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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
She Never Lost a Passenger: the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
Susan Kander
Having graduated from Harvard University in 1979 with a degree in music, Susan spent the next 15 years working as a playwright before "coming home" to full time composition. Since then, she has been commissioned by a wide range of performers and ensembles resulting in a growing catalog of vocal, chamber, and choral works characterized by a vivid, often chromatic tonal presence and rhythmic immediacy.
Susan Kander
Paula Winans (Director)
April 10, 1997
Setting - Mid-19th century: the Philadelphia office of William Grant Still, the home of Thomas and Sarah Garrett and the woods somewhere along the eastern underground railroad.

William Grant Still, founder of the Philadelphia Vigilant Committee, receives a letter in code from Abolitionist Quaker Thomas Garrett, telling him news of "Moses" and her human cargo moving north towards his safehouse. Still sings of Harriet Tubman, known as Moses, the extraordinarily courageous woman who "never lost a passenger" along the underground railroad. Miles south, as night falls, Harriet returns to her latest group of exhausted, frightened fugitive slaves (children's chorus) and recounts her adventures attemptimg to scout a safe passage to the next stopping place. She and John, another slave, sing the spiritual "Go Down Moses" to raise the spirits of their fellow travelers. Later, in a safe house owned by the Garretts, food, shelter and a soothing lullaby ("Simple Gifts") are provided. Moving on the next night, ("Follow the Drinking Gourd"), some slaves lose heart and want to return south. Harriet threatens to kill anyone who turns back, since one slave spilling secrets about the route could cost the lives of many. As they move on, she tells them with excitement and ferver about Mr. Still and his "great book" in which he writes their names and stories, and which became, in fact, the first published account of the Underground Railroad. As they move on through the dark woods (children's chorus) Mr. Still eulogizes "Moses" and her mythic courage.
Children’s Chorus of Fugitives
Hendon Music / Boosey & Hawkes
60 Depot Street
Verona, M.J. 07044

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