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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.

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Composer, Librettist: ,
Running Time:
Subject:
Synopsis:
A Bride From Pluto
Composer, Librettist: Gian Carlo Menotti, (same)
Running Time: 40 min.
Subject: There's no place like home.
Synopsis:
The Queen of Pluto dazzles a spoiled tailor's son with her spaceship, then lures him with an offer of marriage. But the youth gets cold feet when she insists that he give up his soul.
A Colorful Symphony
Composer, Librettist: Robert Xavier Rodriguez,
Running Time:
Subject: The sunrise and sunset are orchestrated by a magical conductor and his orchestra.
Synopsis:
A boy named Milo discovers a magic tollbooth and enters a land of fantasy. There he discovers Chroma the Great, Conductor of Color, who orchestrates the sunrise and sunset every day. While Chroma is away, Milo decides to have a go at conducting the sunrise himself. Consequently, all the instrument go crazy, and the sky turns a multitude of colors. Milo is unable to control the music and colors until Chroma returns and saves the day.
A Conversation Between Mary and the Angel Gabriel
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, Susan Bingham
Running Time: 10 min.
Subject: The Annunciation story
Synopsis:
Gabriel approaches Mary, who protests gently. She calls Joseph, reconsiders, listens to the loving admonition of a band of angels and ends up willing and glad.
A Dark and Stormy Night
Composer, Librettist: Philip Hagemann, (same)
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: The importance of taking off one’s blinders and recognizing the richness and excitement of life all around
Synopsis:
In a monochromatic living room, Bill Blank, a 30-ish Associate Assistant Professor of English is trying to write (“It was a Dark and Stormy Night. . .”) but has a terrible case of writer’s block. After he keeps saying “Where are my muses?”, he receives in succession three astonishing visitors: A woman who seems to be Emily Dickinson, a large man resembling Frankstein’s creation and a delivery boy dressed as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. At the end, Bill’s writer’s block is broken, and he is inspired to write a rather gothic poem, a la Edgar Allan Poe.
A Gift of Song
Composer, Librettist: Mary Elizabeth Caldwell, Mary Elizabeth Caldwell
Running Time: 1 hour 10 min.
Subject: The story is based on the discovery of the composition “Silent Night,” the composer Franz Gruber and his family.
Synopsis:
The story of how “Silent Night” became known to the world through the family of Gruber.
A IS FOR ANYTHING
Composer, Librettist: Charles Gilbert, Jr., same
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Discovering the power of imagination
Synopsis:
Anna, a young girl who is bright for her age, discovers she's no good at playing make-believe with her friend Asa. She seeks the help of an eccentric doctor, who prescribes an adventure. Along with the doctor (who turns out to be the long lost aviatrix, Amelia Earhart), Anna has a series of bizarre adventures which reveal to her the dormant power of her imagination.
A Mast For The Unicorn
Composer, Librettist: Daniel Pinkham,
Running Time: 20 minutes
Subject: A historical event about the heroism and courage of young girls in the war against the British
Synopsis:
During a fierce storm the British warship, Unicorn, loses its mainmast and limps into harbor on Martha’s Vineyard. The captain knows a tall tree is there, dear to the American patriots and known as the Liberty Tree. It would prove to be an ideal replacement mast for the damaged ship. Three young patriot girls, learning of the British plan, secretly steal gunpowder and blow up the beloved tree rather than have it fall into enemy hands. The British now cannot leave the island and are captured by islanders. The girls are celebrated as heroes.
A Midwinter Night's Dream
Composer, Librettist: Harry Somers, Tim Wynne-Jones
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: Inuit tale
Synopsis:
In the Arctic Hamlet of Mary's Bay, the children are preparing the dance hall for the Midwinter's Feast. Chief Moonwok's son, Jimmy, has just returned from a trip to Edmonton and yearns for the excitement of life in the "South." Ai'o'u, the village Shaman and a tireless meddler, senses Jimmy's adolescent languor and casts a spell on the disenchanted boy. The gods, angry and bored, send a ferocious storm which must be appeased by sending a boy out onto the ice to hunt for provisions in the traditional way. Jimmy is chosen. While on his quest, he meets a card-playing seal who, when Jimmy attempts to capture him, tricks Jimmy into falling into the hole in the ice. Landing on the ocean floor (since the tide is out), Jimmy is greeted by the Choir of the Dead. Ai'o'u, seeing what his meddling has done, gathers the Choir of the Northern Lights, who sing most colorfully, shedding their dazzling light on the icy world below. Jimmy finds the hole in the ice and rejoins the other children with renewed enthusiasm in time to celebrate the Midwinter's Feast.
A Muskrat Lullaby
Composer, Librettist: Edward Barnes, (same)
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: Working as a group to solve a problem
Synopsis:
A singing muskrat and his three singing friends, a bird, a spider and a toad, are sent to the swamp to practice their music. There, their singing attracts a hungry gang of alligators, who, while smacking their lips, invite the singing group to perform that night at their Alligator Ball. Flattered by the invitation, the muskrat and his friends unknowingly accept. But later that night, with the performance over, the Boss Alligator and his gang prove to have had other plans. As the alligators pause before lighting their bar-b-que, the singing quartet performs one last song; a lullaby. Eyelids droop and tongues wag weak, and soon all the alligators slump down in the mud fast asleep. And not a moment too soon, as the muskrat and his friends tip-toe away and make their escape for home.
A Place to Call Home
Composer, Librettist: Edward Barnes, (same)
Running Time: 60 minutes
Subject: Teenage immigrants in the U.S.
Synopsis:
This contemporary story of young immigrants and political refugees adapting to a new way of life in the urban U.S. takes characters from the moments they cross the border through the choices and changes most make to establish themselves as individuals in a new land.
A Pot of Broth
Composer, Librettist: Herbert Haufrecht, (same)
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: A beggar outwits a shrewish peasant and her husband to get his dinner.
Synopsis:
A beggerman seeks his dinner from Sibbey Coneelly and her husband, John. Sibbey refuses. But by duping them into believing he has a magic stone that can make broth and by flattery, he gets their consent to demonstrate its power in a pot of boiling water. By various ruses, he adds ingredients such as hambone, meal, and finally a chicken which Sibbey has been preparing for the priest's dinner. He goes off with a bundle of food, convincing them to make more from the stone.
A Tale of Peter Rabbit
Composer, Librettist: David Gooding, Paul Lee and David Gooding
Running Time: 55 minutes
Subject:
Synopsis:
Mother enters with Flopsy and Mopsy and they all sing a music lesson together with the audience. Cottontail, Flopsy and Mopsy are sent to pick blackberries while Peter, who has not made his bed and has to stay behind to do the dishes. Mother leaves for the market and Peter complains in a wonderful aria. He decides to go to McGregor’s garden, where the Cat is on guard. Hearing a bunny, the Cat hides and Peter enters. He becomes completely distracted by all the wonderful vegetables, despite warnings shouted by the audience, and is caught and trapped in a cucumber frame. Cottontail enters, hears Peter’s cries and eventually frees him. They both lock the Cat in the cucumber frame and head for home. In the final scene, the bunnies tell Mother of their big adventure and all ends happily.
A Tooth For Paul Revere
Composer, Librettist: Elie Siegmeister, Hy Zaret
Running Time: 23 minutes
Subject: Historical Action / American Revolution
Synopsis:
A Vermont farmer travels to Boston to seek relief from the pain of an absessed tooth. In search of Paul Revere, who can make a silver replacement, the farmer sees the growing British / American conflict. Revere mistakenly takes a box of liniment on his midnight ride, leaving the farmer with the box of gunpowder. When the two men again meet the next day, the farmer discharges the gunpowder, starting the Revolutionary War.
A Way Home
Composer, Librettist: Ethan Frederick Greene, Irene Keliher
Running Time: 45 minutes
Subject: A Mexican-American girl comes to terms with her dual sense of home.
Synopsis:
A Way Home tells the story of Gracie, a Mexican-American teenager who must cope with the recent passing of her mother (Marisol), as she and her father (Thomas) travel to Mexico to lay Marisol to rest. As in the folklore of Michoacan, Marisol returns as a Monarch butterfly, joining the Monarch migration to the safe haven of the Oyamel firs. She flies south with her spiritual guide butterfly, Karani, but struggles with grief as she observes Gracie and Thomas mourning her passing. When Gracie and Thomas reach Michoacan, they meet Marisol's father, Agustin, who has never forgiven Marisol for leaving Mexico, and blames Thomas for his estrangement with his daughter. The two men quarrel, but when Gracie gets lost in the butterfly reserve, they must reconcile their past and find her before night sets in. As the opera closes, Gracie comes to appreciate her Mexican heritage, and all three learn to find their own sense of home. In Spanish and English, 45 min. running time. This opera exists in two forms: the original, portable version; and a staged version with 13-piece chamber ensemble.
A Wrinkle in Time
Composer, Librettist: Libby Larson, (same)
Running Time: 50 minutes to 1 hour
Subject: Science fiction – Children on an interplanetary journey to the planet Camazotz: A story of strength, courage and family love
Synopsis:
An atomic physicist (Dr. Murry) disappears on a secret mission. His 12-year-old daughter (Meg), her five year old brother (Charles Wallace) and teen-aged friend (Calvin) set out on a bizarre search for him. Those whimsical characters Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which lead the children on an inter-planetary journey, where Dr. Murry is imprisoned and confront the horrible, over-sized brain (It) that hypnotizes people into having one mind. After Meg frees Dr. Murry, Charles Wallace succumbs to the power of It, and it is up to Meg to save her brother. Relying on her own strength and courage, and on her profound love for Charles Wallace, Meg breaks the evil spell and proves that love is the most powerful force in the universe.
A*B*C* (America Before Columbus)
Composer, Librettist: Kate Waring, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: A look at the “New World” during the 20,000 years before its discovery
Synopsis:
Who discovered America? Columbus, of course. But weren’t there people here to greet him? Where did they come from? A*B*C* begins with two children stepping across the Frozen Bering Strait 20,000 years ago. We see how the first Americans learn to survive, to hunt, to fish, to farm, to continue to progress until that day in 1492 when those strange sails appeared on the horizon.
The Abecedarian
Composer, Librettist: Brad Liebl, (same)
Running Time: 28 min.
Subject: Based on the alphabet, each letter has its own original song.
Synopsis:
There is no real plot. The purpose of this little opera is to educate and entertain very young audiences by using the alphabet as a starting point. Each letter has its own original words with music and either teaches vocabulary, social behavior or morality. At the same time it always entertains using music, movement and participation.
Abigail and the Busranger
Composer, Librettist: Betty Beath, David Cox
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: See plot summary
Synopsis:
Abigail, a small, very bossy Australian girl from the mid-19th century, is traveling on a stagecoach over a mountain road. The stagecoach is held up by a wild bushranger (bandit) who demands money and valuables from all the passengers. The other passengers quake with fear, but Abigail, champion bossyboots , wags her finger in the bushranger’s face. What happens is a finger wagging duel in which Fred the Bushranger, of course, comes out second best.
Abigail And The Mythical Beast
Composer, Librettist: Betty Beath, David Cox
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: See plot summary
Synopsis:
In a small inland town during the mid-nineteenth century, Abigail, a precocious child, and her friend, a small town lout, are bored. They wish desperately for something out of the ordinary to happen, and it does when two strangers come to town. They are a pair of roguish drovers called Billy Black and Blanket Brown, who manage to antagonize some and enchant others. An important theme of the opera is the fine line between doubt and belief. There are judgments to be made between what is coincidence, what is contrived, and what is destined. The drovers make an enemy of Mr. Mould, a feedstore owner, and they find themselves in trouble with the law. There is a choreographed chase, a court scene and a goldrush. A small love-interest is present in the relationship of Mr. Mould to Mrs. Pennoth, a shopkeeper. The curtain falls on a throw-away line - there is still doubt as to what actually happened.
Abigail And The Rainmaker
Composer, Librettist: Betty Beath, David Cox
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: See plot summary
Synopsis:
The outback town of Turnabout is stricken with a drought and the townspeople are complaining. It is a state of emergency and they call a meeting to decide what can be done. Abigail, the bossiest child in Australia, suggests that they call on the local aboriginal rainmaker. The townspeople scoff but eventually are willing to grasp at even this straw. Abigail’s friend the Rainmaker sings and sings and sings…When the rain doesn't stop, the people think he might have sung too long: The play ends with the townspeople complaining because the rain will not stop.
Adam’s Diary
Composer, Librettist: Mildred Kayden, Joseph George Caruso
Running Time: 60-75 min.
Subject: Developing - sometimes strained, sometimes happy - relations between man and woman, as experienced by Adam and Eve
Synopsis:
Adam and his pet tiger and lion are basking in Paradise when in comes a new creature with her “tigress” and “lioness” as Adam calls them, much to their displeasure. Because it disturbs his peace and tranquillity and interferes with the composition of the diary he is writing, almost everything Eve does irritates Adam, until he discovers the warmth and pleasure of being near her. Then it’s Eve’s turn to be aloof. All the while, the animals watch and react in amusement and song. The plot is complicated, of course, by the manipulations of the snake - the Grim Reaper of this play - and Adam’s attempts to protect Eve after they have eaten the Forbidden Fruit.
The Adventures of Beatrix Potter
Composer, Librettist: Evelyn D. Swensson, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 1 1/2 Hours
Subject: The life story of Beatrix Potter in Victorian England and how she became independent
Synopsis:
Five stories included: Peter Rabbit, Tailor of Gloucester, Two Bad Mice, Jeremy Fisher, Jemima Puddle Duck (5 to 8 people in each one). Beatrix, born into a strict, cold, victorian upper class family is denied playmates, so she plays with a pet hedge hog, rabbit, mouse and frog in her third floor living area.
The Adventures of Toad
Composer, Librettist: Darryl G. Bojanowski, Darryl G. Bojanowski
Running Time: 60 minutes
Subject: Too much cleverness can have dire consequences. Also touches on friendship issues and the importance of home. An introduction to a classic of literature
Synopsis:
The story follows the Toad chapters of the original story, omitting some of the later adventures of his homecoming (due to length of show). The show opens with the Weasels and Stoats looting Rat’s River Bank home. They are interrupted by the sudden appearance of Badger who has come to call and quickly hide from him. With the house apparently empty, Badger goes to sleep. The Weasels and Stoats leave just before Mole and Rat return. Badger asks where they have been and they tell him they have been with Toad following his latest obsession: gypsy wagons. The escapade ended when a motorcar drove their cart off the road. Just then a crash is heard offstage and Toad enters. He excitedly tells them about his latest acquisition – a motorcar – which he has just driven into a tree. The others shake their heads in disapproval and Toad leaves. Badger, Rat and Mole decide they must do something to reform Toad. In the second scene they arrive at Toad Hall in an attempt to talk sense into Toad. He refuses to listen and they lock him in his upstairs bedroom. When Rat is left to guard him alone, Toad pretends to be sick and dying and sends Rat for the doctor. He makes his escape and before long sees a magnificent motorcar parked by an inn and he cannot resist. He immediately wrecks the car, finding out too late it belongs to a judge who sentences him to 20 years in jail. Toad escapes prison with help of naïve young girl and later an unsuspecting engineer. He reaches River Bank ready to tell his friends about his escape only to learn that in his absence the Weasels and Stoats have taken over Toad Hall. With his friends’ help, the intruders are run out. And although he claims he has learned his lesson, we know that it is just a lull before he finds another obsession.
Aesop’s Fables
Composer, Librettist: Lawrence Singer, Douglas Braverman
Running Time: 45 min
Subject: Fables - Lessons
Synopsis:
Four stories narrated by AESOP: The Fox & the Crow, The Tortoise & The Hare, The Grasshopper & the Ant and The Lion & the Mouse.
Ahmet the Woodseller
Composer, Librettist: Gordon Crosse, Ian Serraillier
Running Time: 15 min.
Subject: We don't always control what will happen to us.
Synopsis:
A Somali story; the scene is a cafe in 19th-century Istanbul. There is a performance of a shadow theatre play (Ahmet the Woodseller). Several Somali words and Moslem terms provide color and unusual rhythmic patterns.
Alice In Wonderland
Composer, Librettist: Beatrice Wolf, Sally Netzel
Running Time: 2 hours
Subject: Growing / Word Play
Synopsis:
Alice In Wonderland is a show for both children and adults. Based on the Lewis Carroll original, it follows young Alice as she confronts Wonderland’s strange and mad characters and their playful language and wit.
Alice in Wonderland
Composer, Librettist: Robert Chauls, (same)
Running Time: 75 min. / 40 min. 2 versions
Subject: The story of Alice in Wonderland
Synopsis:
Alice asleep on a summer day. Sc. 1: Alice in the hall of a large castle (Alice and White Rabbit) Sc. 2: Alice in the garden (Alice and Caterpillar) Sc 3: The Duchess' Kitchen (Alice, Duchess, Cheshire Cat, Cook) Sc. 4: Outside the kitchen (Alice, Cheshire Cat, Duchess) Sc. 5: Mad Hatter's Tea Party (Mad Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse, Alice) Sc. 6: The Court (Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, White Rabbit, Alice, Chorus of Cards) Sc. 7: The Seashore (Mock Turtle, Gryphon, Alice) Sc. 8: The Court (Queen, King, Alice, all characters, and chorus). School version omits scenes 2 and 5 and condenses several other scenes.
The Amazing Adventure of Alvin Allegretto
Composer, Librettist: Bruce Adolphe, Sarah Schlessinger
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: Alvin (a young boy) lives in the town of Harmony, where everyone sings. He, however, refuses to sing.
