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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
James Callahan
Merie Kirby
Matthew George, Conductor; Alan Bryan, Director
Robert Wills (Bass) as Judge, Joe Reed (Baritone) as Advocate, Janis Hardy (Mezzo) as Mother Superior, Krystal Banfield (soprano) as Sister Marie, Barbara Prince (Mezzo) as Witness; St. Thomas Chamber Singers
November 07, 2003
University of St. Thomas, Sacred Arts Festival
Scene I. The Judge’s Chambers. The Judge and his Court Assistant discuss the continuation of the trail of the two nuns accused of genocide. Scene II. A waiting room. Mother Superior and Sister Marie discuss their appearance in court today. Mother Superior recalls her time as a student in a local convent. Scene III. The court room. Everyone gathers for the trial. The Judge rereads the charges. Mother Superior eventually claims that she and Sister Marie are not guilty of the charges and therefore they need no one to assist them in their defense. Scene IV. The court room. The only witness to the killings that the nuns are charged with tells her story. Scene V. The court room. Sister Marie tells her version of the story told by the witness and attempts to distance her self from the actions of Mother Superior. Scene VI. The court room. The Advocate provokes Mother Superior into talking. Her expressions of tenderness toward her country, her ethnic hatred, her belief that God approved of her actions all mix together in a horrifying way that raises many questions. What is the nature of tribalism, ethnic conflicts, evil; what are the legal issues surrounding sanctuary and self defense; how did her psychological makeup and religious training affect her actions. Is she guilty of crimes? Scene VII. The court room. The trial concludes with the Judge charging the jury.
SATB Chorus
1 Flute/Piccolo, 1 Horn in F, 1 Violin, 1 Oboe/English Horn, 1 Trombone, 1 Viola, 1 B-flat Clarinet, 1 piano, 1 Cello, 1 B-flat Clarinet/Bass Cl., 3 percussionists, 1 Contrabass, 1 Bassoon/Contrabassoon [Timpani (4), Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Suspended Cymbal, High Tam Tam, Low Tam Tam, Chinese Yo-yo, Xylophone, Maracas, Chinese blocks, Rattle]
James Callahan

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