T,2B,7speakers; SAT chorus
For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.
CBS Television Network broadcast
George Balanchine, choreographer / CBS Television Network / Robert Craft
Commissioned by CBS television, The Flood conflates the Creation with the story of Noah's ark. Stravinsky: "Why did I call my work The Flood, instead of Noah? Because Noah is mere history. As a genuine antediluvian he is a great curiosity, but a sideshow curiosity. And even as 'eternal man,' the second Adam, the – to Augustinians – Old Testament Christ image, he is less important than the Eternal Catastrophe. The Flood is also The Bomb." God, impressively strange, is sung by two basses, Lucifer by a tenor; there is also a Caller (for the animal parade) and a Narrator. Stravinsky called the "musical speed" of The Flood "cinematographic;" writing for television, he eagerly dispensed with "the afflatus of overtures, connecting episodes, curtain music."
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to Boosey & Hawkes/Joseph Horowitz.