Synopsis:
The story takes place in Harmony where everybody sings, except young Alvin Allegretto. His parents, Alma and Alfred, his sister, Alice and his uncle Albert are horrified that Alvin talks instead! Alvin also turn his clothes around backwards. His refusal to sing at school has led to his expulsion. Desperate, Alvin's parents take him to see Dr. Rodney Indeed, Expert in Everything. Dr. Rodney fails to cure Alvin, so they take him next to Dr. Marigold, a hypnotist. Dr. Marigold only succeeds in hypnotizing herself, so next Alvin is hauled off to the terrifying Dr. Geiselwhite Glacier, who has a heart of ice. Dr. Glacier recommends scaring Alvin into singing by placing him in a virtual reality chamber where cuckoos sing flat. Even after this frightening experience, Alvin refuses to sing. Dr. Glacier now recommends that Alvin be sent away to Silence Academy, a very strict school where the students are forbidden to utter any sound at all. Worried for her brother, Alice confronts Alvin and, with the help of the audience (who miraculously can both sing and talk), she discovers that Alvin simply wants to sing his own song, to be different and to be listened to. Alvin after some persuading, finally sings his song to his whole family.
Animal Farm
Composer, Librettist: Richard Peaslee, Peter Hall
Running Time: 1 hour 40 min
Subject: The quest for a better life
Synopsis:
This musical begins as a young boy takes the novel Animal Farm from his bookshelf and sits by his toy barnyard to read. While he does so, the barnyard becomes an imaginative set in which the animals seek to take over control of the yard, as they will have a better life without the interference of the farmer. Their quest for this new life soon leads them to establish a totalitarian microcosm in which some animals are far more equal than others.
Animal Tales
Composer, Librettist: Kitty Brazelton,
Running Time: 110 minutes
Subject: Animal Tales is a musical fable about having the guts to go out and pursue your dreams, change your life & find out who you really are.
Synopsis:
In the first act, each of the animals - a HAMSTER, a GOLDFISH, a PARROT, a TURTLE, a HORSE, a DOG and a FROG - visits the VETERINARIAN with a complaint, a desire to change their lives markedly. The hamster is tired of running in place in his wheel and wants to try the outside world; the goldfish wants to escape her bowl and swim the Sea of Japan; the dog wants to learn to howl like a wolf; the frog is having trouble with his hopping, and so on. The veterinarian grants each animal his or her wish and sends them off on a journey. A large storm ends the first act and starts the second. When the storm dies away, the animals return one by one, buffeted by the storm, and they tell the veterinarian what they've been through and what they've discovered, their adventures supplemented with dancing and exclamations from the chorus.
Anne of Green Gables
Composer, Librettist: Evelyn D. Swensson, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 1 1/2 hours
Subject: An orphan girl finds a home on Prince Edward Island, 1900
Synopsis:
Cast: 18 - 30 (or more), flexible. This sparkling new musical combines the popular dramatization of Joseph Robinette with the enchanting score of Evelyn Swensson to further enhance the enduring story of Anne Shirley, the orphan girl whom Mark Twain called “The most delightful child of fiction since the immortal Alice.” The exciting melodious score features a variety of musical selections from the opening chorus number “Prince Edward Island,” wherein we meet the townspeople of Avonlea, to the lively, spirited “Charlottetown Rag,” performed by the students and their teacher on the eve of the Queen’s Academy exams… Eminently singable and easily staged, Anne of Green Gables is the ideal family musical - charming, humorous, heartwarming, uplifting - it will appeal to any audience in any season.
Appelemando’s Dreams
Composer, Librettist: James Kurtz, Barbara Ann Krieger
Running Time: 60 minutes
Subject: The creative experience
Synopsis:
Appelemando loves to dream! The Mayor’s wife and other villagers think he is lazy. His friends Petra & Dosma know he is special. They can see his dreams as they drift out the top of his head. They discover to their delight that his dreams will stick to wet surfaces. One rainy day, the dreams cover all the houses in the town and the villagers are angry. The children run away from their wrath and get lost in the woods. The dreams save them and save the town which has been decaying bit by bit around the villagers. The town realizes they have an artist in their midst and learn his true value.
The Araboolies of Liberty Street
Composer, Librettist: Ronald Perera, Constance Cangdon
Running Time: About 45 minutes
Subject: A humorous treatment of the themes of tolerance and diversity.
Synopsis:
A humorous treatment of the themes of tolerance and diversity, as the kids of Liberty Street make it possible for an exotic new family to move into their conformist neighborhood--a street of look-alike white houses presided over by the mean General Pinch and his wife. Based on the book of the same name by Sam Swope.
The Artful Dodgers
Composer, Librettist: Mary Donnelly & George L. O. Strid, edited by Tom Janssen, (same)
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Teamwork
Synopsis:
Clever characterization, snappy dialogue and six songs, including a rap, bring to life this baseball story with a new twist... Oliver Twist! The Artful Dodgers pits a modern day Little League baseball team, the Danville Dodgers, against bullies Tom Fragan, Bill Spikes and sidekick Nancy. (Other parallels to the book and musical are also apparent.) The competition is to create the best baseball poster in order to win tickets to the Big League game in town. After the bullies destroy the Dodgers' poster and have their own disqualified, Oliver, the new kid in town who was previously excluded, saves the day. He unites the two groups into a living art poster with each holding up a placard spelling TEAMWORK. That wins the contest and they all go to the game together.
Aucassin and Nicolette
Composer, Librettist: David Cohen, Emily Hammood
Running Time: 75 min.
Subject: A satirical treatment of romance, non-conformity and adventure, considered unique in its genre and setting
Synopsis:
This exotic tale of a stubborn knight who refuses to defend his land and of his beloved Nicolette, a forceful and inventive maiden, is France’s favorite romance. From Biaucaire, the lovers are driven through forests-wild to the topsy-turvy kingdom of Torelore with its pregnant king and war-like queen, to seashores and capture by Saracens. After a painful separation, the enterprising Nicolette finds her way back to a grieving Aucassin. They are reunited and live happily ever after. Interlaced within the adventure are scenes of almost heretical disdain for God and country, and rude disrespect of their lords by peasants and shepherds.
The Azimagooths and the Chizzlewinks
Composer, Librettist: Joyce Merman,
Running Time: 30 minutes
Subject: Acceptance and getting along
Synopsis:
The Azimagooths and the Chizzlewinks is a funny play about a serious subject - the power of ancient custom to perpetuate a wall of fear and tension between peoples. It is also about a greater power - one that can overcome this barrier. The songs are arranged for unison voices with an occasional second part and a few brief solos. Accompaniment is either piano or pre-recorded instrumental ensemble. The size of the cast is flexible, permitting participation by few or many. The costumes are mainly every-day clothes and there are no stage sets. Altogether, this musical combines a maximum in meaningful musical and dramatic experience for both participants and audience with a minimum of problems for the director.
Babar the Elephant
Composer, Librettist: Nicolai Berezowsky, Dorothy Heyward
Running Time: 55 min
Subject: Babar marries the elephant princess and they are crowned King and Queen.
Synopsis:
Babar, an elephant, escapes the animal trainer and the jungle and attends school in the city. Once returned to the jungle, he is asked to take the place of the elephant King, who has died. First, however, he must marry the elephant Princess, who is reluctant to accept his hand. The two are captured by the elephant trainer, but the Old Lady rescues them. They then resolve their differences harmoniously and are crowned King and Queen.
Babes in Toyland
Composer, Librettist: Victor Herbert, R. Eugene Jackson
Running Time: 1 hour 25 min
Subject: Barnaby wants to marry Mary, but she escapes to Toyland and safety with her fiancé Alan.
Synopsis:
In order to wed Mary, Uncle Barnaby hires two thugs to drown her fiancé, Alan. She runs off to Toyland for safety. Meanwhile, Alan has also managed to escape to Toyland. In Scene Two, Mary is caught in a huge spider web but is saved by Alan. In the final scene, Mary and Alan disguise themselves as dolls to escape Barnaby. Barnaby discovers a formula to turn dolls to life, so he uses it (in the “March of the Toys”). The toys though turn on him, and he and his cohorts are taken to prison. Alan and Mary live happily ever after.
Bach to the Future
Composer, Librettist: Michael & Jill Gallina, (same)
Running Time: 30 min
Subject: The life and music of J. S. Bach
Synopsis:
Narrated in rhyme by the keys (Keynote Speakers) of the Ill-Tempered Clavier, audiences go BACH in time to hear of the composer's successes as well as his many foibles and conflicts through scenes featuring Bach’s familiar music with plot-moving original lyrics. Students will enjoy singing greats like “Wachtet Auf,” and “Air from Suite in D” and even chanting to Toccata in D Minor. They will love flipping their wigs at the end for the rap/rock finale based on the Musette from the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook. A great teaching piece for general music, all-school performance or for a cultural/humanities unit in the classroom. Students will gain insight into Bach’s life and learn musical themes which will serve them well as future audiences for serious music. The Director’s score includes a complete guide for staging, costumes, teaching ideas, a historical timeline of Bach’s life and glossary of musical terms used.
Bang!
Composer, Librettist: John Rutter, David Grant
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: The conflict between (violent) means and (good) ends; Historical drama
Synopsis:
Based on the Guy Fawkes conspiracy to blow up the houses of Parliament (1605), the work poses serious questions about rebellion, religious idealism and the conflict between violent means and good ends.
Barrington Bunny
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: Each of God’s creatures has his role to play and each has special gifts.
Synopsis:
It is Christmas Eve. Barrington Bunny has no family. As he tries to find his way home in the deep snow, he is attracted to parties given by happy squirrel, beaver and mouse families. He asks if he may join them, but he is not invited. In despair, he sits in the snow and cries. A great wolf appears who tells him that all the animals in the forest are his family. Joyfully, he leaves gifts, anonymously, at the dwellings of every animal he knows. On his way home he finds a mouse who is lost and dying of cold. Barrington folds his warm body over the mouse and shields him from the storm.

On Christmas morning, the animals discover their gifts and wonder who they came from. They also miss the mouse and go in search of him. They find the body of a bunny in the snow and beneath it, a safe warm mouse.
The Bartered Bride
Composer, Librettist: Smetana, English Translation Cross/Crozier
Running Time: 1 hour 15 min
Subject: Youth and independence
Synopsis:
Abridgement of Smetana’s opera using spoken dialogue instead of recitative. With its focus on independence and choice, this is an accessible stimulating work for upper-elementary school students.
Beanstalk!
Composer, Librettist: James R. Shaw, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: See plot summary
Synopsis:
Here’s a new twist to the old tale about Jack and his magical beans. The central character is a giant named Wog. He has no desire to frighten people or eat Englishmen; he pretends to be mean simply to keep up the family’s bad name. When Jack and his friend Polly arrive at the top of the beanstalk, Wog befriends them. But disaster is about to strike in the form of an axe wielded by the mayor and other townsfolk who don’t want the giant in their town. Wog has two pets, a dog disguised as a lion, and a chicken disguised as the goose that lays the golden eggs. The townsfolk climb the beanstalk, and the audience is treated to some delightful songs and hilarious action. In the end, Polly and Wog fall in love, the mayor and his henchmen are defeated and Jack turns the beanstalk into a tourist attraction.
Beautybeast
Composer, Librettist: W. A. Mozart, Amy Rosenberg Chartoff
Running Time:
Subject: The well known tale of Beauty and the Beast
Synopsis:
A gentle, courageous girl goes to live in the palace of a hideous beast in order to help her father keep a promise. The Beast helps Beauty to learn that outward appearances are not as important as kindness and a mystical transformation happens.
Benny And The Bear
Composer, Librettist: Edith Hemenway, Sarah Hemenway
Running Time: 40 min
Subject: A Boy and his dog, who is really a bear
Synopsis:
Benny, too young to go bear-hunting with his brothers, finds a dog in the woods and teaches him tricks. When the dog turns out to be the bear the brothers were tracking, Benny becomes a hero.
The Binding Tale of Beethoven’s Bookworms
Composer, Librettist: Michael & Jill Gallina, (same)
Running Time: 35 min
Subject: Beethoven’s Compositions, Life of Beethoven
Synopsis:
"Having voraciously devoured page upon page of musical and biographical notes, the bookworm narrators prove to be well qualified Beethoven scholars. Given the Information they share with the audience, it soon becomes evident that they have literally digested many interesting facts about Beethoven’s life and music. Using the musical works of Beethoven, along with a wide range of facts related to his life, the playful bookworms treat the audience to an entertaining and informative musical production. Along with numerous facts related to Beethoven’s life and music, this musical contains a number of fun-filled moments generated by the mischievous bookworms who virtually eat all that is worth repeating. Seven of Beethoven’s best-loved compositions are included with added lyrics to help tell his dramatic story. A rhyming script is used to facilitate learning.
The Birth of Our Lord
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: Christ’s birth
Synopsis:
A chorus of angels opens the opera with spiritual references to the birth of Jesus. Throughout the process of giving birth, Mary’s labors are grounded by the angel’s holy interjections. Mary is in distress. She and Joseph are turned away by an innkeeper, but her cries are heard, and two women come to her assistance. The angel chorus forms a curtain so that we are privileged to hear, but not to see, a re-creation of this sacred moment in our history. Once the Child is born, difficulties of labor are forgotten. We hear the young voice of Mary as she first looks upon her Son. Joseph is invited in, the Angel curtain parts and all of us are invited to participate in the first moments of adoration for our infant Savior.
The Black Spider
Composer, Librettist: Judith Weir, (same)
Running Time: 75min
Subject: Historical horror story
Synopsis:
The three acts of The Black Spider are framed by five spoken interludes. The interludes, set in the present, are very closely based on news reports from Poland about the excavations of a tomb in Cracow and the strange events that followed. The three acts of the opera are very loosely based on the Swiss-German novella, Die Schwarze Spine (1842) by Jeremias Gotthelf.
Bleah!
Composer, Librettist: Martin Mangold, (same)
Running Time: 28 min.
Subject: Courtroom farce
Synopsis:
A cunning lady lawyer advises a guilty client to answer all questions in court with the word "bleah" in order to be declared legally insane. The guilty man evades all prosecution for his crimes, then avoids paying the lawyer's fee by using the identical response to her requests for payment - Bleah!
The Boy Who Grew Too Fast
Composer, Librettist: Gian Carlo Menotti, (same)
Running Time: 40 min.
Subject: Learning to accept people who are different
Synopsis:
A very tall fourth grader with a funny name is teased by his new classmates. His teacher, Miss Hope, takes him to Dr. Shrink, who through his magic machine makes him small. But he is warned that if he does not conform he will grow back to his original size.
The Boy Who Ruled the Moon and the Sun
Composer, Librettist: Susan C. Hunter and Tom Shelton, Susan C. Hunter and Tom Shelton
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: Absolute power can corrupt and kindness can be the most powerful magic of all.
Synopsis:
The Boy Who Ruled the Moon and Sun tells the story of a brother and sister struggling to survive in a storybook world. They are poor and relentlessly bullied by ruffians. While in the forest to find food they rescue a mysterious wanderer, an old woman. As a result of their kindness to the old woman, she rewards them with a magic stick possessing the power to make their enemies disappear. Intoxicated by his newfound powers, the boy arrogantly makes the moon disappear, disturbing the balance of nature. Drastic consequences, including the seeming death of their mother, show the boy and his sister that absolute power can corrupt and that kindness can be the most powerful magic of all.
Brundibar
Composer, Librettist: Hans Krasa, Adolf Hoffmeister
Running Time: 35 min
Subject: Through cooperation and unity, people can work together to promote values and achieve common goals
Synopsis:
The plot of the opera unfolds with Little Joe and Annette, his sister, walking down the street contemplating their poverty and inability to purchase milk for their sick mother. They unsuccessfully try to obtain help from various townspeople, and they decide to sing and receive money from the townspeople like Brundibar, the organ grinder. They do not meet with success until Sparrow, Cat and Dog offer their assistance with that of the local school children. The singing roles have a clear melodic line with close major intervals but strong rhythmic patterns. Although the music characterizes the roles of the people, it never overpowers the text. The spoken dialogue between the characters helps to keep the piece interesting and lively. All parts are in an easy singing range, centering around middle C to the octave. The music is written to portray the activity of the opera.
Captain Lovelock
Composer, Librettist: John Duke, (same)
Running Time: 35 min
Subject: Marriage
Synopsis:
A widow, both elderly and wealthy, wishes to marry a young army officer. Her daughters conspire with Madame Kirsten, a marriage broker, to show the old lady the folly of her plan.
The Castaways
Composer, Librettist: Michael & Jill Gallina,
Running Time: 50 min.
Subject: The plight of homeless children - both modern day and turn-of-the-century – is explored via flashback.
Synopsis:
Grounded in historical fact, the plot reveals the struggles of immigrant children left to fend for themselves on the streets of New York City in the early 1900’s. All their challenges, their need to work; shining shoes to survive; their foibles dodging two comical Irish police officers; their affection for the Italian lady when they beg leftover bread are rendered with whimsy, drama and pathos. Ultimately the happy endings for these Castaways takes them to homes with Midwestern families seeking children. The stories of the children help modern-day children realize that, “Now’s the time to start, to find each child a home within our heart.”
Chanticleer
Composer, Librettist: Seymour Barab, M.C. Richards
Running Time: 40 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
Based on Chaucer’s “Nun’s Priest’s Tale."
Charlie and Algernon
Composer, Librettist: Charles Strouse, David Rogers
Running Time: 2 hrs.
Subject:
Synopsis:
An operation that has previously been tried only on mice is performed on Charlie, a man with special needs. The intelligence of the mouse, Algernon, has increased enormously. Charlie responds brilliantly, but as his intellect surpasses genius level the mouse suddenly falters and regresses. Fearing a similar fate, can Charlie find the errors in the theory of the operation in time to save himself and the love he has found with Alice, his teacher?
Charlotte's Web
Composer, Librettist: Charles Strouse, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.
