The King of the Golden River, by Colin Hand. Included here are a set of orchestral parts for this children's opera. Libretto by Edwin H. Alton, adapted from the story by John Ruskin. The opera can be performed by anything from 20 to 50 children and can provide a term's worth of work for a class.
This work has been designed for performance by children of between 9 and 13 years of age. An important factor is that all the parts have been written for performance by children, and the teacher's job is to co-ordinate and direct the group. Parts available are voices including libretto; descant recorders 1 & 2; Treble and Tenor Recorders; Violin; Cello; and Percussion. Characters: Three Brothers - Hans, Schwartz and Gluck; Dwarf - King of the Golden River; South West Wind; Child. The three brothers and the dwarf parts are singing parts which can be helped by the chorus if necessary. Instrumentation: descant, treble and tenor recorders; chime bars; chordal dulcimer (tuning G. D. Em. Am); Guitar; Glockenspiel; Xylophone; Bass Xylophone; Bells (optional); Claves; Triangle; Tambourine; Bass Drum; Cymbals; Violin (optional); Cello (optional); piano.
Synopsis: Two Acts - Scene 1: Hans, Schwartz, and Gluck are three brothers living in the country of Styria some time in the legendary past. They are rude to a surprise visitor;
Scene 2: As a result of being rude to the visitor, disaster befalls the land. The brothers are reduced to poverty and try to make false gold from copper to get rich. A strange visitor once again appears and tells Gluck how to make all things well again.
ACT II: We follow the three brothers on their way to turn the river into gold (3 drops of holy water) as advised by the 2nd visitor. The older brothers' selfishness sees Gluck win through on this hard and dangerous journey, restoring the land to its former richness.