A family portrait in 3 acts, based on the infamous Fall River, Massachusetts crime of 1890. The opera tells the story of Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abbie, who were found hacked to death, and the daughter who became the main suspect. Lizzie’s father, the richest man in town, disrupts a choir rehearsal and embarrasses Lizzie. A sea captain, Jason MacFarlane, and the Reverend visit the Borden home, and Jason asks Andrew for permission to marry his younger daughter, Margret. Andrew refuses the request, offering Lizzie instead. Jason and Margret make plans to elope. Lizzie puts on the wedding gown of her deceased mother. Lizzie fantasizes that Jason will return for her. Abbie catches Lizzie in the wedding gown and threatens to tell Andrew. Abbie orders Lizzie to set the table for dinner and goes upstairs for a nap. Lizzie, still in the gown, grabs a weapon and is seen entering Abbie's bedroom. Andrew returns, and Lizzie goes to her father’s room upstairs. She is acquitted of committing both murders, but is shunned by her community. Children circle the house, mocking her. She lives out the rest of her life in her father's house.
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