Subject: Friendship between a little pig and a black spider
Synopsis:
Fern, a young farm girl, saves Wilbur, a runty pig, from slaughter and raises him as a pet. She sells him to her Uncle Homer, so she can visit him often. Wilbur makes friends with all the animals, including a spider named Charlotte, who spins words in her web and makes Wilbur a celebrity. Uncle Homer promises Charlotte that if Wilbur wins a blue ribbon at the Fair, he will not make bacon out of him. Charlotte teaches Wilbur that even though he is not the biggest pig, he is unique.
Cheering Up A Princess
Composer, Librettist: Richard Berent, Douglas Braverman
Running Time: 35 min
Subject: A sad princess becomes happy when she discovers how much the library has to offer.
Synopsis:
In an effort to cheer up his daughter, a King sends a wizard to do magic tricks and a minstrel to serenade her. Still, she is unhappy, especially since the wizard has forgotten his tricks and the minstrel doesn’t know any new songs. They go to the awesome witch for help. In her crystal ball, the witch sees that the library can solve everyone’s problems. The opera ends with a sing-along song - “Books are Great Friends.”
Chicken Little
Composer, Librettist: Thomas Benjamin, Elaine Gerdine
Running Time: 18 min.
Subject: The chicken little story, with an ironic twist at the end
Synopsis:
Chicken Little, who is under psychiatric care because of his sensitivity about his size, is taunted by his friends Ducky Doodles, Henny Penny and Goosey Lucy. Thinking that something has hit him on the head, he becomes convinced that the sky is falling and panics. His friends, unable to convince him otherwise, tie and gag him and carry him off to the office of his psychiatrist, Sigmund Frog, who explains that Chicken Little's fears are a delusion and he must accept the world as it is. The cast sings a final chorus about the goodness of life. The sky falls.
The Children’s Victory
Composer, Librettist: Berta Elsmith, (same)
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: The first Children’s Holy Day in Dinkelsbuehl, Bavaria
Synopsis:
A dramatization of the first Children’s Holy Day in Dinkelsbuehl, Bavaria, where in 1632, the children’s army defended their town against a Swedish invasion.
The Christmas of the Snow Queen
Composer, Librettist: Susan and Phillip Kern,
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Fantasy
Synopsis:
A nasty bunch of Ice Trolls, who thrive on winter mischief, attempt to prevent spring from ever coming again by stealing the Snow Queen’s mirror and dropping it from the top of a steep mountain. In a little village at the bottom of this mountain lived Gerda and Lars with their grandmother. The fall crushes the mirror into pieces so tiny the townspeople mistake it for snow. As they look up to view this amazing snow, it falls into their eyes. Unfortunately, the mirror pieces still reverse images so the townspeople now see a twisted and ugly world. As arguments break out, Gerda, Lars and Grandmother rush out to see what’s the matter and they discover a large chunk of the mirror that is unbroken. Realizing the mirror’s origin, Grandmother sends the children on an important mission to return the Snow Queen’s mirror and seek her help to restore the townsfolk to normal. It will take all their ingenuity and courage as they face Ice Trolls along the way and then return to cure the townspeople, who prove to be a tougher challenge than the Ice Trolls.
Christopher Sly
Composer, Librettist: Dominick Argento, John Manlove
Running Time: 70 min.
Subject: Induction scene
Synopsis:
A comic opera in two scenes and an interlude based on the Induction Scene of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
Clair de Ville
Composer, Librettist: Vincent Beaulne, Pierre Drolet
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Life in the city and losing a friend.
Synopsis:
Julie and Christos are both 10 years old and live in Montreal. Julie is outgoing and brave. Christos is not so brave. Julies likes to ride the metro and travel through the city. Christos has just learned that he is moving to another city, and he spends most of the opera trying to break the news to Julie, who is always too busy to sit down and listen to what he has to say. They meet a bus driver who owns a flying bus and two policeman who like to arrest anybody, anytime. They also meet a bizarre man in the street, a man who will have a great influence on their lives -- he gives Julie a love potion. Having had a sip of the love potion, Christos declares his love to Julie and breaks the news about his going to live in another town. They share the sadness of Christos's leaving but also the hope that Julie will be able to visit him... and maybe, just maybe, there will be a metro in Christos's new town!
Cockcrow
Composer, Librettist: Julia Smith, Constance Mackey Holt
Running Time: 17 minutes
Subject: Fantasy
Synopsis:
The Cock flaps his wings and introduces the audience to the early morning. Jon asks the Farmer for a job. He refuses and sends Jon away. The Farmer releases the animals and tells them that he can no longer afford to feed them. He sends them away. Jon and the animals return dressed in a dragon skin. The Farmer is frightened away. Jon and the animals rejoice. They will live on the farm free! In a joyous finale, they bid the audience farewell as the curtain falls.
The Computer Kid's Magic Night
Composer, Librettist: Joann E. Feldman, (same)
Running Time: 50 min.
Subject: The value of a well-rounded education
Synopsis:
Mickey, a boy who spends all his time playing computer games, neglects his studies, his friends and his piano. One night, he accidently types magic words into the computer and several characters pop out. Each character has a fondness for a special subject - language, math, music, travel, sports - and convinces Mickey to use the computer to learn about these subjects. The characters agree to help Mickey learn when he summons them with the secret words. A month later, Mickey returns home with an all-A report card to the delight of his mystified parents. The computer characters have the last word, pledging the audience to secrecy about the magical appearance.
Cotton Patch Gospel
Composer, Librettist: Harry Chapin, Tom Key, Russell Treyz
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Subject: Greatest Story Ever Told in contemporary country style
Synopsis:
The Gospel is presented in a setting of rural Georgia with country music songs, the final and perhaps best work of Harry Chapin. As this Gospel begins, they sing "Somethin's a-brewin' in Gainesville." Herod is the mayor of Atlanta, and inevitably, Christ is lynched by local thugs only to rise again.
Coyote's Tail
Composer, Librettist: Karen P. Thomas, Molly McGee
Running Time: 59 min.
Subject: Coyote encounters humans and befriends a teenage boy.
Synopsis:
Coyote's Tail is a one-act, 60-minute, comic opera with a Native American theme for young audiences. Coyote, a trickster — a mischievous character common to many Native American myths — tells stories with an updated slant. The lively, engaging score captures the imagination of both children and adults. The cast of nine includes traditional characters found in Native American mythology, as well as contemporary characters. The setting is a mysterious forest in which Coyote and his friend Iktome encounter unusual people and animals. The opera explores the themes of friendship and the true nature of giving. Coyote's Tail is very loosley based on a story told by Jenny Leading Cloud of the White River Sioux, recorded in 1967.
Daisy
Composer, Librettist: Julia Smith, Bertita Harding
Running Time: 1 hour 35 min
Subject: An inspiring story of the founder of Girl Scouts of America.
Synopsis:
Story of Juliette Gordon Low (Daisy), founder of the Girl Scouts of America. It is an inspirational show about the life of "Daisy" and how she overcame partial deafness, divorce and age, to become one of America's most celebrated women. After being left by her husband while in her 50's, she meets Sir Robert Baden-Powell who inspires her to organize the Girl Scouts and she finds her life's work.
Daniel's Gift
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: Even the humblest gift is appreciated if sincerely given.
Synopsis:
Daniel's sheep is stolen by a mean old man. Daniel and his two brothers go to find him and turn the man's cottage upside down in a fast, slapstick episode. Once found, Daniel attempts to go back to sleep, only to be told by an angel that a great King has been born. Daniel wanders off towards a large star, finds the Child and offers him the only gift he has, a tune on his pipe. Joseph encourages him to offer this gift, and the Christ Child, through the voices of the children's chorus, makes known his acceptance of it.
Danny, the Dark Green Dinosaur
Composer, Librettist: Mel Warren, (same)
Running Time: approx. 1 hour
Subject: Gaining self-esteem
Synopsis:
At the beginning of the play, Danny is sad and lonely, thinking he is worthless. All the other animals of the forest enter one by one and sing a self-descriptive song, while Danny becomes more depressed. Scene two opens with the start of Spring, then a storm. During the rising water created by the storm, all of the animals panic, except for Danny. He tells them that he can save them if they climb up on his back. Danny beams while the animals proclaim him their hero. Scene two is narrated. A classroom chorus sings throughout.
The Daughter of the Double Duke of Dingle
Composer, Librettist: Dennis Arlan, James Billings
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: A Baby-Grand Opera in One Act
Synopsis:
This fairy tale concerns a very nasty daughter, Anathema, whose spoiled behavior is changed only by a potion brewed by her younger brother who is destined to become a wizard.
The Dead Moon
Composer, Librettist: Jeffrey Bishop, (same)
Running Time: 40 min.
Subject: Folklore of Southern England
Synopsis:
Based on the traditional folklore of Southern England, the story of The Dead Moon is an entertaining fantasy performed by children. On the Earth, travelers tramp along bowed down by the cares of life. The Moon, concerned about the travelers and the forces of evil -- the Bog Creatures -- descends to earth to see if she can help. She herself is captured by the Bog Creatures and must be freed by the earth people. The travelers go on a quest -- to seek their inner selves -- and in the end, the moon is rescued, returned to her place in the sky and again lights the way on earth. The Dead Moon uses a wide range of talents with emphasis on modality, rhythmic motifs, movement and improvisation compatible with the Orff and Kodaly methods of contemporary music education.
Different Fields
Composer, Librettist: Mike Reid, Sarah Schlesinger
Running Time: 75 min
Subject: Moral and ethical responsibility of our athletic heroes
Synopsis:
A professional football player, Aaron James, gets in over his head with gambling debts. He is forced by the syndicate into a situation where he may have to throw a game. In doing so, he lets down the team owner, Doris, but especially Casey Willis, the son of Doris’ assistant, Jenny. Casey idolizes Aaron and is crushed. In the end, Aaron does the best thing possible for him, which is to resign from the team. The opera is about the burden we place on our sports heroes to be heroes, on and off the field. The opera is also an experiment in bringing a popular songwriter to opera. Reid has over 20 #1 hits in Nashville, as well as Bonnie Raitt’s “I can’t make you love me.”
Dr. Canon's Cure
Composer, Librettist: Derek Holman, Robertson Davies
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: A children's opera troupe
Synopsis:
Set in northern Italy in 1820, the opera begins with a company of opera singers being thrown out of an inn because they cannot pay their bill. The innkeeper, Ringhiaro, keeps their instruments to settle the debt. They try to sing without instruments but agree that the effect is dismal. They pray to St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, who answers their prayer in the form of Doctor Canon, a great musician who has helped all the foremost composers when their inspiration failed. Doctor Canon tells them his great secret, the Art of Canon, or music that produces its own harmony. The company sets up scenery for their opera and performs it; Harlequin and Columbine are in love, but her father will not permit their marriage. The lovers plot with Duenna to soften his heart. He eventually relents, the lovers, and also Pantalone and the Duenna, are married and love conquers all. Ringhiaro is softened, makes up with the company and all ends happily with everyone singing the praises of Doctor Canon, the ingenious virtuoso.
Dr. Know-It-All
Composer, Librettist: Edith Hemenway, (same)
Running Time: 50-60 min.
Subject: Mistaken identity
Synopsis:
Jack, a fisherman, seeks advice from Dr. Know-It-All. After he, and later the beautiful Lucinda, are mistakenly identified as the Doctor, they decide to become partners in their new-found careers.
Elisha
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: The healing of a woman's son by Elisha
Synopsis:
A Schunammite man and woman see Elisha and his servant, Gehazi, approaching. Since the men pass by regularly on their long journeys, the couple discuss building a chamber for them. Grateful for their hospitality and friendship, Elisha promises the woman a son. Scene 2 (about 12 years later) Father and son are in the fields. The son cries out in pain, and the father carries him to his mother, where he dies. The mother sets out to find Elisha. Gehazi spies the woman approaching the mountain where Elisha resides. Elisha sends him to her to ask after the family's welfare. Rather than answer him fully, she continues on her way to Elisha. Elisha sees her distress, and all three set out for the cottage. The woman, now exhausted, cannot move quickly, so Elisha send Gehazi ahead to bring the child back to life. Gehazi does as his master requests, but to no avail. By now, the woman and Elisha are approaching the cottage. Elisha enters the boy's chamber and lies down upon him while praying. The boy does not stir. Elisha lies down upon him again in more fervent prayer. The boy awakens, sneezing seven times. Seeing her son alive, the Shunammite woman weeps. The opera ends with the husband, Elisha, Gehazi and the boy singing words of consolation which she hears dimly through her crying.
The Elves and the Shoemaker
Composer, Librettist: Maurice Bailey, (same)
Running Time: 35 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
Based on the well known folktale of the poor shoemaker and his wife who are helped by the elves. The narration as well as the songs may be taken by groups of children, while the actors playing the Shoemaker, his Wife, the Customers and the Elves mime the story.
The Emperor and the Nightingale
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 75 min.
Subject: Loyalty and love for a beautiful creature and how this love cures him of melancholia
Synopsis:
A nightingale visits a lonely emperor who weeps for joy at the beauty of her song. The court people trap her and put her in a cage, but she escapes and the emperor, despondent, takes to his bed. In an effort to cheer him, a mechanical bird is imported. The bird winds up and does a ridiculous, repetitive routine. The silly courtiers do not realize the vast differences in the qualities of the real bird as opposed to the mechanical bird, and the emperor, misunderstood, mourns to the point of grave illness. Soon it appears that he may die. The nightingale learns of this and returns. Together, they make a plan whereby she will visit him and sing to him, but she should not be caged.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Composer, Librettist: Douglas Moore, Raymond Abrashkin
Running Time: 14 minutes
Subject: Fairy Tale
Synopsis:
This is a story of a very foolish emperor who cares more about clothes and himself than taking care of his people or country. It is also the story of how this emperor and his entire court are duped by two extremely clever tailors. The two con-men provide fabric which is visible purportedly only to persons of worth. As the Emperor parades past wearing garments made of this cloth, a child sees the truth: “New clothes? He hasn’t any clothes on!”
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Composer, Librettist: W.A. Mozart (selected from), Carl Zytowski
Running Time: 50 minutes
Subject: The familiar children’s story: things are not always what they seem
Synopsis:
An Emperor, vain about his royal garments, despairs when it is announced that he has exhausted all the tailors in the kingdom. Four Vagabonds arrive and promise to promise to make him a set of clothes finer than anything that has ever been seen. What is more, anyone who can’t see them is obviously unfit for his position. The Emperor orders the clothes to be made, the Vagabonds undertake an elaborate show of measuring, weaving, cutting and sewing the invisible “new” clothes. Various members of the court confess they can’t see them but are afraid to admit their suspicion. Finally, the Vagabonds announce the clothes are finished, and the Emperor demands to show them off in a grand procession. As he marches, clad only in bloomers and a corset, the little kitchen boy, mute until now, suddenly speaks the truth - the Emperor is naked: The Emperor admits that he has been taken in, and the Vagabonds escape with the warning that we should be on guard against those who would take advantage of our vanity.
The Emperor’s Nightingale
Composer, Librettist: Maia Aprahamian, (same)
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: The value of real things over glitzy ones, knowing and recognizing beauty and sincerity
Synopsis:
The Emperor’s Nightingale is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story. The Emperor, who is dying, wants the fancy artificial nightingale to sing to him, but it is broken. The real nightingale, which had flown away, returns and bargains with the phantom of death to save the Emperor.
The Enormous Egg
Composer, Librettist: Evelyn D. Swensson, (same)
Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
Nate discovers an enormous egg that one of the family's hens has just laid. Walt, the newspaper editor and Nate's father, begins to write news releases. Dr. Ziemer, a paleontologist, asks that Nate call him as soon as the egg hatches, which Nate does. Dr. Z arrives in his pajamas and declares the creature is a triceratops. Telegrams are sent to scientists around the world. Scientists and opportunists gather at Nate's farm. When Nate refuses to sell the dinosaur, Dr. Z recommends that he go to live at the National Museum in Washington, D.C. until a permanent home can be found.

Capt. Neely, the Washington Chief of Police, suggests that Nate and Dr. Ziemer take their huge creature to the Washington Zoo. A senator introduces a dinosaur bill in Congress, making it illegal to keep a dinosaur in the United States. When Nate is interviewed on the radio, his plea to keep the dinosaur is so passionate that a national "Save the Dinosaur" movement does just that. Congress defeats the bill, and Dr. Ziemer concludes, "It's like freedom. Sometimes, people aren't willing to fight for it 'til its taken away from them." All join in a reprise of "The American Way:" "Listen to the voice of the people, my friends, that's the American way."
Esther
Composer, Librettist: Donald Sosin, Sari Magaziner
Running Time: 55 minutes
Subject: The Bible story of a courageous Jewish woman who saves her people from an evil tyrant
Synopsis:
A lively choral introduction leads to the opening scene, with the Narrator presenting Hadassah, a Jewish girl raised by her cousin Mordecai in the foreign land of Persia, whose king is the all-powerful Ahashuerus. When his Queen Vashti refuses to appear at a party, he flies into a rage, declaring that he will find a new Queen. The most beautiful girls in the land are brought before Ahashuerus as contestants in a fun-filled beauty pageant with ridiculous dancing and singing that gets the unfortunate girls “gonged.” But none can compare with Hadassah, who has hidden her Jewish identity and now calls herself Esther. She is chosen Queen amid rejoicing and a procession. Time passes, and the evil Haman rises to power as the King's advisor. All must bow to him, but Mordecai, as a devout Jew, refuses to serve any false god. Haman is furious and vows revenge against all the Jews. Mordecai sends a message to Esther through her maid Rula and they meet in the palace garden. Mordecai warns Esther that her people are in danger and urges her to beg the King for mercy. Esther replies that speaking to the King without permission is punishable by death. The three sing a trio reflecting their different feelings about the situation. Esther decides to risk visiting the King. Luckily, she is received. But rather than ask for what she wants immediately, she invites the King to a banquet, where she plans to press the question. Once again with Rula, who begs her not to get involved, Esther prays in the garden and sings about all that she has to lose if she fails. Haman is happy to be invited to the banquet at which only he and the King and Queen will be present. But his pleasure is disturbed by the thought of Mordecai, still alive. His wife Zeresh suggests that Mordecai be hanged, and Haman goes to the King for permission. Meanwhile, the King is having a sleepless night. To pass the time, he reads the court records, discovering that Mordecai once saved his life by exposing an assassination plot, but was never rewarded for his good deed. The King decides to fix this. In the morning Haman lurks about, waiting to see the King. Ahashuerus discusses how best to repay a man he wants to honor—a parade, fine robes, a crown. Haman thinks these are to be his rewards, and is livid when he learns that they are intended for Mordecai. At the banquet Esther tells the King she is in danger. She reveals that she is a Jew and that all her people have been sentenced to death by a tyrant. She points to Haman: “This is the man!” The King is very angry and orders that Haman be hanged. Mordeai becomes the new advisor and there is a great celebration. The name of Haman will never be mentioned again, and the Jews will always celebrate the day they were saved.
