Composer: Lukas Foss
Composer Bio: Lukas Foss is a German-born American composer, conductor, pianist, and professor. The son of scholar Martin Fuchs, his family changed their name to Foss when they moved to Paris and then the United States after the rise of Nazism in Germany. While in Paris young Lukas studied piano, composition, orchestration, and flute with a cast of influential figures such as Lazare Levy and Felix Wolfes. After moving to the US in 1937 he studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Berkshire Music Center (now known as the Tanglewood Music Center), and as a special student of composition with Paul Hindemith at Yale.

Foss pushed for exposure of new music and was a beloved teacher. After replacing Arnold Schoenberg as professor of music at UCLA in 1953 he founded the Improvisation Chamber Ensemble. He founded the Center for Creative and Performing Arts while at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1991 be was appointed Professor of Music, Theory, and Composition at Boston University. He died of a heart attack in his home in Manhattan at the age of 86.
Librettist: Alastair Reid
Original Cast: Adelaide Bishop
Premiere Date: November 06, 1955
Producing Company: NBC Opera Theater (TV)
Description: Griffelkin, a ten year-old devil, travels to earth for a day and brings inanimate objects to life using a magic potion. He meets a young girl and ultimately uses the last of his potion to bring the girl's recently-dead mother back to life. After his day on earth, he is summoned back to hell and put on trial for his compassionate actions. He is found guilty, and as punishment is banished from hell and transformed into a human boy. He returns to the family he helped and they invite Griffelkin to live with them.
Character List (Major): Solo soprano (13), mezzo-soprano (4), alto, tenor, baritone (2), bass (2) voices
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: Not Available
Chorus: SATB chorus;
Orchestration: 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bsn - 2 hrn, 2 tpt, tbn, tba - timp., perc., pno., cel. - str.
Contact: Carl Fischer
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-777-0900
Schedule of Performances Listings
Griffelkin (Foss)
Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater
Griffelkin (Foss)
Thursday, October 7, 1993 - New York City Opera
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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