Forgot your password?
View Photo Credit  
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
The King's Henchman
Deems Taylor
Deems Taylor (December 22, 1885 – July 3, 1966) was an American composer, music critic, and promoter of classical music. Despite planning to become an architect he began composing music with minimal training. Earning recognition for his earlier vocal works he joined the circles of prominent writers, actors, and critics and was hired as a music critic for New York World in 1921. Though his music was often overshadowed by his work as a broadcaster and commentator he is known for his composition's witty and entertaining style, resisting the influence of progressive trends and often deemed post-Romantic. Though meticulously written and orchestrated, his conservatism may ultimately have stunted his fame as a composer.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Tullio Serafin (Conductor)
Wymetal (Stage Director)
Joseph Urban (Set Designer)
Lawrence Tibbett (Eadgar)
Edward Johnson (Aethelwold)
Florence Easton (Aelfrida)
Merle Alcock (Ase)
William Gustavson (Maccus)
George Meader (Dunstan)
Louis d'Angelo (Ordgar)
Arnold Gabor (Thored)
Max Bloch (Hwita)
Max Altglass (Gunner)
George Cehanovsky (Cynric)
Joseph Macpherson (Brand)
Millo Picco (Wulfred)
James Wolfe (Olsac)
Henriette Wakefield (Hildeburh)
Grace Anthony (Ostharu)
Louise Lerch (Godgyfu)
Dorothea Flexer (Leofsydu)
February 17, 1927
Metropolitan Opera
In the hall of Eadgar, king of England, a group of lords and ladies are entertained by the singing of Maccus. Eadgar is trying to arrange to marry Aelfrida, daughter of Ordgar, Thane of Devon, but affairs of state prevent him from visiting her himself; instead, he sends his henchman Aethelwold to find out if she is beautiful or not, despite Aethelwold's protest that, never having loved, all women are alike to him. On the way, he and Maccus are lost in a thick fog. Aethelwold lies down and sleeps as Marcus goes looking for food. Aelfrida enters; she hopes by means of magical incantations to avoid marrying the man her father has chosen for her. As she finishes her spell, a beam of moonlight falls on Aethelwold. She awakens him with a kiss, and he loves her at once. Aethelwold soon learns who she is, though; and while Aelfrida is fetching her serving-woman, he tries to flee, but Maccus prevents him. Aethelwold sends Maccus back to the king to tell him Aelfrida is not fair enough for him, and to seek blessing for his own marriage to her. Some months later, Aelfrida, now married to Aethelwold, is disappointed that they are still living in her father's house, while her husband is frustrated that she is so busy with the household. They decide to leave that night for Flanders. Before they can leave, though, Maccus arrives to tell Aethelwold that Eadgar has arrived to visit them. Aethelwold confesses his treachery to his wife, who, although angry that she has lost her chance to be queen of England, agrees to make herself ugly to conceal Aethelwold's trick. The King arrives; as he greets Aethelwold, Aelfrida appears, having made herself as beautiful as she could. The king realizes Aethelwold's treachery and confronts him with it; his retainer, remorseful, stabs himself. The king orders that he be buried with all the honor due his rank.
Musical America, 7-76; Opera News, 5-76; Music News, O. Thompson, 2-25-27.
Similar to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in plot.
Not Available
Full orchestra
Influenced by Wagner, Puccini, and Debussy; use of leitmotifs, chromatic writing; melodious, picturesque
Metropolitan Opera

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

Contact Us
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
MTA Web site.