Everyone is Good for Something
Composer, Librettist: Victoria Bond, Beatrice deRegniers
Running Time: 40 minutes
Subject: A young boy learns of his worth.
Synopsis:
A young boy who is clumsy & awkward is constantly doing things wrong. His mother scolds him and tells him that he is good for nothing. One day he meets a man who offers him a penny if he will throw his sack in then river. When the boy looks inside, he discovers a magical car that takes him on a trip to the land of good-for-nothings. There he becomes a hero and returns home to his mother to share his good fortune with her.
Fables
Composer, Librettist: Hugh Aitken, (same)
Running Time: 90 min (ten fables & prologue and finale)
Subject: Fables
Synopsis:
Part 1: Prologue, The Cicada & The Ant, The Oak & The Reed, The Wolf & The Oyster, The Companions of Odysseus. Part 2: The Raven & The Fox, The Meeting Held by the Rats, The Cat and the Two Sparrows, The Animals Sick with the Plague, Death and the Woodcutter and Finale
The Fabulous Fable Factory
Composer, Librettist: Thomas Tierney, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 1 hr.
Subject: Explores the wisdom found in a number of the Aesop fables
Synopsis:
The Fabulous Fable Factory is based on Aesop's Fables. It tells the story of Monroe, a 12 year old boy who stumbles onto an ancient fable factory that hasn't been in operation for over 2,000 years. Monroe meets Mr. Aesop and his factory workers, key parts like the Story Starter, Feeling Finder, Grammar Guardian and Character Conceiver. They explain that the problem in the fable factory is that it's been missing its most important part, the Moral Maker. Monroe seems to have an unusual gift for creating morals, so Aesop and his factory parts try to interest Monroe in staying and and becoming the permanent Moral Maker by acting out six of Aesop's fables. Finally, Monroe must make the important decision of whether or not to stay, and the moral of the show comes to light as he ponders his choices.
THE FAMILY REUNION
Composer, Librettist: Alice Parker, (same)
Running Time: 60 minutes
Subject: Family relationships
Synopsis:
A family’s reunion through the years 1850 - 1950. Designed for performance by church or community choruses, preferably outdoors or in the round.

Based on folksongs, marches, spirituals, hymns and dances of the mid-1830’s.
Fanny, the Fat Angel
Composer, Librettist: Grace Carol Jaffe, (same)
Running Time: 35 min.
Subject: Craving sweets
Synopsis:
Fanny can’t control her craving for sweets, and she can’t fly. She falls on the roof of a little girl who shows Fanny she cares. The girl suggests disciplines and encourages her to believe in herself. Fanny shrinks on a diet of cottage cheese, etc. and flies again!
The Fir Tree
Composer, Librettist: Carol Weiss, James Engelhardt
Running Time: 1 hr. 10 min.
Subject: A Fir tree is magically able to give a little boy the gift of understanding at Christmas time.
Synopsis:
Young Erick and a sapling fir tree have a great deal in common. Constantly complaining about being too small, the two youngsters are failing to appreciate all that they do have until one rapturous day when Erick chooses the little fir tree to be his Christmas tree. The premiere run of The Fir Tree broke all box office records for the DePaul children's theater.
The Fire Maid
Composer, Librettist: Robert Long, Dorothy Gulliver
Running Time: 50 min.
Subject: A quest story, based on Russian fairytale
Synopsis:
An opera intended for performance by children 9-13 years of age. Four principal acting parts (including the story teller), crowd parts, offstage chorus, two groups of dancers, orchestral and instrumental ensembles can all be used. Improvised dialogue and musical commentary are part of the scoring. Alyosha, learning of the "Fire Maiden's" existence, goes to the Ural Mountains in search of her.
First Ladies: Ladies First
Composer, Librettist: Michael & Jill Gallina, (same)
Running Time: approx. 45 min.
Subject: Highlights the significant contributions made by our nation’s First Ladies
Synopsis:
Through the magic of musical theatre, this production highlights many significant contributions made by our nation’s First Ladies. As a series of tableaux come to life on stage, our nation’s First Ladies reveal interesting and intriguing historical facts. First Ladies: Ladies First is a musical play combining the strength of a plot-based musical with the flexibility and ease of a production usually attributed to musical revues. The songs and dialogue provide a musical opportunity to learn much about these talented and engaging First Ladies.
Folktale Operas
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 1 hr.
Subject: Various
Synopsis:
Mini-operas based on folktales of many lands: Korean, Goose Rhyme Medley; Indian, Mice Consultation; Phillipine, The Toad and the Fly Chinese, Moon Cake Day; Irish, Apple Harvest" Chinese, The Sparrows' Problem; Kenya, The Fierce Creature; Venezuelan, Little Walking Tree; Irish, Cleona and the Evil Badb; Korean, The Foolish Man; American, Spot; Israeli, The Trial of the Egg; Japanese, An Old Man Who Makes Flowers Bloom; Yugoslavia, The Three Hunters; Chinese, The Hare and the Turtle; American, How the Pizza was Invented; International folktale, The Bluefish Story." The Finale, Peace Be Unto You, is sung in twelve languages, with regrets that we couldn't have used them all. "Follow the melody until you are ready, then please join in the singing." The running time depends on the number of small operas actually included in the program. If all are included, the program runs about 1 hour.
Fortune’s Favorites
Composer, Librettist: Seymour Barab, (same)
Running Time: 45 minutes
Subject: Astrological opera
Synopsis:
Emily and Richard, lovers in their youth, meet accidentally after not having seen each other for many years. Being avid believers in omens and auguries, they are convinced that Providence has reunited them in order to rekindle their love. A more careful examination of the portents, however, reveals that disaster awaits should they marry. They resign themselves to the dictum of Fate that they must part once again when, unexpectedly, Fortune smiles and love is granted a happy reprieve.
The Frog who Became a Prince
Composer, Librettist: Edward Barnes, (same)
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: Traditional Fairy Tale in reverse
Synopsis:
A frog gets changed into a prince but would rather be a frog.
The Giant’s Garden
Composer, Librettist: Sherman Krane, June Krane
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: A giant and a group of children
Synopsis:
While a giant is absent for seven years, children play in his garden. He returns, casts them out angrily and puts up a wall to keep them outside. The snow of winter does not leave the garden until the children return. As the giant dies, he regrets his actions and vows to follow the Christ-like child to paradise.
Glowena
Composer, Librettist: Ronald Bennett, (same)
Running Time: 55 min.
Subject: There is a beauty to be found in all things. There is more than one aspect of the perception of something.
Synopsis:
Glowena, the Queen of the Flowers in the well cared Victorian Conservatory, has led a charmed life. When a storm comes and breaks the glass of the conservatory, she is saved from too much exposure to the sun by a valiant weed who forces himself to grow quickly to protect her. She falls in love with him for saving her life. The caretakers come and pull up the weed and Glowena is left to remember that his act of kindness saved her life.
The Golden Vanity
Composer, Librettist: Arthur Jay, (same)
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: Loyalty, truthfulness and bravery
Synopsis:
A young apprentice carpenter saves The Golden Vanity from destruction at the hands of pirates. But the captain refuses to keep his promise to reward him and instead allows the boy to drown. This work is in intended for a school's first step in trying music theatre. It is a choral work which includes a lot of solos. The chorus should be divided into two or three groups: Vanity Crew, Pirate Crew, and Pit Chorus (optional - it could be the two crews singing together).
The Golden Vanity
Composer, Librettist: Benjamin Britten, Colin Graham
Running Time: 17 minutes
Subject: Vaudeville, a play in verse form
Synopsis:
All the boys march in. The Golden Vanity crew sings as they sail the Lowlan Sea with a rich treasure. They are confronted suddenly with The Turkish Galilee, a pirate ship. They exchange cannon shots, with The Golden Vanity losing its mast. The Cabin Boy aboard The Golden Vanity is promised gold and the captain’s daughter if he can sink The Turkish Galilee. He does so by making three holes in the bottom of the ship and it sinks. The captain refuses to haul the boy on board and by the time he is pulled aboard it is too late and he dies. The crew mourns as they lower him into the sea.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Composer, Librettist: Edith Hemenway, Sarah Hemenway
Running Time: 40-50 min.
Subject: Goldilocks
Synopsis:
Traditional with embellishments.
The Goose Girl
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: How things will, after a bad time, come out all right
Synopsis:
A dying Queen sends her daughter to the distant kingdom of her betrothed. En route, the Princess' wicked maid-in-waiting switches clothes with her, exchanges the Princess' talking horse, Falada, for her own and is welcomed into the new Kingdom as the Prince's betrothed. In order that Falada not divulge her treachery, the maid-in-waiting orders him killed. The Princess asks that his severed head be hung in the gateway where she can greet him when she passes by. While the grieving Princess is tending geese in the fields, her companion, a young boy named Conrad, grows angry because she will not let him touch her golden hair. In a stomping fit, Conrad tells the King of his frustration. The King, his interest piqued, hides near the gateway and hears Falada speak of the deception. Then he coaxes the Princess' story out of her by having her tell it inside a giant Imperial stove. The maid-in-waiting is tricked by the townspeople into deciding her own fate, and the true Princess is united with her betrothed at last.
Goosefeathers
Composer, Librettist: Charles Gilbert, Steve Seyfried
Running Time: 75 minutes
Subject: An ingenious servant outwits his master and helps his friend out of a jam / The power of ingenuity to overcome obstacles
Synopsis:
Arlecchino, the foolish servant of Zanni, gets into serious trouble when he makes his master’s gold coin disappear during a bungled magic trick. An impending visit from the Countess, a ruby ring and a chance encounter with a lovely goose-seller are among the farcical elements which serve to complicate the plot. Leave it to Pedrolinom, the clever servant of Pantalone, to sort everything out - but not before he becomes thoroughly entangled in the situation himself.

Two actors play eight characters in this rollicking, fast-paced farce. In style and tone, it might be best described as a cross between A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Greater Tuna.
The Gooseherd and the Goblin
Composer, Librettist: Julia Smith, Josephine F. Royle
Running Time: 50 min. (with prologue)
Subject: Fable
Synopsis:
Dejected over the lot of his poor overworked mother, Conrad (a handsome and hard-working gooseherd) fantasizes about the tales of fairies who have powers to grant wishes. Peterkin (a goblin) casts a magic spell granting Conrad’s two wishes of riches and power - both of which alienate Conrad from his mother (Dame Alice) and his beloved, Christina. Peterkin eventually grants Conrad’s third wish, which returns Conrad to his former self and to the love of his mother and future wife, Christina.
The Green Children
Composer, Librettist: Nicola LeFanu, Kevin Crossley-Holland
Running Time:
Subject: The story of the Green Children is one of the oldest and most haunting of British folk-tales.
Synopsis:
Two strange children were discovered near a deep pit in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk. They had green skins, couldn't speak English and would only eat green beans. The boy did not live very long, but the girl survived, telling the lord of the manor (after she learned English) that they had come from a green country where no-one and nothing was not green. She and her brother had, following the sound of bells, walked through a cave like passage into golden Suffolk. The girl gradually lost her green color, married and lived the remainder of her life in East Anglia.
Griffelkin
Composer, Librettist: Lukas Foss, Alastair Reid
Running Time: 120 min. (2 hrs.)
Subject: Comical, light-hearted story of good vs evil
Synopsis:
A young devil receives a trip to the world for his tenth birthday. He is sent to the United States with a bottle of magic liquid. Everything that is sprinkled with the potion comes to life and sings a song. Griffelkin hopes to change the world into Hell but becomes corrupted along the way - - he finds love, goodness and humanity. At the end of his 24 hours on earth, Griffelkin commits a good deed. At the stroke of midnight, he finds himself surrounded by his fellow devils. He is on trial and the verdict is, of course, excommunuication from Hell. At dawn, we see a new Griffelkin - a member of the human race.
Gulliver
Composer, Librettist: Victoria Bond, Victoria Bond
Running Time: 90 min.
Subject: Gulliver's search for human values
Synopsis:
The plot follows the classic Jonathan Swift novel “Gulliver’s Travels”. Gulliver visits the Liliputians, giants & horses. The opening prologue finds him in a stable talking to the horses. The stable boy thinks that he is crazy and so he relates to him his adventures in a series of flashbacks.
The Gumby Shop
Composer, Librettist: Eva Wiener, Joy Cowley author
Running Time: Approximately 20 min.
Subject: Children visit a general store, The Gumby Shop, which stocks fantastical items
Synopsis:
Mr. Gumby is the storekeeper at a small town general store. In a series of eleven episodes, pairs of children come to the store to purchase fantastical items. To the great amusement of all, the Gumby Shop stocks everything. The work has surrealistic elements.
The Hammer of Justice A Portrait of John Brown
Composer, Librettist: Nicholas Scarim, (same)
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: The last 12 years of abolitionist John Brown's life
Synopsis:
Part 1 - 1847 The well-known abolitionist Frederick Douglass, himself an escaped slave, recounts his first meeting with John Brown. Brown details his plan for helping large numbers of slaves to escape, creating economic uncertainty for the slaveholders, and weakening the whole slave-labor system. Brown pledges his life to this cause. Part 2 - 1856 Flashbacks to Brown's childhood. Brown's exploits in Kansas, 1856, as leader of a small army of men who wanted Kansas to enter the Union as a Free State. Part 3 - 1859 Twelve years after their first meeting, Douglass and Brown are together again for the last time. Their discussions leading up to the raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia.
Hansel and Gretel
Composer, Librettist: Humperdinck, Terence Seaman (adapted by Terence Seaman)
Running Time: 50 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
This opera is based on the hit tunes of Humperdinck with order rearranged to suit the new libretto of 1 act. Essentially, the piece starts in the second act.
The Happy Prince
Composer, Librettist: Malcolm Williamson, (same)
Running Time: 40 min.
Subject: Moralistic fable story by Oscar Wilde
Synopsis:
A parable with religious theme at end. Much of it presented in mime. Minimal stage resources required
The Headless Horseman
Composer, Librettist: Douglas Moore, Stephen Vincent Benet
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject:
Synopsis:
The story is about the familiar character, Ichabod Crane, and his encounter with the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
Heidi
Composer, Librettist: Betty Utter, Ann Pugh
Running Time: 100-120 min.
Subject: See plot summary
Synopsis:
An orphan, little Heidi is shunted from one relative to another. As the play opens her Aunt Dete delivers her to her grandfather, Franz, a gruff, disillusioned hermit living on a mountain meadow in Switzerland. Franz doesn't want the child, but there's nothing he can do. Heidi quickly makes friends with Peter, a goat boy, and Guscha, a jolly and rotund village maiden; little by little, she softens the heart of her grandfather. Just as all seems to be going well for Heidi - probably for the first time in her life - Aunt Dete returns with the news that she has found a position for Heidi as a companion to a little crippled girl in Frankfurt. Heidi doesn't want to go and Franz now wants to keep her, but Dete points out that there is no school for Heidi to attend and drags her off to Germany. The crippled child, Clara, and Heidi make friends, but Clara's governess, Fraulein Rottenmeier, is a real meany, one of the few people immune to Heidi's charm. Also part of Clara's household is Sebastian, a kindly butler, and Professor Weberdorf, the tutor and a natural born comic whose favorite pastime is taunting and making fun of Fraulein Rottenmeier (he calls her Rotten Meyer). When Clara's father returns from a long business trip abroad, he realizes how unhappy Heidi and Clara are. With the help of Franz, he decides that the mountain air of Franz's home might be the best remedy for Clara. The story ends with Clara, Heidi and Professor Weberdorf back on the mountain with Peter, Heidi's pet goat, Guscha, and Franz.
Herbie and Carnie: A Dinosaga
Composer, Librettist: James Adler, Carmel Friedman
Running Time: 50 min.
Subject: Survival, environment and nutrition
Synopsis:
Herbie, a handsome herbivorous brontosaurus, falls in love with Carnie, a cute carnivorous tyrannosaurus, but their unfortunate eating habits jeopardize their relationship. Herbie's father consults with the oracle, Dinoseer, who resolves the dilemma after a Dinosaur War and an Asteroid event. A lucky girl and boy meet the four surviving dinosaurs in their brave new world, Dinostar. These two young humans discover the value of protecting the environment before, like the dinosaurs, humans are lost forever.
Holiday Wishes
Composer, Librettist: Michael & Jill Gallina, (same)
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: The true meaning of the winter holiday season
Synopsis:
Holiday Wishes, a production celebrating the holiday season, is the newest in the Wide World Music “Play In a Day” series. “Play in a Day” is a performance concept designed for teachers who need to stage productions requiring little time on preparation. Staging, props and costumes are simple and minimal, or they may be easily elaborated upon if desired. Six two-part songs are linked with a short rhyming script about the things people include on their Christmas wish lists. The Survey Takers at a busy mall interview shoppers to learn what they wish for at holiday time. To their surprise, the Survey Takers learn a valuable lesson about wishes that come from the heart. For a shorter performance, any of the songs and connecting narration can be eliminated without losing the continuity of the production. Holiday Wishes is designed to accommodate any cast size from a single classroom to an all-school production. Parts that can be duplicated are included in the Teacher’s Book with permission to make a maximum of 40 copies per class.
