Satan's Bride: Maren of Vardø
Composer: Jeff Myers
Librettist: Royce Vavrek
Original Cast: Jennifer Braun (Maren)
Paul Corujo (Satan)
Patrick McNally (The Priest)
Karina Sweeney (Bodil)
Christina Rivera (Karen)
Jennifer Holbrook (Gunnhild)
Premiere Date: June 06, 2013
Description: Act 1
Maren, a twelve-year-old Norwegian girl, is being interrogated by the town Priest after being accused of witch craft.  She begins to tell a fanciful tale about her journey to hell and we enter her fantasy world… She walks into the crevice of a tree.  She descends into the depths of the earth to find a giant ocean of fire.  Satan reveals himself, walking down the rocky steps, to sooth his feet in the burning sea.  Maren is drawn to him.  Maren feels a kinship with Satan.  He is similar to her beloved childhood pony Ole, who was put down due to disease.  After getting to know each other, Maren sleeps the night in Satan’s embrace. 

The next day, Maren and Satan travel to be with the girls for their celebration.  It is during this time, filled with music and dancing, that one of the girls, 13 year-old Bodil, kisses Satan, an action that sends Maren into a jealous rage.  The girls are suddenly seized by a group of clergy who restrain them for committing acts of witchcraft.  We return from the fantasy… 

Act 2  
The girls are held in the “witch’s hole”, while Maren is being interrogated.  A priest, who is testing the girls through various ordeals, lacks the evidence to convict Maron.  Sure that the mark of Cain appears somewhere on her body, he begins to shear the head of her curls.  When no mark results, he hits her with the back of his hand and exits the room in haste.  Back in the witch’s hole, the, the girls sing, scared in their metal prison.  Meanwhile, Maren sits and tells her of her mother’s final hours and pretends to speak to God about her situation.  All the while he heats a large branding device.  As the priest readies to brand a mark on the back of Maren’s head she confesses to visiting hell, but charges Bodil and the other girls with being intoxicated by him.  The three other girls are burned at the stake. 

Act 3  
Maren imagines her future after committing her friends to death.  She works s in a labor camp.  Now a frail sixty year old woman, she is still forced to do menial woodworking.  One day she cries out Satan’s name, and a stairway in the floor opens up, which she explores with a candle.  She crawls down the steps that are carved into stone, and soon she is in a familiar place: the hell of her girlhood.  When there, she is greeted by the girls she betrayed:  they exit from the ocean of fire wearing white bridal gown with the same likeness of their young selves.  Bodil hugs Maren and says that she forgives her.  Satan enters, the hair on his withers grown long.  Maren exclaims that she’s waited her entire life to return.  She too wants to commit herself to the ocean of fire.  Satan doesn’t recognize her, even as she attempts to jog his memory.  He expels her from hell, forcing her back to her life in Vardo.  When she is almost gone, he cannot control his sadness and calls back to her, telling Maren that she will be the eternal martyr.  She will suffer forever knowing that her act of betrayal as led to Satan choosing her persecuted friends as the loves of his life.  He questions whether she is doomed to an eternity in limbo, or maybe worse: heaven.
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: 3
Contact: Not Available
Composer Web Site: http://jeffmyersmusic.com/
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