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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
Queenie Pie
Duke and Maurice Peress Ellington
George C. Wolfe
Mercer Ellington, Conductor
Original Cast: Queenie, Teresa Burrell; Lil Daddy, Larry Marshall; Cafe O'Lay/Wife No. 1, Patty Lolley; LaVerne/Madame Bouffant/Sun Siren, Lillias White; La Grille/Madame Frenchi Bob/Sentimental Isle Siren, Teresa Bowers; LaRue/Madame Marcell/Island Girl/Sea Siren, Melodee Savage; Mayor/Chief, Ken Prymus; Judge Willie Bo Bo Brown/Sailor/Warrior, Andre Montgomery; others
September 18, 1986
American Music Theater Festival
After 13 consecutive years as reigning queen of a Harlem beauty contest, Queenie Pie finds herself challenged by the younger, leggier, Cafe O'Lay. Faced with the possibility of defeat, Queenie searches for eternal youth, in an extended dream sequence on a mythical island. On this island, she comes to terms with aging and opens her heart to love. The opera ends with Queenie happily abdicating her crown and going off with Lil Daddy.
The New York Times, Jeremy Gerard, 10-1-86; Time, Michael Walsh, 9-29-86; The New York Times, Robert Palmer, 9-22-86; The New York Times, Edward Rothstein, 9-19-86; The New York Times, Robert Palmer, 9-13-86
Conceived as a one-hour television opera with Ellington as narrator; composed in 1971-74; unfinished; recast, completed, and expanded as a "street opera" by Maurice Peress; other authors are George David Weiss, who supplemented Ellington's lyrics, and Mercer Ellington, the composer's son, who led the orchestra at the premiere. The work was commissioned by WNET's Opera Program; two acts, 16 scenes; set in The Mythical Kingdom of Harlem in Yesteryear; contains comic elements; Ellington is said to have dictated parts of the work as early as 1962; an NEA grant was awarded to Mercer Ellington in 1983 to complete the work.
Length is not available.
Not Available
Duke Ellington-style jazz orchestra
6 Dancers
Jazz-based; tonal; heartfelt ballads; American recitative-in the form of operatic, scat, and rap styles; some non-Western musical influences
Famous Music Corporation (or Duke Ellington Archive at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC 202-357-4478)
10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90025
310-441-1300
Schedule of Performances Listings
Queenie Pie (Ellington)
Saturday, February 15, 2014 - Chicago Opera Theater
Queenie Pie (Ellington)
Sunday, January 26, 2014 - Long Beach Opera

Spring 2014 Magazine Issue
  • From Gold Rush to Google
  • Before, After and During Opera Conference 2014
  • OPERA America's New Works Forum Expands and Explores
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