The Homecoming
Composer, Librettist: Evelyn Swensson, Christopher Sergel
Running Time: 1 1/2 hours
Subject: Christmas Eve 1933
Synopsis:
The special strength of a loving family is at the heart of this story - the trials and joys of living in the mountains of Virginia during the Depression. In the original book, however, they were The Spencers and instead of John-Boy its Clay-Boy. That's how they’re named in this play and musical. This musical is based directly on the original book which in turn was based on Earl Hamner’s childhood.
The Homework Conspiracy
Composer, Librettist: Lou Innenberg,
Running Time: 90 - 110 min.
Subject: High school kids devise a clever computer and Internet scheme to do away with homework
Synopsis:
The kids of Pumpkin Corners devise a clever computer scheme via the Internet to do away with homework… forever. Later, they discover that running the scheme is actually more work than just doing their homework, and several members of the group sabotage their own scheme. The light-rock style musical score includes songs like “I Hate Homework, Where’s Einstein When You Need Him?", “You Can Do It All At The Mall” and “The Death of Homework.”
How Music Came into the World
Composer, Librettist: Judith Sante Croix, (same)
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: Mayan myth on the importance of music in daily life
Synopsis:
The story of this opera is a Mayan Indian creation myth. The myth answers the question of how music came in to the world. In the myth, the Sky God, Tezcatlipoca (pronounced Tez-cat-lee-po-ca), comes to Earth and is sad because there is no music.
Huckleberry Finn
Composer, Librettist: Martin Mangold, (same)
Running Time: 90 min.
Subject: Companionship
Synopsis:
Based on the Mark Twain novel, the opera tells the story of Huck Finn's adventures on the Mississippi. What makes Martin Mangold's opera unique, is that the story is told by Huckleberry Finn himself, now a businessman in his thirties who is remembering the past.
The Hunting of the Snark
Composer, Librettist: David Ellis, R. Eugene Jackson
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: A butcher, banker, lawyer and captain of a space ship in search of a snark
Synopsis:
Based on Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem, the dramatization of The Hunting of the Snark has the flavor of a kaleidoscopic dream, with constantly changing moods and actions. Four persons - the Butcher, the Banker, the Lawyer and the Captain of a space ship (and his pet, a Beaver which may be a hand puppet or another actor) go on a wild hunting expedition throughout the universe in search of a Snark. What's a Snark? Nobody knows, because no one has ever seen one. Where do Snarks live? Nobody knows. Are they dangerous? Well, probably not... "But, oh beamish nephew, beware of the day If your Snark be a Boojum! For then You will softly and suddenly vanish away, And never be met with again." Suitable for performers of any age and recommended for child audiences, the play is full of action and noise - the kind of play that keeps kids in their seats. The lively music by David Ellis offers opportunities for clever, original choreography, which should be as nonsensical and humorous as the rest of the play.
I Just Wanna Tell Somebody
Composer, Librettist: John J. Gordon, Harold J. Haynes
Running Time: 75-90 min.
Subject: Parental abuse of teenagers
Synopsis:
"I Just Wanna Tell Somebody powerfully and graphically focuses attention on parental abuse of teenagers. The play begins with childlike voices crying ""I just wanna tell somebody"" - about the pain, the spiritual hurt, the shame of what's happening to them. Tony won't take a locker room shower because he doesn't want the other guys to see the cuts and bruises on his back. Angie runs away from home because her father is sexually abusing her, and her mother won't interfere. The play ends with a plea to abused teens to tell somebody!
In Quest of Columbus
Composer, Librettist: Michael & Jill Gallina,
Running Time: 35 min.
Subject: Christopher Columbus's voyage and the mystery surrounding his original landing site
Synopsis:
In Quest of Columbus follows eight young contemporary explorer's club members to the Caribbean where they probe the mystery surrounding Columbus' landing in 1492. Their adventure is narrated in rhyme by the young cabin boys who step out of history to offer clever commentary on current Columbus research. Outstanding two-part and unison music in a variety of styles, including calypso, rap and reggae, quickly moves this interesting tale towards its mystical resolution. In Quest of Columbus is designed for performance by elementary and middle school students with optional adult roles.
Inook
Composer, Librettist: Wolfgang Bottenberg, Henry Beissel
Running Time: 120 min.
Subject: Eskimo mythological story about man's relation to nature
Synopsis:
Inook is an Eskimo boy. His people and family suffer in the height of arctic winter. His father sets out for a hunt, but Inook wants to hunt for the sun, the giver of all food and life. The moon, ruler of the arctic night, mocks Inook's pretentions. The wind, however, promises help. During the hunt, Inook's father is killed by a polar bear. Inook is now alone, dependent on the help of the wind who leads him to a seal-hole. A seal drags him under water where he meets the Goddess of the Sea who promises to help if he can solve three riddles. The moon helps him solve these and he enters the Great Hall of the Spirit of the Ice who wants to kill him. But, the sun, who is held captive by the ice, intervenes, and is willing to be Inook's bride and return to his people.
The Iron Man
Composer, Librettist: Malcolm Fox,
Running Time: full evening
Subject: See plot summary
Synopsis:
The Iron Man is based on two major events. In part one, the central figures Hogarth and Kelly are startled out of their childish bickering by the appearance of the Iron Man, a huge metallic creature. Their initial terror is shared by the rest of the small fishing community in which they live. A plan to trap the creature is partly successful. When, however, the Iron Man is trapped in a deep pit and buried, Hogarth and Kelly regret their negative reaction to what is strange and therefore frightening. When the Iron Man threatens to break out of his prison, the two youngsters are ready to try a different approach. They invite the Iron Man to make his home in the town's scrap metal yard. Through their courage and trust, the Iron Man becomes a friend instead of a threat. In the second half of the opera, a creature from outer space descends to earth, lands on Australia and holds the world to ransom. The world's arsenal of destructive weapons are useless against the enormous Space Being. Hogarth and Kelly enlist the help of the Iron Man. He, as "Champion of the World," challenges the Being. Through a trial of courage and strength the Space Being is subdued and leaves to settle in orbit around the world transmitting the Music of the Spheres. Through the power of the music, peace reigns on earth.
It Happened in Hamelin
Composer, Librettist: Betty Utter, Ann Pugh
Running Time: 75 - 90 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
The story of the Pied Piper is well known. An exotically-dressed stranger appears and offers to rid the town of the rodents for a fee. His job completed, the Piper falls victim to a corrupt city government which refuses to pay the fee. The Piper takes away all the children in retribution. The tale usually ends there but not in our story. In It Happened In Hamelin, we recognize political ploys, deals and the general avarice too often found in government hierarchy. While the story unfolds in a humorous manner, there is always an undertone of paying for our mistakes in the long run. The twist comes via a crippled boy wno could not keep up with the others and thus was left behind. His unselfishness in a fervor to somehow go and find the children sends a strong message to the citizens of Hamelin and, magically, to the Piper who returns them.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Composer, Librettist: Henry Lasker, (same)
Running Time: Approx. 1 hour
Subject:
Synopsis:
This is a comic children’s fantasy. The familiar story is narrated throughout. Jack’s mother decides they must sell their cow. Jack sells the cow to the Butcher for a handful of beans. The beans take root during the night until a thick stalk is formed. Jack climbs the beanstalk, meets the Giant’s wife and is finally able to seal the Giant’s fortune. He escapes by climbing down the stalk, which he quickly chops down, killing the Giant. All ends happily for Jack and his Mother, who have plenty to eat.
The Jaded Rumor
Composer, Librettist: Philip Bologna, (same)
Running Time: 55 min.
Subject: The harmful effects of rumors
Synopsis:
The plot centers on a board of education experiment to plant a dimminutive adult in a middle school as a student. This young woman would attempt to gain popularity and prestige by spreading rumors. Initially she has success in dividing, even further, the three main cliques in the school. Soon a girl named Jade from the rebels clique and a boy named Art from the nerds clique form an alliance which eventually unites the school and uncovers the plot.
Johnny Appleseed
Composer, Librettist: Stephen Foster, adapted by Carl Zytowski, (same)
Running Time: 50 min.
Subject: The travels of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed)
Synopsis:
The story concerns the visit of Johnny Appleseed to Mansfield, Ohio, around 1820, on his annual travels to plant apple seeds. The townspeople put on a play-party to entertain Johnny, a series of comic and sentimental songs, farcical skits, and dances, in the manner of 19th-century minstrel show. The songs are less familiar Stephen Foster with new texts adapted to the story offering a number of solo opportunities for adults and some children.
Jonah and the Whale
Composer, Librettist: Dominick Argento, (same)
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
Based on the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale
Joringle and the Songflower
Composer, Librettist: Margaret Garwood, (same)
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Unselfishness overcoming evil
Synopsis:
Joringle and the Songflower is loosely based on Grimm’s fairy tales. The story is about two young people, Jorinda and Joringel, who are in love. Because the witch captures young girls and turns them into birds, Jorinda is forbidden by her mother to leave the house until the witch is captured. Joringle persuades Jorinda that he will protect her and she meets him in the meadow. She is captured by the witch. Joringle is determined to save her. He meets a kindly monster in the forest who tells him the only way to save Jorinda is find the Songflower and take some water because she is dying of thirst, as are all the other creatures of the forest. The witch has put a spell on the forest and all the water has dried up. The monster gives Joringle his last bit of water and tells him how to find the Songflower. But, Joringle meets many other thirsty creatures on his trip through the forest (namely a rabbit, a frog and a unicorn) and, has pity on them and gives them the last drops of water. He finds the Songflower who rewards his unselfishness, restores water to the forest and gives him magic to fight the witch. He proceeds to the witch’s castle, frees Jorinda, is captured by the witch and is in turn saved by Jorinda who kills the witch. The spell is over. They are all united in the end as the monster, who turns out to be Jorinda’s long-lost Father, comes searching for them.
The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Composer, Librettist: Lukas Foss, Jean Karsavina
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: A stranger comes to town to shake down Smiley and friends, but is found out and receives his due
Synopsis:
Uncle Henry, Smiley and Lulu are seen in the bar admiring Dan’l, Smiley’s jumping frog. A stranger enters the bar and asks to see the frog. The stranger bets that any frog he finds could jump as well as Dan’l. While the others leave the bar, the stranger puts buckshot down Dan’l’s throat, to insure his winning bet. n the second scene, two crapshooters and the guitar player are asked by Uncle Henry to place their bets on Dan’l. The stranger arrives with Lulu and the others eavesdrop and tease Lulu about her interest in the Stranger. Smiley returns with a frog for the Stranger and the contest begins. The Stranger’s frog moves first -- poor Dan’l doesn’t move, he collapses. The Stranger collects his money and hits the road quickly. Smiley picks up Dan’l and the frog vomits up the buckshot. The Crapshooters rush off to capture the Stranger and carry him back. He reluctantly returns the money and runs out of town. Everyone sings the praises of Dan’l the frog as the curtain falls.
The Jungle Book
Composer, Librettist: Evelyn D. Swensson, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: full evening
Subject: A lost boy is raised by wolves, then adopted by Indian villagers and learns wisdom
Synopsis:
The songs are written in a manner appealing to children with direct words such as “Children everywhere need a mother.” And after Mowgli is taught The Law of the Jungle by Baloo over the years, he learns The Law of the Village is quite similar.
Kevin Test
Composer, Librettist: ,
Running Time:
Subject:
Synopsis:
Kids Country
Composer, Librettist: Lissy Gulick,
Running Time: 90 - 110 min.
Subject: Kids run a candidate for mayor of their town
Synopsis:
This delightful musical tells the story of the children of Gimble Gulch, who decide to revolt against parental tyranny by running a candidate for mayor of their town. The play pokes gentle fun at both the parent/child relationship as well as the political process, and has great appeal for family, audiences, Kids Country includes songs like "Parents Are A Pain," "Children Are a Chore," "I’d Be a Kid One More Time" and "We’re All Tied Up in Love," sung by the baby-sitter and her boyfriend, who indeed get tied up.
Kill Bear Comes Home
Composer, Librettist: Paul O. Stuart, Sally M. Gall
Running Time: 90 min.
Subject: To respect nature’s laws and balances
Synopsis:
The action takes place in a Iroquois village and the surrounding wilderness in mythical time. A magical wood thrush and a clumsy girl bring an Indian warrior back to life -- only they switch his head with a bear’s. Adding to the ruckus is the village chief who demands to marry the warrior’s widow.
King of the Clouds
Composer, Librettist: Michael Ching, Hugh Moffett
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Contemporary social issues
Synopsis:
A young man, Kevin, aspires to be an Air Force pilot. His neighbor, Mac, tries to help him with his math homework. His mother, Jane, an alcholic, works as the night clerk at a hotel. Kevin has a girlfriend, Sarah, who has a rough life, but has changed her ways and reformed. Kevin must confront his mother’s alcoholism. In the climatic scene of the opera, the mother, who purchased a gun for her protection, pulls it on Sarah and nearly shoots her. The piece has a positive ending, with all pledging to rebuild their lives.
The King Who Saved Himself From Being Saved
Composer, Librettist: Philip Hagemann, (same)
Running Time: 25 min.
Subject: Fairy Tale spoof
Synopsis:
A royal palace in a long-ago kingdom. The peaceful routine of the King, Queen, Princess and friendly neighborhood Giant is upset when a determined hero bursts upon the scene to save them. The problem is that they have nothing from which they need to be saved -- except the hero.
Laclede's Landing
Composer, Librettist: James Meyer, (same)
Running Time: 35 min.
Subject: The founding of St. Louis
Synopsis:
Laclede's Landing revolves around the struggles and hardships of early Missouri pioneers Pierre Laclede and his family, and the insurmountable conflicts between settlers and Indians. This is an action-packed adventure, which really resolves to a happy ending.
The Last Inca
Composer, Librettist: Nicholas Scarim, (same)
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: The history of the end of Incan Civilization
Synopsis:
A narrative covering 10 years -- to then end of life of Atahualpa, last of the Inca emperors. The historical characters of Pizarro, Atahualpa and Huascar (his half-brother), DeSoto, Father Valverde and others make an appearance. The piece integrates the music and history cirricula when performed by fifth and sixth graders.
Le Mariage aux Lanternes
Composer, Librettist: Jacques Offenbach, Michael Carre & Leon Battu
Running Time:
Subject:
Synopsis:
A young farmer, Guillot, is jealous of his cousin, Denise, when she corresponds with an unknown man. Guillot receives a letter from his uncle who tells him he will receive a treasure waiting beneath a large tree. Meanwhile, Denise also receives a letter (from the same uncle) which promises a husband for her if she sits beneath a certain large tree. The two are happily united in the evening, but not before two widows confound things with the certainty on the part of each that she will marry Guillot. Lanterns light the way for the happy couple.
The Left-Behind Beasts
Composer, Librettist: Daniel Pinkham, (same)
Running Time: 25 minutes
Subject:
Synopsis:
At Noah’s Day School for Animals, Mrs. Noah is complaining to her husband; it has been raining for a month and she is depressed. She reminds him that when they were first married, and before he had started the school, he had taken her on trips. He proposes that for vacation week they sail the Ark south to the sunny islands and take the two most diligent of each kind of their animal students to help with the sailing. The Ark is boarded in a jolly march. The Left-Behind Beasts sing a chorus wishing them a happy journey. As soon as the Ark is out of sight they come to recognize their predicament. It continues to rain and the water continues to rise. With the exception of a haddock and a cod, who fail to understand the commotion because of more ocean, they become terrified and turn to Owl for advice. He advises them to build a mountain and asks each in turn what he can contribute. The storm strikes with full fury as the animals set about their appointed tasks. The completed mountain becomes their safe haven. The rain stops. The sun comes out. The Ark returns from its southern cruise and they all have a celebration.
The Legend of the Bluebonnet
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject:
Synopsis:
Drought and famine have killed off many members of a band of Nawyeka, or wandering Plains Indians. She Who is Alone, is a young girl, whose parents die soon after her birth, leave her with her only friend, a warrior doll. Years of drought and famine pass. The Shaman of the tribe goes to the holy hill to ask the Great Spirit why there has been no rain. “You have mistreated the earth by killing buffalo and then moving on, never replenishing the land. Rain will come only after your people make a sacrifice of their most precious possession, “ comes the answer. “Ashes from then sacrifice must be scattered over the hillsides.” The Shaman returns to the tribe and tells her people what they must do. Night falls, and She Who is Alone stays awake. Taking a stick and lighting torch, she climbs to the holy hill, starts a fire, and shoves her doll into then flames. She waits for hours until the flames die and the embers cool, then scatters the ashes in four directions. Exhausted and desolate, she falls asleep. She Who Is Alone awakens to find that the hillsides are covered with bluebonnet flowers. She goes down the hill as enormous storm clouds form. Her people greet her jubilantly. The clouds burst. The tribe dances, and gratefully rename her She Who Dearly Loved Her People.
