Carlisle Floyd has created a distinctively American idiom for opera, drawing on national folk and religious music traditions * His music theatre works combine penetrating social commentary with acute psychological insight * Writes his own librettos, in which he has treated such themes as the aftermath of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and rural fundamentalism * Susannah, his best-known opera, has entered the permanent repertory with countless productions in the U.S. and a growing number in Europe
Works by Carlisle Floyd include:
Susannah (1953–54) musical drama in two acts
Of Mice and Men (1969) opera in three acts, six scenes
The Passion of Jonathan Wade (1962, rev.1989) musical drama in three acts
Looking Ahead: This fall, Florentine Opera stages Carlisle Floyd's most recent opera, Prince of Players, about Edward Kynaston, one of the last men to play women roles on the stage in Restoration England. Baritone Keith Phares and soprano Kate Royal lead the cast in this production, directed by Michael Gieleta and conducted by William Boggs, that will also be recorded live for international release.
"With a commitment that rivals Smetana's in Bohemia or Britten's in Britain, [Floyd] has striven to create a national repertory … He has learned the international language of successful opera in order to speak it in his own accents and to enrich it with the musical and vernacular idioms of his own country." — Andrew Porter, The New Yorker