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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
Hotel Eden
Henry Mollicone
Judith Fein
Daniel Helfgot, Director; Barbara Day Turner and Henry Mollicone, Conductors; Ken Holamon, set and projection design
Adam, Dan Montez; Eve, Julia Wade; Lilith, Rachel Louis; Sarah, D'Anna Fortunato; Mrs. Noah, Susan Gundunas; Hagar, Kathleen Nitz; Bellhop, David Cox-Cresswell; Linda kessel Solis; Stephen Guggenheim, Ross Halper
November 25, 1989
Opera San José
Act I, Lilith-a story of young newleyweds and how they learn to cope with the emotional baggage one of them has brought into the marriage. According to Biblical legend, Adam had a wife, Lilith, before Eve, but she was banished from his life. Lilith makes a surprise appearance during Adam and Eve's honeymoon. Act II, Mrs. Noah-about a middle-aged duo and how they come to return to one another after drifting apart over the years. According to the Bible, Noah had a serious drinking problem, and his wife has had some difficulty with him throughout the years. On New Year's Eve at the hotel, her husband gets drunk and Mrs. Noah, beguiled by the wayward staff, leaves her husband to wander about. Charmed by the hotel's band leader, she plans to dance the night away until drops of water coming from the ceiling remind her that her husband is adrift in an overflowing whirling spa. Water then short circuits the main power, turning on the emergency lights throughtout the hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Noah dry off and make up. Act III, Sarah-is the tale of an older couple and how they contemplate the legacy they have left behind them. The Biblical story concerns a childless Sarah. It was arranged that her husband, Abraham, would impregnate Sarah's maid, Hagar, and thus provide an heir, Ishmael. But, later in life, Sarah gives birth to Isaac, and Ishmael and Hagar are banished to the desert. Sarah's situation in the opera explores the issues of late-life babies and how they affect relationships as well as surrogate motherhood. At the hotel, the elderly Sarah, soon learns that she is pregnant. Earlier in life, her husband, Abe, had a child with a foreign maid. Now the couple must examine their lives and decide how their new child will fit in with its new half-brother.
Opera, 4-90; Musical America, 3-90; Opera News, 2-17-90; Opera Guide, Stephen Lowens, January/February 1990; San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman, 11-27-89; Opera Guide, R.T. Carr, III, October/November 1989
fl (picc), cl, hrn, vln, vc, db/elec bass, pf/syn, perc
Tonal; popular elements; eclectic style: modern jazz to soft rock to modern classical
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