An Opera in Two Scenes

DSC08624American Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) wrote poetry, folk songs, a major biography of Abraham Lincoln, and won three Pulitzer prizes during his life. And yet he had plenty of creativity and ink left in his pen for children’s stories. A father of three, he improvised bed-time stories for his daughters, fairy tales set in familiar American landscapes where the prairie, its inhabitants and their trains, skyscrapers and wind live out their daily lives in remarkable ways. These he compiled into the Rootabaga Stories (published 1922), two of which I have selected for this project.

Scene I.

How they Bring Back the Village of Cream Puffs When the Wind Blows it Away

Young Wing Tip meets her four uncles for the first time upon her visit to the Village-of-Liver-and-Onions, the capitol of Rootabaga country. She happily answers their questions about her home and the perils of living on the upland corn prairie.

Scene II.

How the Potato Face Blind Man Enjoyed Himself On a Fine Spring Morning

The Potato Face Blind Man plays his accordion outside of the post office in the capitol. His day becomes lively as Pick Ups approaches and peppers him with questions.

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Premiere Performance

The first performance was given by contemporary opera specialist Thompson Street Opera Company in Louisville, Kentucky in May/June 2014, produced by executive producer Claire DiVizio.  Stage Direction by Julane Havens.

Thompson Street Opera Company 2014 Season
Thompson Street Opera Company 2014 Season

Characters

WING TIP …………………………………………… Coloratura Soprano

UNCLE 1 ……………………………………………. Tenor

UNCLE 2 ……………………………………………. Tenor

UNCLE 3 ……………………………………………. Baritone

UNCLE 4 ……………………………………………. Bass

POTATO FACE BLIND MAN ……………………. Baritone

PICK UPS …………………………………………… Tenor

*The singers from the second story may be drawn from the first.

Duration

c. 24 minutes

Versions

Singers with Chamber Orchestra

Singers with Piano

 

DSC08643Copyright (c) 2013 by Yvonne Freckmann

All rights reserved

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