The Legend of Redwall Abbey
Composer, Librettist: Evelyn D. Swensson, (same)
Running Time: 1 1/2 hours
Subject: Matthias, a novice mouse, outwits the Army of invading rats and saves the Abbey and all the woodland creatures
Synopsis:
Redwall is first in a series of 10 books by Brian Jacques. It is the Summer of the Late Rose. But a sinister shadow has fallen across the ancient stone abbey of Redwall, even as the gentle mice of Mossflower Wood gather to celebrate a year of peace and abundance. For it is rumored that Cluny is coming -- Cluny, the terrible one-eyed rat and his battle-seasoned horde -- Cluny, whose vow it to conquer Redwall Abbey. The woodland creatures rush to a desperate defense. But what can an abbey of peace-loving mice do against Cluny the Scrouge and his army of rats? If only they had the sword of Martin the Warrior, they might have a chance of saving their beloved Abbey. But the hiding place of the legendary sword has been long forgotten, even by then wise old mouse Methuselah. It is his bumbling young apprentice Matthias who sets out to find the sword and who becomes a most unlikely hero. Teeming with riddles and mysteries, humor and pathos, Redwall is woven by a cast of rich and spirited characters into an unforgettable tapestry of high drama, a novel to be savored by readers of all ages.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Composer, Librettist: John David Earnest, Mervyn Goldstein
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Based on the original story by Washington Irving
Synopsis:
Focuses on the plight of the country schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane, who also gives singing lessons to young women in the Dutch community of Tarry Town, New York during the early 19th century. Ichabod is a figure of fun and has little in common with the townsfolk, except for their belief in ghosts and spirits -- especially the fearful Headless Horseman, who threatens travelers at night in a nearby glen, Sleepy Hollow. Poor Ichabod, meanwhile, courts Katrina, the daughter of a rich farmer. This sparks the jealousy of the town mischief maker, Brom Bones. One night, Ichabod is chased by the Headless Horseman and disappears. Brom Bones marries Katrina while the townsfolk continue to debate Ichabod’s fate -- was he taken off by spirits or scared away by more logical causes, perhaps even by Brom Bones.
The Leprechaun’s Magic Hat
Composer, Librettist: Mary Donnely & George L. O. Strid, (same)
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: The value of friendships
Synopsis:
Everyone knows that at the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold…but how many people have ever been there? Shawn and his friends are among the few. Shawn has found a leprechaun’s magic hat while on his way to school on St. Patrick’s Day. The leprechaun, O’Blarney, grants him three wishes. On his second wish, Shawn sends himself and his schoolmates to “A Land Where Dreams Come True.” When the gold is found, greed rears its ugly head. Shawn and his friends are shocked by their own behavior and remind themselves quickly that friends are better than gold. Shawn’s final wish sends the homesick children back to their school playground.
Let’s Build a Town (Wir bauen eine Stadt)
Composer, Librettist: Paul Hindemith, Robert Seitz
Running Time: 20 -30 minutes
Subject: Children are shown building and living in a town of their own
Synopsis:
Children build a town. Grown-ups take second place.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Composer, Librettist: John McCabe, Gerald Larner
Running Time: 1 hr. 15 min.
Subject: A morality play in the fantasy land of Narnia
Synopsis:
Four children are sent from London to the country during WWII. They walk through a wardrobe into a fantasy land where they meet a good faun, Mr. Tummus, and a wicked queen who has cast an evil spell on Narnia. It is always winter there and never Christmas. Edmund, one of the boys, betrays his brother and sisters to join the queen. The king of the forest, the lion Aslan, returns and give his life for Edmund, who in turn kills the wicked queen and is forgiven by the other children. Spring returns as good triumphs over evil.
Little Kit
Composer, Librettist: Charles Greenburg, Barbara Zinn Krieger
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: The travails of a good little girl
Synopsis:
Set against then backdrop of Victorian London, Little Kit is the heroic story of an orphan girl who goes to work for a flea circus when she is mistaken for a boy by the evil Professor Malefetta. Flea Circuses were a popular entertainment of the day and people flocked to see them. Kit befriends the fleas and with their help finds a family and love after a series of adventures that test her intelligence and fortitude.
The Little Red Hen
Composer, Librettist: Thomas Benjamin, Elaine Gerdine
Running Time: 17-18 min.
Subject: The story revolves around cooperation and selfishness
Synopsis:
Madame Poulet, the Little Red Hen, is frantic. Billy and Pamela both are late, and with only a few minutes before the shop opens, their day’s baking has not yet begun. In response to Poulet’s plea, “Who will help me bake the bread?,” Agnes tries to assist, but Poulet finds fault with her every move. Things only get worse when Billy and Pam arrive. Poulet criticizes their aprons and hats, and even insists that they’re using the wrong side of the rolling pin. Exasperation builds until at last, when Poulet one again wails “Who will help me bake the bread?,” everyone refuses and Billy quits, storming off just as the shop opens for business. Dr. Frog, the first customer of the day, hops in at the peak of hysteria. Through his kindly guidance, Poulet recognizes that she must make some big changes if she is to succeed in business or life, but then she announces changes so big that even the wise psychiatrist is aghast. Protesting all the way, Dr. Frog is drawn into a conga line celebrating Poulet’s plan to open a bake shop in Trinidad. Note: This is No. 3 of The Fowl Trilogies of which Chicken Little and Ugly Duckling are numbers 1 and 2.
Little Red Riding Hood
Composer, Librettist: Alliene Webb, Grace Noll Crowell & Alliene Webb
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: Fairy tale
Synopsis:
Little Red Riding Hood wears her new cloak as she takes an ill-advised route to deliver her basket of treats to Grandmother, and she meets the Wolf. The wolf arrives first at the cottage, devours Grandmother and assumes her identity in anticipation of his meal of Little Red Riding Hood. The huntsman saves the young girl, and with scissors, opens the Wolf’s belly to free Grandmother.
The Little Thieves of Bethlehem
Composer, Librettist: Paul O. Stuart, Sally M. Gall
Running Time: 55 min.
Subject: Compassion and continuity of religion and tradition
Synopsis:
Two despised orphans, a brother and sister, steal a kerchief from the inn which houses the Holy Family in the stable. After Joseph approaches the wife of the innkeeper for work; she sends him off looking for the missing kerchief. The brother returns to steal food from the inn and is seen by the villagers who chase him. He hides in the stable with his sister and shares food with the Holy Family. The Three Kings arrive at the inn looking for Jesus. The angry villagers spot the brother and sister in the stable, capture them and demand severe punishment. The Peacekeeper and the innkeeper’s wife try to maintain order. But not until the kings appear, dressed in their magnificence, do the villagers stop their riot. Joseph then reveals the missing kerchief wrapped around Jesus which has now miraculously turned into cloth-of-gold. The humbled Innkeeper and his wife adopt the orphans, and the cast sings a rousing ending before a grand recessional.
The Littlest Angel
Composer, Librettist: Diane Leslie, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 1hour
Subject: Religious / Christmas season
Synopsis:
The story follows the adventures (and misadventures) of the Littlest Angel; from his reluctant entry through the Pearly Gates to the triumphant conclusion when his earthly gift to the newborn Christ child is miraculously transformed into the shining Star of Bethlehem.
Los Coyotes y Las Conejas (Coyotes and Rabbits)
Composer, Librettist: Hector Armienta, Hector Armienta
Running Time: 40 minutes
Subject: The importance of reading and writing
Synopsis:
Hector Armienta has adapted one of the oldest Mexican Folk Tales known, The Coyote and the Rabbit, and turned into a lesson about the value of an education. It is told by two mischievous but well intentioned rabbits known as Chiquita and Banana. The story begins when a young Coyote, named Scrawny, is visited by his cousin, Loco. When Loco finds out that Scrawny is learning how to read, something no decent Coyote would ever do, Loco has made it his mission to set his cousin on the “right path”. What follows are a series of misadventures, due to Loco’s inability to read and his ignorance. In the end, Scrawny realizes that an education is the key to long and fruitful life.
Lovin' Kindness
Composer, Librettist: Michael & Jill Gallina,
Running Time: 25 min.
Subject: Based upon today's social issues, this work is about instilling kindness in relationships
Synopsis:
Based on the real social issues facing kids, this work is about instilling kindness in relationships. Laced together by a group of rhyming rappers, each of the eight songs presents a positive message in a cool way. For example, the rock tune "New Kids In Town" and the tender ballad "Nobody Plays With Johnny" talk about acceptance the rollicking, 50s-style "Send A Card" teaches how to show courtesy, the contemporary ballad "Feelings Are Just Feelings" deals with self-esteem, and the rap "Sometimes Letter" is about teamwork and caring.
Lucky-Peter’s Journey
Composer, Librettist: Malcolm Williamson, Edmund Tracey
Running Time: 120 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
A comedy with music. Act I A medieval church tower, dissolving into a forest; Act II Scene 1: The Palace of Pleasure; Scene 2: A dark wood; Scene 3: A village square; Act III A coastline, with a sailor’s chapel on the shore
The Magic Dream
Composer, Librettist: A. Louis Scarmolin, C. S. Montayne
Running Time: 30 minutes
Subject: Fairy tale
Synopsis:
A small boy is apt to be rather forgetful of his toys and inclined to overlook his homework. In his dream, toys come to life and he promises not to neglect his studies in the future. When he awakes, he goes with his sister to his homework.
The Magic Feather
Composer, Librettist: Nicholas Scarim, (same)
Running Time: 40 min.
Subject: Compassion and community versus greed and selfishness
Synopsis:
The setting is a Caribbean island, where most of the inhabitants eke out a meager living, harshly taxed by the islands despotic boss. On this island lives an aspiring young artist, so poor that she must use sticks and feathers for her paintbrushes. One day she finds a beautifully colored feather which turns out to have magical powers. Whatever she paints or draws with it becomes real. She soon realizes that this magic paintbrush gives her a way to help her people, and she begins to travel throughout the island, helping farmers and laborers with its power. When the island's boss hears of this magic paintbrush he becomes obsessed with getting it away from her, which he does for a time. But his own greed, and the young artist's bright thinking, prove to be his undoing
The Magic Laurel Trees
Composer, Librettist: Eusebia Simpson Hunkins, Emily Hammood
Running Time: 75 minutes
Subject: Courage and love conquer all, with a bit of magic
Synopsis:
Based on the medieval French fairytale of a handsome young herd boy who falls in love with the youngest of the well-known dancing princesses, whose dancing slippers wear out mysteriously every night, even though they are nightly locked in their bedchamber. With the aid of a fairy godmother and the two magic laurel trees, the young hero solves the mystery of the worn slippers and wins the hand of his chosen princess.
The Magic Rhyme
Composer, Librettist: Robert Chauls, Barbara Azriely/R. Chauls
Running Time: 35 min
Subject: Fairy tale / Fantasy
Synopsis:
The boy Hans tries to prove his manhood by attempting to kill a beautiful creature, the unicorn, who, according to legend, can be lured by a maiden fair of face and pure as falling snow. Such a maiden is Alicia, who in her innocent trust, invites the unicorn to rest on her lap. Before Hans can accomplish his evil deed, the remorseful magician Smendrick struggles to remember the magic rhyme that changed the handsome prince into a unicorn in the first place. His incantations have some surprising results, and Hans learns a good lesson.
Many Moons
Composer, Librettist: Robert Kapilow, Hilary Blecher
Running Time: 70 min.
Subject: Myths, dreams and aspirations of childhood
Synopsis:
Many Moons is an opera based on a classic children’s story that is resonant with the myths, dreams and aspirations of childhood. It celebrates an understanding and acceptance of the process and renewal of the life cycle and the intuitive wisdom of children’s insights over dry academic theories and learning. This opera combines rigorous standards of artistic excellence with an energetic and vital form to create a vehicle accessible to both children and adults.
Meanwhile Back At Cinderella’s
Composer, Librettist: Dennis Arlan, James Billings
Running Time: 64 min.
Subject: Comic satire
Synopsis:
Meanwhile Back At Cinderella’s is described as a “Baby-Grand Opera” in four scenes and is, in a sense, a “What if?” version of the classic rags-to-riches tale of Cinderella Nabgratz.
Melissa And The Magic Nutcracker
Composer, Librettist: Karl Jurman, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: The celebration of the holiday season in different countries / The brotherhood of man
Synopsis:
Melissa Montgomery, a young girl from Georgia, has sailed to Maine to spend Christmas with her grandparents, whom she has never met. Quite unhappy in her new surroundings, she sleeps fitfully on her first night, only to be awakened by a squeaking mouse. She hurls a nutcracker at the intruder, and suddenly the mouse becomes full-sized while the nutcracker is transformed into a handsome sailor. Together, the mouse and the sailor show Melissa how Christmas is celebrated in five other countries.
Merry Christmas, Miss Crabtree
Composer, Librettist: Mary Donnelly & George L.O. Strid, same
Running Time: 49 min.
Subject: Christmas fantasy
Synopsis:
This delightful holiday tale teaches the importance of trying to understand each other. When Santa Claus and Ellie the Elf enter the lives of Miss Crabtree and the students of her school, Miss Crabtree’s life is changed forever and the students see her in a totally new way. Miss Crabtree, tne principal of the school, seems to live up to her name in the opening of the play. When Ellie the Elf joins the class as a new student, she seeks to discover why Miss Crabtree is so unpleasant. It seems that when Miss Crabtree was six years old, her letter to Santa couldn’t be delivered and ended up in the dead letter department of the postal service. When her letter is finally delivered to Santa, 30 years later, he makes a visit to the school to play “Santa” in their play, to fulfill Miss Crabtree’s wish for a teddy bear. The result is sheer happiness for everyone.
Mighty Casey
Composer, Librettist: William Schuman, Jeremy Gury
Running Time: 80 min.
Subject: Baseball
Synopsis:
The day of the big baseball game finds Centerville playing Mudville for the state championship. The great player Casey comes to bat for Mudville, which is behind in the bottom of the ninth. Casey swings mightily, but in the end, to his fans’ dismay, he strikes out.
The Mill Girl
Composer, Librettist: Judith C. Lane, (same)
Running Time: approx. 1 hour
Subject: Young girls working in cotton mills in Lowell, MA in 1840s / The beginnings of the Labor Reform Movement / Lliteracy
Synopsis:
The Mill Girl is the story of Callie, an 11-year-old who bravely faces the rigors and requirements of an often hostile, adult-dominated world and comes through stronger and more sure of herself in the end. She and her little sister, Maggie, both work 14 hours a day in cotton mills, and live in a boarding house nearby. During the course of the opera, Callie learns to read and hopes that this new ability will help her find another job so they can leave the mill. She attends meetings of the Female Labor Reform Association and signs a petition for the 10 hour workday. When the petition falls on deaf ears, then workers plan a strike. But Maggie becomes deathly ill due to the atrocious working conditions, and Callie must decide between joining the strike or continuing to work in order to pay the doctor bills and keep a roof over their heads.
The Minion and the Three Riddles
Composer, Librettist: James R. Shaw, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 50 min.
Subject: Three folk legends / Young people are often very wise
Synopsis:
Loosely based on three famous legends. Three wise men in a court of law try valiantly to solve each of the problems brought by people from diverse backgrounds and places. They finally bow to the wisdom of a child who proves to possess a lot of common sense intelligence.
Miranda and the Dark Young Man
Composer, Librettist: Eli Siegmeister, Edward Eager
Running Time: 60 minutes
Subject: Urban Life / Relationships
Synopsis:
Father is overly protective of his teen daughter, Miranda, who wishes to go to the dance. Her aunt and she develop a plan to change his attitude, implicating the innocent passerby, Dark Young Man, in their scheme.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Composer, Librettist: Robert Xavier Rodriguez, Mary Duren & Rodriguez
Running Time: 35 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
In a beautiful village in Mexico, Antonio the organ grinder has a somewhat obsessive attachment to his pet monkey. Meanwhile, Pedrito, a young man makes sombreros, wants to marry Antonio’s daughter, Maria. One day the monkey runs away, causing Antonio great distress; the whole town searches for the monkey ignoring everything else. Antonio’s monkey is soon discovered hiding in a tree with a whole band of monkeys who have snatched all of Pedrito’s colorful hats, playing and dancing delightedly. Pedrito demands the return of his hats but the monkeys merely mimic his efforts, ignoring the order. Realizing this, Pedrito cleverly throws his hat on the ground; the monkeys imitate him, throwing all the stolen sombreros from the tree. “Bravo Petdrito!” cry the villagers, affording him instant fame and renown. All live happily ever after.
Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui (A Musical Evening at the Choufleuri’s)
Composer, Librettist: Jacques Offenbach, M.de St. Remy
Running Time:
Subject:
Synopsis:
Mr. Choufleuri is about to present a big, expensive musical for all of Paris when his three principal singers defect from the project. Last-minute replacements are provided by Mr. Choufleuri’s daughter, Ernestine; her lover, Babylas (whom Ernestine sneaks into the event); and Mr. Choufleuri himself. Babylas uses this occasion to force Choufleuri into granting him Ernestine’s hand in marriage along with a large dowry.
The Monster Bed
Composer, Librettist: Stefania de Kenessey, Billy Aronson
Running Time: 27 min.
Subject: A little monster's fear of humans
Synopsis:
A chorus of three disembodied voices (Trio No. 1) warns you not to enter the forest at late at night. As the lights come up, Mother is trying to get Dennis (Duet No. 2) to put away his toys and get ready for bed, but with little success. He reveals (Aria No. 3) that he is afraid to go to sleep because of the hideous humans who may lurk in the dark... In a soothing lullaby (Aria No. 4), Mother assures him that humans exist only in fairly tales. Left alone (Recitative) Dennis is almost convinced -- but when he suddenly hears a mysterious noise, he hides under his bed; feeling safe at last, he finally falls asleep. A little girl, who played hooky from school and got lost in the forest, now stumbles into Dennis's room (Aria No. 5). Seeing the empty bed (Recitative), she decides to spend the night in the cave and find her way home the following morning. However, she is afraid to go to sleep (Aria No. 6) because of the terrifying monsters who may lurk in the dark.... As something suspiciously green suddenly flips out from under the bed, she screws up enough courage to take a peek -- only to have her worst fears realized. In the ensuing mayhem, she bolts out of the cave with a scream while Dennis yells for his mother. The chorus of disembodied voices returns (Trio No. 7) with the moral of the story: What if someone told you that YOU are not real?
Mooch the Messy
Composer, Librettist: Marcus DeLoach, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Marcus DeLoach
Running Time: 25 min.
