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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
George Antheil
George Antheil
Minnesota Opera revival (1998):
James Robinson (Director)
David Agler (Conductor)
John Conklin (Set Designer)
Minnesota Opera revival (1998):
Sherrill Milnes (Ajax)
Karl Daymond (Hector)
Juliana Rambaldi (Helen)
With: Mark Calkins, Dennis Petersen and Jane Thorngren
May 25, 1930
Frankfurt, Germany
The work takes place in New York in the 1920s, during an election year. Hector Jackson, a popular and promising candidate for President, is increasingly controlled and manipulated by Ajax Marjon, a corrupt industrialist.

In addition to the main story of organized crime and big business trying to influence the outcome of a presidential election, the opera also portrays a love relationship, set everywhere from the deck of an ocean liner to a crazy Art Deco living room in Manhattan. The opera includes a suicide attempt on the Brooklyn Bridge, a visit to a speakeasy frequented by tuxedo-clad gangsters, and an aria sung by a soprano, Gladys, in a bathtub. The composer consciously used names associated with Greek antiquity: Helena is the wife of a crooked politician Jason, who is supported by the racketeer Ajax. Helena is in love with the good guy, presidential candidate Hector, whose victory promises to usher in a new era of peace and justice for all. Leo, Hector's unscrupulous campaign treasurer, and his girlfriend Gladys are also involved.
Helen (s)
Hektor (bar)
Ajax (b)
Jason (t)
Leo (t)
Gladys (s)
3 Agitators (t, bar, b)
Revue Dancer (t)
A girl (s)
Police Chief (bar)
Opera News, 12-20-80, p. 32; Opera News, 9-87, p. 62; Opernwelt, 3-87, p. 25 & 29; Opera, 6-87, p. 674; Opera Canada, Summer 1987, p. 38; The New York Times, Edward Rothstein, 10-22-81.
2 flutes/piccolo, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 saxaphones (tenor/soprano) - 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba - celesta, 2 pianos, 2 percussion, strings

Reduced orchestration available from:
Frank M. Johnson
2629 19th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Written in English with a score that uses American folk tunes, jazz melodies and harmonies, and a Salvation Army hymn, the opera's harmonic language has been described as late-romantic euphony in the style of Strauss, and reminiscent of Weill and Stravinsky.
Universal Edition
Schedule of Performances Listings
Transatlantic (Antheil)
Saturday, April 18, 1998 - Minnesota Opera

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