEY (also 1st Bather)Dancer and Pop Soprano
2nd Bather
3rd Bather
1st Good Time CharlieTenor
2nd Good Time CharlieBass Baritone
Two Gangsters and a Gun-MollDancers
HarmonyMute or Treble
Little AmityMute or Treble


Time and Place
1920s, Atlantic City, New Jersey and New York City


Synopsis
Young Sister Rose Ora Easter is assumed dead. Her followers believe that she has drowned while swimming off the coast of Atlantic City. Some have their doubts about her disappearance, especially Mother Rainey, who raised the orphaned girl and trained her to take on the role as the leader of Lifeshine Gospel. Mother Rainey believes that the departed Sister was actually led astray by a man; after questioning the missing Sister’s close friend Sister Gladys, Mother Rainey’s suspicions are confirmed. Billy Wilcox has spirited her away to New York, and the two plan to flee to the Holy Land using Lifeshine Gospel money. The two women head to the city, bent on retrieving Sister Rose Ora. They are somewhat successful. Sister Rose Ora announces the truth of her disappearance, and asserts that the vows she made as a child are no longer relevant, since she has awoken to the glories of love. Billy prepares to leave with Rose Ora when Mother Rainey arrives with a gun. Knowing that Rose Ora is lost to her and their sect, Mother Rainey shoots him. Rose Ora turns violently on her sect and then returns to Billy, who dies in her arms.


Moods
Dramatic, Tragic


Subjects
Contemporary, Relationships, Religion


Recommended Recording
Noel Rogers, Judith Anthony, Carolyne James, Kansas City Lyric Theater Orchestra, Russell Patterson
Citadel 2000

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Items on Sale

Sweet Bye and ByeLibretto> Details
The Sweet Bye and Bye vocal score(Vocal Score)> Details
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