Subject: A very messy rat learns about neatness, love, and responsibility.
Synopsis:
A rat’s hole in Boston, Massachusetts, (1976) – “There is nothing better than to be a rat and live in a hole under a hill in Boston, Massachusetts,” says Mooch, as he fixes himself a cup of hot cocoa. A minute later the Mail-Rat delivers a letter from Mooch’s father, saying that he is coming for a visit. Mooch is very excited at the thought of seeing his father and showing him his place. However, when Father arrives, he is surprised and bothered by how messy Mooch’s home is. Mooch shows Father all around his various and favorite tunnels, which are filled with cheese and places to rest. But Father cannot rest after he trips on an old shoe Mooch left out. Mooch puts the shoe away and also cleans off his rumpled up bedspread. Father is pleased and the two go out for a picnic in the park. But Father doesn’t enjoy himself at the picnic because Mooch’s ants come along and crawl all over him. Later, back at Mooch’s place, Father sneezes because of Mooch’s dust and accidently sits on an uncomfortable zipper. Desperate, Father says, “I think I’ll go back to bed for about a year,” and crawls into bed. That night, in hopes of making his dad’s visit better, Mooch secretly cleans up his entire hole. When Father wakes, he’s so surprised at the sight, he assumes that Mooch has been robbed. Mooch calms him down by explaining what he did during the night and Father is very pleased. He tells Mooch how proud he is of him and, before leaving, reveals a new tunnel he has secretly dug for Mooch as a present. Father then leaves and Mooch is alone again in his newly-cleaned apartment. However, he cannot stand the neatness, for he is not happy unless he can see all of his possessions around him. Mooch begins unpacking everything that he put away, including the dust, and strews his belongings all over in order to make things the way they were before Father’s visit. Lastly, he fixes himself another cup of cocoa and gets into bed to watch the late show on T.V. In this story Mooch learns about neatness, love, and responsibility. He also learns to be himself.
The Moon Der Mond
Composer, Librettist: Carl Orff, (same)
Running Time: 90 minutes
Subject: Fairy tale / Parable
Synopsis:
This story from Children’s Fairy Tales and Popular Stories collected by Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm, served as a basis for a play which was intended as a pensive simile about man’s futile attempts to disturb the order of the world and also as a parable for the comfort man finds in that very order.
The Mother
Composer, Librettist: Stanley Hollingsworth, John Fandel
Running Time: 35 min
Subject:
Synopsis:
Fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen.
The Music Cure
Composer, Librettist: Philip Hagemann, (same)
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: The power of music
Synopsis:
The drawing room of a fashionable London hotel suite in 1912. The farcial clash of wills between Strega Thundridge, a famous concert pianist, and Lord Reginald Fitzambey, an aristocratic young man-about-town. Some of the themes (political conflict-of-interest, male-female role reversal, etc.) are relevant today.
The Music Shop
Composer, Librettist: Richard Wargo, (same)
Running Time: 43 min.
Subject: Chekhovian comedy / Musical farce
Synopsis:
A mild-mannered man comes to the music shop on an urgent mission to purchase music for a song that his wife has been requested to sing at a wedding of the Prince. Unfortunately, he cannot remember the title of the tune. What ensues are hallucinations of the rage of his Wagnerian soprano wife, his own unhappy fate when he returns empty-handed and a mad scramble through the entire stock of the largest collection of music in all of Russia in a desperate attempt to recognize the requested melody.
The Musicians of Bremen
Composer, Librettist: Alfred Balkin, (same)
Running Time: 50 - 90 min.
Subject: Life is not just doing things only to survive, life means doing everything to make you always feel alive
Synopsis:
A donkey, dog, cat and rooster are aging animals whose master feels they are useless and expendable. We see the donkey's master and mistress at their meanest. The Donkey determines to go to Bremen to perform and is joined by the other animals. They find a house which the Robbers (a singing group!) have claimed, so they are safe for the night. The animals continue on their way to Bremen -- any place where people can live and work with hope and love and inspiration.
My House Is Too Small
Composer, Librettist: Maia Aprahamian, (same)
Running Time: 25 min. + 10 to rehearse the audience
Subject: Based on a Jewish Folktale / Urban living
Synopsis:
Andrew and Laketia are lamenting their lack of space in their house. Their neighbor, I Ching, suggests that Andrew bring in the animals, one by one. Laketia has a fit! The neighbor suggests he take them out, one by one. When the house is empty, they are delighted with so much space. They agree -- “No More Things!”
Mystery on the Docks
Composer, Librettist: Edward Barnes, (same)
Running Time: 30 minutes
Subject: An international opera star is kidnapped by a gang of rats
Synopsis:
This work was a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Consortium Commission for Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Nanabush, The Great Lakes Indian Hero
Composer, Librettist: Karen VanderKloot DiChiera, William Kirk
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Nanabush’s victory over fear and hardship rewards his people
Synopsis:
Nanabush narrates four stories: 1) Don’t Lie, 2) How We Got The Seasons, 3) Why Warmth is Better Than Force and how 4) Nanabush saves his people from hunger by learning to defeat fear and to grow corn. The performers play several different characters from the stories about the Indian spirit Nanabush. We learn how a rabbit gets his long ears, and how cooperation between winter and summer creates the benefit of the changing seasons. We see how a feud between the sun and wind teaches the lesson that warmth is stronger than force, and we see how Nanabush’s victory over fear and hardship rewards his people with the benefit of corn.
Narnia
Composer, Librettist: Thomas Tierney, Jules Tasca
Running Time: 2 hr. plus intermission
Subject: An allegorical fairy tale — good overcoming evil
Synopsis:
Narnia tells of four English schoolchildren during WWII who have been sent away from wartime London to the safety of their uncle's country home. While there, they unexpectedly plunge through a magical wardrobe into a glistening forest kingdom of perpetual Winter and find themselves on an amazing adventure. The treacherous White Witch who rules this kingdom (called Narnia) lures the youngest boy, Edmund, into her clutches with his favorite candy, Turkish Delight. The children then become involved in a battle between the White Witch and Aslan, the majestic Lion-King, who has returned to help the children and the other inhabitants of Narnia, including the intelligent, talking animals. Edmund's action-filled rescue becomes an epic struggle between good and evil, as the children learn lessons in bravery and sacrifice.
The Night of the Star
Composer, Librettist: Mary Elizabeth Caldwell, (same)
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: A nativity story into which a children’s drama is placed
Synopsis:
Benjamin, a cranky older brother of Jonathan, refuses to believe the invisible angelic voices in the sky. Jonathan and the other shepherds go in search of the Christ-child. Benjamin stays at camp to tend to the flock and experiences a series of visitors (angel, slave girl and soldier).
Nightingale
Composer, Librettist: Charles Strouse, (same)
Running Time: 1 hr. 15 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
The Chinese Emperor reads about a famous nightingale that sings in the forest and demands that it be brought to him. The Emperor later becomes ill and is cared for by his maid (who secretly loves him), and the song of the nightingale saves his life, for which he tries to repay it with gold, but it just wants to be free. The Emperor receives a mechanical bird that sings and the nightingale is able to slip away. But the mechanical bird breaks and the Emperor misses the nightingale even as the Chinese new year is celebrated outside the palace. One day Death comes for him, but the Emperor is not ready to die. Again the nightingale appears and saves his life, he marries the maid, and all the people are happy.
Nightingale and the Rose
Composer, Librettist: Margaret Garwood, (same)
Running Time: 60 minutes
Subject: Based on a fairy tale by Oscar Wilde
Synopsis:
Stefan, Rossignol’s childhood sweetheart, must secure a red rose to win the affections of Narcissa. Rossignol, against her grandmother’s advice, sacrifices her life to the barren thorn tree so that it once again might bear its red roses. It is too late when Stefan finally realizes Narcissa’s vanity.
No Laughing Matter
Composer, Librettist: Seymour Barab, (same)
Running Time: Less than 1 hour
Subject: Conflict of merriment and informality with discipline and dignity
Synopsis:
In a kingdom long ago, there lived a young King whose ministers were jealous of his young Queen. They were irritated by her laughing, singing and dancing. They preferred discipline, formality and serenity. To keep their authority, they passed laws forbidding anyone to laugh, sing or dance. Anyone who disobeyed would be sent to the Royal Prison. The Queen said she would not live in a Kingdom without laughing, singing, and dancing. To keep his Queen, the King solves his dilemma by proclaiming that henceforth the Royal Palace will be the Royal Prison and vice versa. So the ministers, since they prefer discipline, formality and serenity, can go -- to jail! Everyone else can go to the palace and live joyfully ever after.
No Snow for Christmas
Composer, Librettist: Mary Donnelly and George L.O. Strid,
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: Christmas
Synopsis:
What a dilemma! The children want snow for Christmas, but are uncertain who can help them…The weatherman? Santa? Old Man Winter? Sally Snowflake, the snowcone lady? Through a series of dialogues with these clever characters, the question is answered by magic.
Noye’s Fludde
Composer, Librettist: Benjamin Britten, Imogen Holst
Running Time: 50 minutes
Subject: Biblical story from the Old Testament
Synopsis:
The biblical story of Noah and his sons and the flood that covered the Earth.
The Nutcracker and Princess Pirlipat
Composer, Librettist: Julia Ericson, (same)
Running Time: 40 min.
Subject: The music of Tschaikowsky
Synopsis:
A musical is based on a story within the Hoffman novelette -- a fairy tale told by an elderly character, Godpapa Drosselmeier, whose relationship with three children in the story’s Nuremberg family was very much like that enjoyed by Hoffman himself in a real family in that city.
Nutcracker. . .The Musical
Composer, Librettist: Tchaikovsky, Debbie Meyer Wayne Larrivey
Running Time: 90 min.
Subject: Hoffman’s tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Synopsis:
When Marie’s godfather gives her a toy nutcracker for Christmas, she puts it under the Christmas tree just as a mouse scampers by. As we watch, the Nutcracker grows to a life-size, handsome soldier, and the mouse grows into a man-size Mouse King and Marie is transported to the Land of the Sugarplum Fairies, where duels are fought and romance blossoms.
Ocean World
Composer, Librettist: Peter Rose, Ann Conlon
Running Time: 90 min.
Subject: The seas and oceans are under threat. They are perceived as future sources for food, minerals, chemicals and space. As scientific advances open them up to ever higher levels of exploitation, the need for greater care is paramount.
Synopsis:
The eventful journey of a humpback whale and her calf as they travel from the breeding grounds of the southern coral reefs to the cold waters of the northern seas. The mother whale introduces us to her magical ocean world, but as she and her calf draw near to their northern feeding grounds, the man-made difficulties they encounter grow ever more serious.
Of Mice and Mozart
Composer, Librettist: Michael and Jill Gallina / Mozart, Michael and Jill Gallina
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: Life story of Mozart as seen by mice in his house
Synopsis:
Using rhyming text, Of Mice and Mozart tells the story of Mozart's life as seen by the imaginary ancestors of the mice who lived in the woodwork of Mozart's home. This work uses Mozart melodies with lyrics by Michael and Jill Gallina. From the opening theme song based on Symphony No. 40 to the comic "Musicians Will Always Be Baroque (broke)" to the touch of rap based on the familiar Piano Sonata, these songs and the creative, pun-filled dialogue will have children and audiences of every age entertained while they are learning!
Old Befana
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 60 min.
Subject: Love transforms us
Synopsis:
The time is shortly before the birth of Christ. An old woman who long ago lost her husband and infant daughter lives alone in bitterness, making her little cottage the focus of all her attention. Children make fun of her, and neighbors, unable to lure her into friendship, mock her. The lonely Befana sings a lullaby to a straw doll and goes to bed. On this cold winter night, three Magi arrive at her cottage to ask directions to Bethlehem, over which a bright start shines. Befana is startled by their beauty but cannot understand their language, so she turns them away. The Magi depart and their song is accompanied by the voices of angels. Though stirred, Befana returns to bed. However, she cannot sleep and takes up the straw doll again. Her singing is overheard by a shepherd. Despite herself, Befana lets the shepherd in. He tells her about the star and quotes the prophets about the coming of the Messiah, but Befana makes her usual excuses. At a loss, the shepherd asks her about the straw doll, and she vehemently defends her privacy. Regretting that he has offended her, the shepherd sings Befana a farewell blessing and leaves. Alone in her cottage, Befana returns the blessing. Old Befana then wonders if she should have gone with the shepherd. As she leaves the cottage, she is momentarily distracted by her littered sidewalk, which she sweeps. Then transfixed by the ever louder song of the angels, she hobbles in the direction of the star. Old Befana's hobble becomes a walk, then the walk becomes a run. Soon she is flying. Angels surround her and repeat the prophecies. Out of the profound darkness and silence that follows, she hears the song of a young mother far below, singing to her infant. "This must be the Christ child!" she thinks. She descends to earth and sings a reverent hymn of greeting to the child. As her song ends, she hears another mother singing to her child. Then another... According to legend, Old Befana never found the Christ child. But in her search for him, she comes to the bedsides of infants and children each year at Epiphany. She sees the Christ child in everyone.
Once Upon A Shoe
Composer, Librettist: James R. Shaw, Joseph Robinette
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Story-theater approach to the rhymes of Mother Goose / “Perseverance pays off”
Synopsis:
Mother Goose sadly announces to her children that they must leave their home -- a large shoe -- and move to a dilapidated sneaker “across the tracks” since their shoe is about to be sold as a condominium. The children then put on a show to raise money to buy the shoe by enacting eight of Mother Goose’s most familiar poems. The show and the surprise ending are in the finest tradition of old Garland/Rooney MGM movies.
One Christmas Long Ago...
Composer, Librettist: William Mayer, (same)
Running Time: 70 min.
Subject: Christmas story
Synopsis:
Long ago in a far away country, the legend had grown that the great Cathedral bells which had not been heard within living memory would ring on Christmas only if an extraordinary gift had been bestowed. And on this Christmas eve, as always, the Cathedral is the center of high expectations. Three of the town's honored citizens -- a countess, a sculptor and a rich merchant -- hope that their gifts will awaken the bells. Miles away on this snowy evening, two young brothers are hurrying to pay their first visit to the Cathedral. On the way, they come upon an old woman, half frozen, who begs them for help. The older brother, torn between the excitement of seeing the great Cathedral and his basic goodness, decides to stay behind and help the old woman. He sends his younger brother on to attend the service and leave their gift of a single coin at the altar. At the Cathedral, the countess leaves her jewels at the altar, the sculptor unveils a bust of himself and the merchant deposits 300 pounds of gold, but the bells do not ring. Even the king comes to the altar and leaves his crown, but only the wind can be heard whistling through the bell tower. In the midst of the service, no one is aware that the little brother has entered the Cathedral. As he makes his way to the altar to leave his brother's single coin, the attendants try to stop him. He breaks free and is able to put the coin on the altar, and the bells begin to ring out! They are heard all over the countryside, even to where the old woman and the boy, huddled together, wonder who gave the gift that made the bells ring.
Opera! Opera!
Composer, Librettist: Martin Kalmanoff, William Saroyan
Running Time: 30 minutes
Subject: Satire on grand opera
Synopsis:
Opera! Opera! is a three-act grand-opera version of The Insect Comedy by Karel and Josef Capek.
OPERAMANIA!
Composer, Librettist: Various & Douglas Kinney, Various
Running Time: 35 - 42 min. (with added scenes for audiences junior high and older)
Subject: Introduction to basic elements of opera
Synopsis:
OPERAMANIA! is an introduction for students to the art form of opera. It consists of dialogue between four singers and a pianist, some small snippets of music and several full scenes from the operatic repertory that illustrate particular elements in opera such as the different voice types, the variety of emotions that music can express and the relationships between people that can be communicated through music. The scenes include gypsy dance song from Bizet’s Carmen, the Papageno/Papagena duet from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, a trio from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, a scene about recitative in opera (composed by Douglas Kinney), the rain quartet for Blitzstein’s Regina, and a final scene from La bohème.
Our World
Composer, Librettist: Philip Bologna, (same)
Running Time: 55 min.
Subject: Students must work together to form their own world by solving problems existing in this one
Synopsis:
Students work together to form their own world by identifying and solving current world problems. They are given two mascots to help them: a dog named History and a cat named Future. These mascots are a constant reminder that in order to have a successful future, you must first learn important lessons from history. The students try to tackle such problems as War, Violence, Prejudice, Twins Stadium, Pollution and even the viability of Pete Rose entering the Hall of Fame. There is a choreographed fight scene that occurs when a large group gets together to discuss the problem of violence. Eventually the kids get the idea that many of these problems exist within their own hearts and that the solutions rest in their own efforts to better themselves.
Papagayo
Composer, Librettist: Edward Barnes, (same)
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: Music and singing save the day / Nature and environmental issues
Synopsis:
The gentle songs of the night creatures in the rainforest are disturbed by a moon-eating dog. In an effort to prevent their beloved moon from being lost forever, the night creatures enlist the aid of the parrot, Papagayo. Inspired by Papagayo’s voice, they overcome their fear and learn a lesson about the power of music.
Passion, Poison and Petrifaction
Composer, Librettist: Philip Hagemann, (same)
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: A zany look at a love triangle, jealousy and what to expect in a relationship
Synopsis:
A bed-sitting room in Edwardian London. A violent love triangle involving Lady Magnesia Fitztollemach, her husband George and her lover Adolphus Bastable. George slips Adolphus a poisoned drink, but has second thoughts. This leads to a tragic but hilarious chain of events involving the maid, the landlord, a doctor and a policeman. At the final curtain there are four dead bodies on stage. It is a comedy.
