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Music Text

Libretto by the composer after 'The Wayward Saint' by Paul Vincent Carroll (G)

Scoring

S,M or A,T,2Bar,B,speaking role; dancers;
2(II=picc).2(II=corA).2(II=bcl).2-2.1.1.1-timp.perc-harp-pft-hpcd-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
2/8/1968
Munich
Company: Unknown

Roles

DANIEL O'DONNELL, Priest Bass
MISS KILLICAT, his housekeeper Alto or Mezzo Soprano
THE BISHOP OF ORIEL Baritone
UNA, a young Irish girl Soprano
TIM, variety performer and vagabond Baritone
THE MARQUÉS OF MALASOMBRA, a Spanish envoy Tenor
In his service: SALAMBO speaking role
SABENA and SERENA dancers
JOE, a lion dancer
Time and Place

Living room and garden of a presbytery in a small Irish Village not far from the sea. 20th century

Synopsis



Is it a sin to be virtuous? Father Daniel O'Donnell’s unconventional way of Christian living and, particularly, his great love for animals, incur the displeasure of the bishop. Although his parishioners revere him like a saint, he is reprimanded and transferred to a remote and unsophisticated rural area. There, he makes a new small paradise for himself, although under difficult circumstances for the housekeeper he has been given, Miss Killicat, is a real dragon and – nomen est omen – not at all fond of animals. In the meantime, the Irish St. Francis has attracted the attention of Lucifer himself who sends his hellish envoy, the Marqués of Malasombra, to lure Father Daniel away from the path of righteousness. Although Malasombra quickly succeeds in wrapping Miss Killicat round his finger, at first, he finds Father Daniel a tough nut to crack. When the quarrel between the priest and the bishop flares up again, the hour of the tempter comes at last. With the aid of magic, he persuades Father Daniel to resist the church authorities and stirs up his self-righteousness to such a pitch that Father Daniel defiantly starts to call himself a saint. Fortunately, he has two friends, Una and Tim, who realise in time just who is at the back of this. And when the going really gets rough, Archangel Michael himself appears to put the Prince of Darkness in his place.




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