The Black Swan
Composer: Thomas Whitman
Librettist: Nathalie Anderson
Other Artistic Personnel: Sarah Caldwell (Director)
James Freeman (Conductor)
Herbert Senn and Helen Pond (Set Design and Construction)
Original Cast: Tamara Matthews (Anna)
Freda Herseth (Rosalie)
David Kravitz (Ken)
Premiere Date: September 11, 1998
Producing Company: Orchestra 2001, in collaboration with Swarthmore College
Description: Setting: 1922, Düsseldorf, Germany.
The widow Rosalie von Tummler lives placidly with her daughter Anna, an abstract painter. Hoping to kindle romance for Anna, Rosalie hires a young American, Ken Keaton, as an English tutor. Rosalie, herself, falls in love with Ken. At first, she is horrified by her own desire, but as she gradually gives herself over to love, she begins to grow radiant, more youthful. After an outing to see the famous swans at Holterhof Castle, Rosalie discovers the true explanation for her apparent rejuvenation--paradoxically, an advanced cancer has mimicked renewed youth. In the final scene, Rosalie, though weak from illness, comforts her daughter with a vision of perennial natural vitality. Anna leads Ken to see Rosalie when she is still beautiful, youthful, desirable, desiring.
Length: 01:35
Total Acts: 2
Orchestration: 4 woodwinds, 2 brass, 2 percussion, harp, pianoforte, 5 strings.
Musical Style: Lush; lyrical; coloristic; influenced by Debussy, Mahler, Berg, Britten, and Crumb
Contact: Barbara Murray, Orchestra 2001
Address: 1108 Wilde Avenue
Drexel Hill, PA 19026
E-mail Address: orch2001@libertynet.org
Phone: 610-328-8239 or 610-446-8322
Composer Web Site: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Humanities/twhitma1/thom
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