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Composer, Librettist: Andy Roberts, Adrian Mitchell
Running Time:
Subject:
Synopsis:
This exciting musical is packed with songs and crammed with exotic creatures in the wonderful land of Oz. Scraps, the Patchwork Girl, is brought to life by Dr. Pipt, a lovable old magician on the outskirts of Oz. The same magician accidentally marbleizes Unk Nunkie, whose nephew, Oja the Unlucky, sets out to gather the necessary ingredients for a potion of reversal -- a shortcut, as it would take the magician six years to produce another dose of life powder. On the adventure with Oja and Scraps, we meet the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman, plus Jonathan Sebastian Box, the one and only Woozy, Bo-Hoko, Princess Ozma of Oz, Tollydiggle, the Yoop and more. Audiences are transported through the show with such songs as "Everybody Greets You in the Garden," "Patchwork Moonlight," "Cloudsurfing," "Very First Journey" and the beautiful "Long Away and Far Ago."
Paul Laurence Dunbar: Common Ground
Composer, Librettist: Adolphus Hailstork, Herbert Martin
Running Time: 35 minutes
Subject: Life and times of Paul Laurence Dunbar as seen through his poetry
Synopsis:
Using the poetry of acclaimed African-American writer (and native of Dayton) Paul Laurence Dunbar, this work explores the poet’s life and times, and the message of pride, aspiration, fun, love, acceptance and faith found in his writings.
The Pear Tree
Composer, Librettist: James A. Cross, Ariadne K. E. Cross
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: Morality play
Synopsis:
Mercy, an angel disguised as a poor, hunchbacked girl; and St. Peter, disguised as an old man, try to find lodging and food. Master Mean, a selfish rich man, tells them to go away. A beautiful pear tree appears and Master Mean, who doesn't have a pear tree, wants it for himself. The owner, Old Happiness, chases him away. Master Mean gets an idea: Why not have the children in the audience pick the pears for him? They climb the tree and eat all the pears but three. Mercy and St. Peter come to the home of Old Happiness asking for food and lodging. They eat the last three pears on the tree. Mercy and St. Peter remove their disguises and, in gratitude for Old Happiness's generosity, grant her one wish. She wishes anyone who climbs her pear tree to steal pears not be able to come down without her permission. (Mercy, as the angel, puts more pears on the tree.) Children from the audience again try to steal pears, are caught, and get down only when they promise Old Happiness not to steal again. Death comes to take Old Happiness, but she tricks him into climbing the pear tree, and she won't let him down until he promises to let her live forever.
The People's King
Composer, Librettist: Jan Holdstock, Pat Belford
Running Time: 20 min.
Subject: The Nativity (Subtitle: A Christmas Play for Schools)
Synopsis:
A Christmas play for young children with easy parts for recorders and percussion. All solo roles are spoken, and the chorus is in unison. Accompaniment is for piano. The story tells of the Nativity with all the familiar incidents. The songs are lively with a spicing of modernity, which should delight the children.
Pepito’s Golden Flower
Composer, Librettist: Mary Elizabeth Caldwell, (same)
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: Based on Santa Inez Mission in California shortly after the earthquake of 1812
Synopsis:
In Scene 1, Padre calls everyone to midday prayers, then explains how sad he is that the earthquake damaged the Mission bells. Captain Alvarro arrives with supplies for the Mission. Pepito is fascinated with all the packages and proceeds to dress up in the Padre’s nightcap and long white underpants. He hides under the umbrella when the Padre takes everyone into the church to avoid the dangerous Tulare Indians. When Pepito attempts to plant the umbrella he finds the missing treasure. When Rosita comes looking for Pepito she is captured by the Indians, but Pepito rescues her by waving the umbrella at them. The Padre and the two youngsters lay their plans to use the treasure Pepito found to replace the Mission bells. Everyone joyously prepares to celebrate the Padre’s birthday. Manuel hangs the bells which arrive by pack mules, while everyone is kept amused by the fiesta of singing, dancing, Indian ceremonial dancing and presents for the Padre. The Padre and the others are overcome with surprise and joy as the Mission bells begin to ring. The curtain falls on a joyous Te Deum sung in thanksgiving for the new bells.
Peter Pan in Neverland
Composer, Librettist: David Ellis, R. Eugene Jackson
Running Time: 1:20
Subject: Peter Pan wishes to remain a young person forever, but the other children (not boys as in the original) wish to have parents
Synopsis:
The boys and girls of Neverland are ruled by Peter Pan, a boy who has run away from home and who wants to remain a young boy forever. He brings Wendy, Michael and John Darling to the island, which makes Tinkerbell angry. The pirates kidnap the children and take them to the pirate ship. Along with the Neverlanders, who protect the children, Peter Pan rushes to the ship and, following a battle, saves the children. Captain Hook is frightened by the Crocodile and jumps overboard, followed by the other pirates. Peter vows to remain on the island, while the other children return with Wendy to live with her and her family.
The Phantom Tollbooth
Composer, Librettist: Arnold Black, Sheldon Harnick & Norton Juster
Running Time: 2 hours (avail in shorter version)
Subject: Fantasy
Synopsis:
Milo, ten-years-old is bored. . . until he comes across the Tollbooth, the gate to The Lands Beyond. The road leads through Dictionopolis and Digitopolis to the castle in the air, inhabited by some very interesting beings: The Whether Man, The Duke of Definitions ,Tock, The Watchdog, The Minister of Meaning, The Spelling Bee, The Earl of Essence, Dr. Kokofonus & the Decibelles and The Undersecretary of Understanding
The Pied Piper
Composer, Librettist: Virginia Hagemann,
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject: The importance of keeping a promise, also, parents should appreciate their children
Synopsis:
This is the familiar story (based on historical fact) of how the Pied Piper promised to rid Hamelin, Germany, of its rats in exchange for 1,000 guilders. After he keeps his part of the bargain, the mayor and the town council refuse to "pay the piper". He then lures the children away from the town with his beautiful flute. In the original story, they were never seen again, but in this musical version, there is a happy ending.
The Pied Piper
Composer, Librettist: James Leisy and Joyce Merman, (same)
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: The importance of keeping a promise
Synopsis:
What is it that causes a story to become a legend? What gives a tale such longevity that its origins are lost in the mists of yesterday? It must be that the story’s message is one that people continue to prize. The wonder is that a story with so somber a message and so tragic an ending as The Pied Piper has been so honored. People must indeed cherish the idea that keeping promises is important -- that truly, the piper must be paid. However, in this version of the story, James Leisy and Joyce Merman have lightened the story’s gravity with comedy and brightened it with six wonderfully singable songs. They have added a cherry note to the ending: The children come back to take their bows, and, in keeping with the genial spirit of the play, so do the rats. Middle school and junior high students will have a marvelous time presenting this retelling of the story. If the group does not include a flute-playing singer to be the Piper, the two lovely flute solos can be played from off-stage, or the recorded flute playing must be used as the Piper pretends to play. The chorus, simply costumed, is onstage throughout the play, making it happily clear why the Pied Piper became a legend.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Composer, Librettist: Seymour Barab, (same)
Running Time: 50 minutes
Subject:
Synopsis:
The familiar events of this popular folk story with emphasis on the importance of keeping promises. The use of students as performers and technicians is an excellent way to educate students in the field of opera. The production requires the music teacher to work with students prior to the production coming to the school. On the day of the performance, Virginia Opera spends 2-1/2 hours working with the students in a staging/musical rehearsal.
The Pink Siamese
Composer, Librettist: Seymour Barab, Susan Otto
Running Time: 45 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
All instruments can be played by children except oboe and timpani.
Pinocchio
Composer, Librettist: Rossini/Zytowski, Carl Zytowski
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: Pinocchio, from the story by Collodi
Synopsis:
The opera opens with Gepetto carving the puppet, Pinocchio, who comes alive. He expresses his wish to be a real boy and go to school; Gepetto sells his coat, gives Pinocchio four silver ducats, and sends him off to school. Pinocchio meets a cricket on the way who warns him of the dangers of running away. Not heeding the advice, Pinocchio walks on and meets two shady characters, a “blind” cat and a “lame” fox, who play on his sympathies. They invite him to dinner, for which he pays. The cat and fox hang Pinocchio from a tree and run away with his money. He is rescued by a blue-haired fairy, the cricket, an owl and a crow. When the fairy asks Pinocchio about his money, he lies and his nose begins to grow. He promises not to lie again, and is told if he keeps his promise he will become a real boy. Pinocchio again meets the cat and fox who tell him that his father, Gepetto who is searching for him, has been lost at sea. They throw Pinocchio into the sea. Gepetto is seen inside the whale, and shortly Pinocchio swims into view. They build a little fire to cook dinner and the smoke causes the whale to sneeze them onto the shore. The blue-haired fairy turns Pinocchio into a real boy, and all join in a happy farewell song to the audience.
Pinocchio
Composer, Librettist: James Leisy, Carl Eberhard, Joyce Merman, (same)
Running Time: 60 minutes (optional intermission may be added)
Subject: Self-esteem
Synopsis:
In the Leisy-Eberhard musical version of the story, a lonely old puppet-maker named Gepetto creates Pinocchio so that he can have a child of his own. Almost immediately, Gepetto discovers that Pinocchio has a mind of his own -- not very well-disciplined one, mind you, but an active one, full of questions and a desire to learn. With his boundless energy relentlessly driving him, Pinocchio is pulled first this way, then that, on a series of unfortunate adventures, each a rich learning experience. Poor Pinocchio! His nature seems to insist that he remain a puppet, controlled by others, without hope of becoming a real person. Finally, he learns what Gepetto tried to tell him in the beginning: You don’t have to go anywhere or do anything to become a real person. All you have to do is truly believe in yourself.
Pinocchio
Composer, Librettist: David A. Conner, Sally M. Gall
Running Time: approx. 90 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
Gepetto carves a wooden puppet, Pinocchio, who can talk and move by itself. Pinocchio starts out lazy, selfish and cruel. He runs away and gets into all sorts of trouble. Geppetto, who loves him, searches for him. They are reunited in the belly of a shark. Pinocchio saves Geppetto’s life with the help of the Blue Fairy and becomes a real boy.
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: A tale of friendship, innocence, overcoming of fear and discovery of self
Synopsis:
Entering a weir in their selfless effort to find a friend's lost son, Rat and Mole meet a divine being.
The Piper of Hamelin
Composer, Librettist: Arthur Jay, (same)
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: Keeping promises and taking consequences for actions / Honesty
Synopsis:
Traditional story with some minor variations. This production is effective staged either simply or elaborately. Very singable melodies, although there are some challenging sections included. Very rich in new vocabulary.
The Piper of Hamelin
Composer, Librettist: John Rutter, Jeremy James Taylor
Running Time: 50 min.
Subject: The tale of the Pied Piper
Synopsis:
An opera for schools. The opera can be performed with soprano and alto voices. However, many of the roles can be taken by adults to good effect. An orchestration of nine players can be adult or student; a good flutist is needed. The story is told in a direct manner in Jeremy James Taylor's libretto. The score is a sophisticated, large-scale piece of writing lasting some 50 minutes.
Pirates of Penzance
Composer, Librettist: M. J. Arnold/Sullivan, Arnold/Gilbert
Running Time: 1 hr. 10 min.
Subject: A previous misunderstanding causes a young boy to be brought up in the life style of the pirates. As time goes on, he learns the meaning of love and commitment.
Synopsis:
When Frederic was a little boy, his nurse, Ruth, was told to apprentice him to a pilot. Not hearing him correctly, she apprenticed him to a band of pirates, remaining with them herself as a maid. Serving the pirates dutifully through the years, the curtain rises to find Frederic preparing to leave the band since it was soon to be his 21st birthday. The wards of Major-General Stanley arrive on the scene. One of them, Mabel, takes an interest in Frederic, and he in her. The other girls are seized by the pirates. Frederic, who pledged to devote himself to the extermination of piracy, plans to lead a band of police against the pirates. But the Pirate King and Ruth tell Frederic that he is bound to the pirates until his 21st birthday and, since he was born on February 29, he has only had five birthdays. Frederic's sense of duty compels him to rejoin the pirates, which leads to the overpowering of the police and capture of the Major-General. Ruth finally concludes by explaining that the pirates are not really pirates but noblemen who have gone wrong. The Major-General pardons all and permits them to marry his wards.
Pollicino
Composer, Librettist: Hans Werner Henze, Giusepppe Di Leva German version by Hans Werner Henze English translation: Rodney Blumer
Running Time: 80 min.
Subject: Fairy Tale
Synopsis:
Based on the tale of Tom Thumb.
The Prince and the Pauper
Composer, Librettist: Deborah Newman, Gwendolyn Skeens,
Running Time: 75 minutes
Subject: Literature
Synopsis:
Mark Twain’s beloved story about two look-alike lads in merry old England is the setting for this easy-to-stage, unison chorus (optional second and third parts) operetta. The chorus remains seated in the pit or in the front of the auditorium throughout the performance.
Prince of the Peddlers
Composer, Librettist: Brycesen Trehame, Sarah Grames Clark
Running Time: Full evening
Subject: A princess’s birthday
Synopsis:
A princess wants her birthday to be more exciting than usual. Magically, an arrogant prince appears and goes about upsetting everything in the kingdom. A peddler makes all right with magic.
Project Rescue: Save the Planet
Composer, Librettist: Michael & Jill Gallina, (same)
Running Time: 30 min.
Subject: Ecology
Synopsis:
This is a super way to teach students and their audiences about ecology! Michael and Jill Gallina, America's foremost composers of musicals for young students, present this wonderful, well-researched look into saving the planet as seen through the eyes of the animals — on land, sea, and air. Through rhyming dialogue and creative characterizations, animals teach young people on a picnic the three R's of ecology — Recycle, Replenish, Respect. Music teachers will enjoy teaching the seven songs — unison and two-part — which demonstrate a variety of styles: blues, rap, calypso, funky rock and a partner song with the beloved tune "School Days." Classroom teachers will enjoy working with the activities packet and teaching earth science units in a cross-curricular project. Students will love dramatizing the 12 animals (which are easily costumed), the eight young picnickers, the conga line of fish and the chorus which can be any size. Audiences and parents will not only be royally entertained by young performers, but will also learn and appreciate information of ecology. The director's score includes staging, costuming, props and scenery suggestions. The activities pack includes teaching/learning activities for all levels — elementary through junior high. The orchestrated Accompaniment/Performance Cassette an overture, curtain-call music and tracks for the rap song. Movement suggestions are also offered. Cassette orchestrated and produced by Alan Billingsley, choreography suggestions by Tom Janssen.
Puss in Boots
Composer, Librettist: Douglas Moore, Raymond Abrashkin
Running Time: 15 min
Subject: Puss, the talking cat
Synopsis:
Puss, the talking cat, wins his master a noble title, the hand of a princess and a fine silk suit.
Queen of the Sawdust
Composer, Librettist: Mae Nightingale,
Running Time: 105 min - 120 min
Subject: Circus and villagers
Synopsis:
The members of a circus company rebel when the producer cannot afford to open. The townspeople stage an event which furnishes the funding for the circus show to go on.
Rabbi Nachman’s Chair
Composer, Librettist: Susan Hulsman Bingham, (same)
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: Hasidic mystical tales
Synopsis:
This opera is a series of Hasidic mystical tales as told by Rabbi Nachman. The story of the chair is about Nachman himself, and this tale is the envelope for the others.
The Rainbow
Composer, Librettist: Peter Maxwell Davies, (same)
Running Time: 25 min.
Subject:
Synopsis:
The work comprises a series of songs, with a few recitatives, and some simple acting and dancing. Members of the chorus appear firstl as school children; then by putting on masks as dogs. Wearing appropriate headgear and being seen mending nets they become Fishermen and, by changing to suitable masks and flippers, a chorus of Selkies (seals). Finally, they become children in the classroom once more.
The Rainbow Mother Weaves Hummingbird Dream Bundles
Composer, Librettist: Judith Sainte Croix, (same)
Running Time: 1 hour
Subject: Creativity / Facing Fears
Synopsis:
A newborn baby has a dream that a violet butterfly brings it to the home of Xochiquetzul, The Rainbow Mother. She lives under the bows of the rainbow surrounded by birds and animals. In her home children can do their favorite creative activities. The baby finds many other children there, dancing, singing, drawing, painting, etc. The Hummingbirds, attracted by the children’s joy, encourage children to make dream bundles: bright-colored pouches that contain remainders of the images of their dreams. The Hummingbirds weave these dream bundles in their energy dance, which causes the dream bundles to produce treasure. The first treasures are poems which a child can read. Many children receive treasure, but one sack of dream bundles is not yeilding any and the Hummingbirds call on the Rainbow Mother Apprentices and the Whirlers, Twirlers and Leapers to help loosen the treasures. A hungry monster, The Crazy One, comes and cuases the children to express their fears and nightmares. The Rainbow Mother sends the Cactus, Rock and Animal people to help the children. They bring the gifts of loving yourself and knowing your AW73thoughts and feelings. The courage they feel from their gifts allows the children to face the monster and ultimately win the treasure. In the end, the violet butterfly returns to fly the child, treasure and gifts back to the light of day.
The Raja Who Married an Angel
Composer, Librettist: Betty Beath, David Cox
Running Time: 40 min.
Subject: See plot summary
Synopsis:
The Raja Who Married an Angel is a 40-minute music-drama based on the Balinese version of a folk story common to all the islands of the Indonesian Archipelago. The story unfolds in song, verse and mime to the accompaniment of music based on the pelog scale and scored for the glockenspiels, metallo-phones, recorders, piano and percussion. The music is simple, and has a sound which suggests the gamelan. The opening theme in the overture is based on that of the Balinese dance-drama Raja Pala and "Supraba's Theme" is a notation of the Balinese tune -- commonly heard on the bamboo Tingklik -- "Butterfly". It is a self-contained play; a story of story-telling in a village and has its own built-in audience. It can be performed quite successfully out-of-doors (in the Balinese fashion), and props are simple and few. Costumes can be as simple as the Balinese villagers. It is hoped that in performing the play, children might begin to feel some kinship with the people of another land and culture.