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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
Every Man Jack
Libby Larsen
Libby Larsen (b. 24 December 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over twelve operas. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over fifty CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory. As a vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a transitional time for American arts. A former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony.
Philip Littell
Conductor: Mary Chun
Rod Gilfry
Jennifer Lane
John Duykers
Susan Narucki
Ilana Davidson
Brad Bradshaw
November 11, 2006
Sonoma City Opera
Setting We are in two places at once: The Londons’ house in Glen Ellen, a small farmhouse with two screened sleeping porches, one very his, one very hers, and a sense of the house going on behind, with attached out buildings. Though ramshackle and simple, this is an establishment—a spreading tree in front—views. A bare vaudeville stage, the machinery visible. Synopsis by Philip Littell One election night in the early teens of the last century, Jack London came home to his ranch drunk, late for dinner. His wife Charmian was waiting. Out of what passed between them that night came a strange and honest and, in its time, shocking book, John Barleycorn. It was nothing more or less than Jack London’s memoirs as an alcoholic. All that he told her that night—and he held nothing back—is in its pages. How he told her, and how she took it, is the subject of this opera. Out rushes the story of his lifelong struggle with alcoholism, all in a jumble, one story after another, as he continues to drink, getting drunker by the minute, as he tries to make her understand his past, as he tries to make sense of his life, his work, his loves, and the great despair, the crushing depressions that shadow his triumphs and presage his defeats, all the highs, all the lows, all the people he has met, all the people he has become. In the course of one long harrowing night, one life and one marriage hang in the balance. A man has to decide whether to live, and a woman has to decide whether to love. Six singers create the men and women who have created Every Man Jack...every man jack of them.
Jack London (Baritone)
Charmian London (Mezzo soprano)
Older Woman (Soprano)
Older Man (Tenor)
Girl (Soprano)
Boy (Tenor)
Length is not available.
Not Available
fl/picc, cl/bs cl, vn, vla, vc, db, pno, multiple perc+mallets and auxiliary player for assorted exotics-ukulele, accordion, harmonica, player piano, field organ.
Libby Larsen Publishing

Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Are Women Different?
  • Preparing for Klinghoffer
  • Emerging Artists: Act One

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