Summer and Smoke
Composer: Lee Hoiby
Librettist: Lanford Wilson
Other Artistic Personnel: Kirk Browning (Director)
Original Cast: Mary Beth Peil (Alma)
John Reardon (Dr. Buchanan)
Sondra Harnes (Nellie)
Nancy Williams (Mrs. Bassett)
Alan Titus (Traveling Salesman)
Zoya Leporska (Alma's mother)
Premiere Date: June 19, 1971
Producing Company: St. Paul Opera Association
Description: Set in Mississippi in 1910, the work is about Alma Winemiller, an inhibited minister's daughter, who is hopelessly in love with a young doctor, John Buchanan. Buchanan reaches out to her several times, but Alma is too prim and repressed. By the time she goes to him, he has turned elsewhere. Devastated, she gives herself casually to the nearest man available-a traveling salesman she meets on a park bench.
Character List (Major): Alma Winemiller (s)
John Buchanan, Jr. (bar)
Reverend Winemiller (bb)
Mrs. Winemiller (speaking)
Nellie Ewell (s)
Character List (Minor): Dr. Buchanan (bb)
Rosa Gonzales (mz)
Papa Gonzales (speaking)
Mrs. Bassett (mz)
Roger Doremus (t)
Rosemary (s)
Vernon (bar)
Archie Kramer (bar)
Bit Parts: Alma, child age 10 (speaking)
John, child age 10 (speaking)
Reviews: Chicago Sun Times, Robert C. March, 5-26-80; The New Yorker, Winthrop Sargeant, 4-8-72; Financial Times (London), 4-7-72; New York, Alan Rich, 4-3-72; The New York Times, Harold C. Schonberg, 3-21-72; The New York Times, Raymond Ericson, 3-12-72; Musical America, Shirley Fleming, July 1971; The New York Times, Raymond Ericson, 6-25-71; The New York Times, Lee Hoiby, 6-13-71
Length: 02:30
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: Townspeople, Mexicans, Mourners (all non-singing)
Orchestration: 2 fl, 1 ob, 2 cl, 1 bsn - 2 hrn, 1 tpt, 1 tbn - timp, perc(SD, tri, BD, glsp, xyl, wdbl, tam-t, sus cym) - hp, cel - str; offstage: 2 tpt, pf, gtr, 2 vln, cb)
Musical Style: Some spoken dialogue; lyrical, arching melodies in a conservative, post-Romantic idiom; strong Samuel Barber influences; includes arias and duets; bittersweet lyricism
Contact: Rock Valley Music Co.
Address: 9807 County Hwy 28
Long Eddy NY 12760
E-mail Address:
Phone: 845-887-4321
Schedule of Performances Listings
Summer and Smoke (Hoiby)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater
Summer and Smoke (Hoiby)
Saturday, July 13, 2002 - Central City Opera
Summer and Smoke (Hoiby)
Saturday, June 27, 1998 - Des Moines Metro Opera
Summer and Smoke (Hoiby)
Saturday, December 9, 1995 - University of Wisconsin-Madison Opera
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