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Music Text

Libretto by the composer, adapted from the play by William Saroyan (E)


Major roles: S,Bar; minor roles: T,2speakers,mime
pft(=harm)-strings( or larger forces)

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
Columbia University, New York, NY
Felix Brentano, director
Conductor: William Rhodes
Company: Columbia University Opera Workshop


THE YOUNG MAN, a gambler down on his luck Baritone
THE GIRL Soprano
Another Man speaking role
Third Man walk-on role
The Wife speaking Role
Time and Place

Now, a small town jail in Texas


A vagrant young man, imprisoned in a Matador, Texas jail for raping another man’s wife, strikes up a conversation with the jail’s cook, a local girl in her teens, and attracts her strongly. Afraid that he will be attacked in the deserted jail by the offended husband, the young man sends the girl home to get her father’s gun. While she is away the husband and a group of his friends appear. The young man reveals that the wife is a loose woman, and the incredulous husband shoots him. The girl returns as the angry mob carries off the young man’s body.


Dramatic, Romantic, Tragic


Literary, Relationships, Society

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