Cold Sassy Tree
Composer: Carlisle Floyd
Composer Bio: Composer, librettist, pianist, and teacher Carlisle Floyd has written operas for many of America’s cherished stories, basing much of his subject matter on Southern themes. Born in the Southern Bible Belt of Latta, South Carolina, he grew up in the thick of traveling preachers, revival meetings, and a close knit religious community, though at a young age was aware of that world’s controversial and hypocritical nature. Floyd’s primary teacher was pianist Ernst Bacon whom he followed from South Carolina to Syracuse University in New York where he earned a Bachelor and a Master of Music. He immediately joined the piano faculty of Florida State University where he began exploring an interest in composition, writing both the libretti and the music for operas with a distinctly American voice. He achieved national recognition with Susanna, which premiered at Florida State University in 1955.

Today Carlisle Floyd’s operas are performed throughout America and Europe and Susanna and Of Mice and Men have become standard repertoire. Floyd was one of eight recipients of the National Medal of Arts in 2004. He is also the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Citation of Merit from the National Association of American Conductors and Composers and the National Opera Institute’s Award for Service to American Opera. In 2008, Floyd was the only composer to be included in the inaugural National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors.
Librettist: Carlisle Floyd
Other Artistic Personnel: Patrick Summers (Conductor)
Original Cast: Dean Peterson (Rucker Lattimore)
Patricia Racette (Love Simpson)
John McVeigh (Will Tweedy)
Premiere Date: April 14, 2000
Producing Company: Houston Grand Opera Association, Inc., San Diego Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Baltimore Opera Compan
Description: Set in the 1900s, in rural Georgia, the story depicts the "modern" age coming to a small southern town as observed by a 14-year-old boy.

Controversy arises when the boy's grandfather, the town's leading and most outspoken citizen, marries an attractive "Yankee" nearly half his age, a mere three weeks after his wife's death.
Character List (Major): Ruker Lattimore (bb)
Love Simpson (s)
Will Tweedy (t)
Lightfoot McClendon (15 years - high sop)
Clayton McAllister (bar)
Loma Williams (mz)
Effie Belle Tate (mz)
Character List (Minor): Mary Willis (s)
Thelma Predmore (mz)
Lula (s)
Myrtis (mz)
Campbell WIlliams (t)
Hosie Roach (bar)
Bit Parts: Mayor (t)
Sheriff (bar)
Dr. Lomax (bb)
Rufus (t)
Buford (t/bar)
Luther (t)
Reviews: San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman, 4/17/2000; The Austin Chronicle, Robert Faires, 1/21/2001; Atlanta Journal, Pierre Ruhe, 2/3/2008; Classical Voice of North Carolina, William Thomas Walker, 2/2003; Andante Magazine, Wayne Lee Gay, 7/31/2005; Opera News Online, Stephanie Adrian, 2/2/08;
Length: 03:10
Total Acts: 3
Chorus: SATB, minimum 24
Orchestration: 47 players: 2(II=picc).2(II=corA).2(II=bcl).2(II=dbn)- cym/gong/ant.cym/tgl/tamb/wdbl/bell tree/whip-pft(=cel)-harp-strings
Musical Style: Lyrical
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Address: 229 W 28th Street, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site:
The Opera Fund Awardee Information
Award Category: 2007 Audience Development Project
Project Name: COLD SASSY TREE: Audience Development
Awardee: Atlanta Opera, The
Audio Visual Materials

From left to right: Erin Wall (Love Simpson), John McVeigh (Will Tweedy)
Courtesy of: Atlanta Opera; Photo credit: Ellis Howard Wallace

From left to right: Kristopher Irmiter (Rucker Lattimore), Erin Wall (Love Simpson)
Courtesy of: Atlanta Opera; Photo credit: Ellis Howard Wallace
Schedule of Performances Listings
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Saturday, April 26, 2008 - Amarillo Opera
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Saturday, February 2, 2008 - Atlanta Opera
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - Opera Omaha
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Saturday, May 17, 2003 - Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Thursday, February 20, 2003 - Opera Carolina
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Saturday, May 4, 2002 - Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Saturday, March 24, 2001 - San Diego Opera Association
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Friday, January 12, 2001 - Austin Opera
Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd)
Friday, April 14, 2000 - Houston Grand Opera
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

Privacy PolicyReturns Policy
© Copyright 1995-2015 OPERA America Inc.