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Opera in Four Acts. Composed by Robert Ward. Vocal score. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.VP0018).
Item Number: EC.VP0018
Piano/Vocal Score, VP0018Libretto, 7.0240Full score and parts available for rental from the publisher.
Written by Bernard Stambler based on a play by Henrik Ibsen
Opera in 4 Acts. The libretto is based on Henrik Ibsen's play, Hedda Gabler, and the story is transposed to the setting of post-Civil War Charleston. It is the story of a domineering and obsessed woman, Claudia Legare, who drastically affects the lives of everyone around her. She ultimately destroys the person she admires most, Orlando, and ends up committing suicide. As the opera opens, Claudia and George Lowndes, recently married, have returned to war-torn Charleston to live in the formerly elegant Lowndes house. Claudia soon becomes restive in this provincial family setting. Her well-meaning but ineffectual husband, George, hopes to interest a powerful business group with a conventional plan to rebuild the ravaged South. Claudia's former lover, Orlando Beaumont, a wild alcoholic visionary, has also drafted a plan, albeit a daring revolutionary one. The business group is to meet late one night in order to choose between these two rival plans.
At the fateful meeting, Orlando outlines his plan brilliantly and impresses everyone, even his rival, George; but afterwards he becomes drunk, wandering off and losing his only copy of the plan. Luckily, George finds the packet and entrusts it to Claudia, who in a fit of conflicting passions- envy, jealousy and unrequited love- burns Orlando's manuscript. When Orlando arrives later, still believing his manuscript lost, Claudia gives him her pistol and urges him on to a "glorious end." The next day, word comes back that Orlando has killed himself with Claudia's pistol- not gloriously, but accidentally in a brothel brawl. At news of his sordid end, Claudia goes into the adjoining study and takes her life. Duration: ~ 2 Hours, 10 Minutes
AUNT JULIA LOWNDES - Soprano
JENNY, maid to Claudia Lowndes - Mezzo-Soprano
GEORGE LOWNDES - Tenor
CLAUDIA LEGARE LOWNDES - Dramatic Soprano
DAPHNE GRAYSON - Soprano
COLONOL BLAGDEN - Bass-Baritone
ORLANDO BEAUMONT and Voice of General Legare - Baritone
April 1978, Minnesota Opera, Minneapolis' Guthrie Theatre
Dicapo Opera Theatre, New York
Eastman School of Music
Newport Classics CD #NPD 85629/2
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