Carlisle Floyd is one of America's foremost composers. Though he has also written in other forms, he is renowned for his operas, for which he also writes th elibretti. The most famous and popular is his third opera, Susannah, premiered in 1955 and the second most performed of all American operas. Updated and set in Tennessee, it is loosely based on the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders. The work is rooted in vernacular folk melodies and hymns and contains soaring melodic beauty.