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Music Text

Libretto by the composer after Chaucer's 'The Pardoner's Tale' (E)

Scoring

T,lyrBar,BBar
1(=picc).1(=corA).2(II=bcl).1-1.0.0.0-timp.perc(1 or 2):large gong/cyms/tgl/SD/xyl-pft(=cel)-1.1.1.1.1

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
4/14/1958
Kaufman Auditorium, 92nd Street YMHA, New York, New York
Conductor: Carl Bamberger
Company: Mannes College Opera Workshop

Roles

THE LEADER, 1 of 3 thieves Bass Baritone
THE LEADER'S COMPANION, 2 of 3 thieves Tenor
A YOUNG NOVICE, 3 of 3 thieves Lyric Baritone
Time and Place

Early evening in the 14th Century, the sordid second storey room of an inn

Synopsis

The opera is drawn from Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale. Three thieves have just murdered a stranger for his gold. The corpse lies out in the open. The Young Novice repents, but the Leader and his Companion threaten him. The Young Novice remains apart from them while they divide the gold – into two piles! When he brings them some wine to drink, they stab him. But the Young Novice had plans of his own: the wine was poisoned, and the murderers themselves were murdered.

Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

Ethics, Literary




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