Wuthering Heights
Composer: Carlisle Floyd
Composer Bio: Composer, librettist, pianist, and teacher Carlisle Floyd has written operas for many of America’s cherished stories, basing much of his subject matter on Southern themes. Born in the Southern Bible Belt of Latta, South Carolina, he grew up in the thick of traveling preachers, revival meetings, and a close knit religious community, though at a young age was aware of that world’s controversial and hypocritical nature. Floyd’s primary teacher was pianist Ernst Bacon whom he followed from South Carolina to Syracuse University in New York where he earned a Bachelor and a Master of Music. He immediately joined the piano faculty of Florida State University where he began exploring an interest in composition, writing both the libretti and the music for operas with a distinctly American voice. He achieved national recognition with Susanna, which premiered at Florida State University in 1955.

Today Carlisle Floyd’s operas are performed throughout America and Europe and Susanna and Of Mice and Men have become standard repertoire. Floyd was one of eight recipients of the National Medal of Arts in 2004. He is also the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Citation of Merit from the National Association of American Conductors and Composers and the National Opera Institute’s Award for Service to American Opera. In 2008, Floyd was the only composer to be included in the inaugural National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors.
Librettist: Carlisle Floyd
Other Artistic Personnel: Irving Guttman (Director)
John Crosby (Conductor)
Original Cast: Robert Trehy (Heathcliff
Phyllis Curtin (Cathy)
Regina Sarfaty (Nellie)
Loren Driscoll (Edgar)
Work Web Site: http://www.boosey.com/pages/opera/moredetails.asp?
Premiere Date: July 16, 1958
Producing Company: The Santa Fe Opera
Description: Prologue: Lockwood, a tenant of Heathcliff's, finds shelter from a storm at the hearth of Wuthering Heights. Isabella, Heathcliff's wife, brings the man books to help pass the time. He opens the diary of Catherine Linton and suddenly Cathy's ghost appears calling for Heathcliff. Heathcliff, disturbed by the commotion, hears Lockwood's explanation and runs out into the storm to find Cathy.

Act I opens 15 years earlier. The position of young Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights is being argued over by Cathy's father, Earnshaw, and her brother, Hindley. Earnshaw dies of a heart attack and Hindley, jealous of Earnshaw's fondness for the boy, reduces him to a mere servant. Nevertheless, Cathy and Heathcliff swear to love each other always and they rebel against Hindley's tyranny. Running across the moors with Heathcliff, Cathy twists her ankle and is taken in by the Lintons. Weeks later, after recovering at the Lintons, Cathy returns home and has taken on grand airs. She is shocked to find Heathcliff so ill-kempt; frustrated and embarrassed, he throws a cup of tea at Edgar Linton. Cathy eventually succumbs to Edgar's romantic attentions and she marries him. She has misgivings about the marriage and confides these thoughts to Nelly, who tells her that Heathcliff has left Wuthering Heights. Cathy runs into the stormy night calling his name.

Three years later, Cathy and her husband Edgar are throwing a party. Heathcliff, now a wealthy man, arrives at the party and engages in a high-stakes card game with Hindley. Hindley foolishly loses his last possession, Wuthering Heights, to Heathcliff. Cathy discovers that Isabella is in love with Heathcliff. Cathy's refusal to run away with Heathcliff prompts him to ask Isabella to marry him. Later in the opera, Cathy is dying. Heathcliff comes to visit and they recapture the love they once had. She dies in Heathcliff's arms just as Edgar enters the room. Heathcliff runs from the house imploring Cathy to never leave him but to haunt him for the rest of his life.
Character List (Major): CATHERINE EARNSHAW (Cathy) (s)
NELLY (mz)
Reviews: Tempo, Robert Sabin, 1961; Opera News, Clare Conway Jones, 10-27-58
Length: 02:10
Total Acts: 3
Chorus: Servants (Silent)
Party Guests (Mixed Chorus)
Orchestration: 2 fl(II=picc), 2 ob(II=corA), 2 cl(II=bcl), 2 bsn - 2 hrn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn - timp, perc(1):SD/cyms/ susp.cym/gong - harp - strings
Musical Style: Tonal; lyrical; quartal harmonies; melodies imitative of American folk idioms; chromaticism; metric flexibility
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Address: 229 W 28th Street, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
E-mail Address: composers.us@boosey.com
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site: http://www.boosey.com
Schedule of Performances Listings
Wuthering Heights (Floyd)
Friday, January 9, 2015 - Florentine Opera Company
Wuthering Heights (Herrmann)
Saturday, April 16, 2011 - Minnesota Opera
Wuthering Heights (Floyd)
Wednesday, March 10, 1993 - Boston Lyric Opera
Wuthering Heights (Floyd)
- Minnesota Opera
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