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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
Three Sisters Who are Not Sisters
Ned Rorem
Gertrude Stein
Henry Butler (Conductor)
July 24, 1971
Temple University
In this surreal, non-linear murder mystery, three sisters (who are not sisters) and two brothers (who are brothers) decide to play a game of murder. The five are first seen sleeping. They awaken and the game begins. The scene darkens. The lights return, and the stage is empty except for the murdered Sylvester. Later, Jenny wakes from a nap to find Sylvester dead.  Then she finds Helen’s corpse. Samuel enters, dressed as a policeman. The lights go out. When they come back on only Jenny remains on stage. She hides under the bed. Samuel returns looking for someone to kill. He hides when he hears Ellen come in. He surprises her as the lights go out. When the lights return, Ellen is dead. Samuel creeps back into the room and attacks Jenny. She kicks him in the temple, and he sings an aria as he dies. Enthusiastic applause is heard. The voices of all five are heard in the darkness. When the light returns, they are as they were at the beginning. They wonder: are we dead or did we act it? Jenny interrupts their singing and announces it is time to go to sleep.
ELLEN (mz-s)
New York Times, Bernard Holland, 10/1/1994; Las Vegas Review-Journal, Anthony Del Valle, 4/25/2008; Arts San Francisco, D. Rane Danubian, 5/24/2003
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