Cio Cio San
Composer: Brad Carroll
Composer Bio: Brad Carroll (Arranger/Orchestrator/Composer) enjoys a varied career that encompasses directing, writing, composing, musical directing, conducting, acting and teaching. He has composed scores for such dramatic productions as Cyrano de Bergerac, Death of a Salesman, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Grapes of Wrath. Musical theatre pieces include Across the River (Huckleberry Finn), Togetherness - A Family “Sit-com” Musical, Christmas Is…A Musical Memory, and Robin Hood as well as adaptations of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Nightingale, both created for Educational Outreach. He also created the score for Stone Circle, an award winning large-scale puppet theatre piece for The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. Recent projects include the November 2003 premiere of his “contemporary” adaptation of The Emperor’s New Clothes, commissioned by Shakespeare Santa Cruz. As a Writer, Director and Musical Arranger for Walt Disney Entertainment, Brad headed the creative teams of three new shows for the multi-billion dollar TokyoDisneySea theme park that opened in Japan in September of 2001. On other musical fronts, his arrangements and orchestrations have recently been featured in concert by numerous U.S. symphony orchestras including San Francisco and the Boston Pops.
Librettist: Martin Platt
Librettist Bio: Martin is a director and producer whose work has been seen extensively in the United States, Great Britain, and Europe. As a director he has most recently been represented by his Ahit@ production of D.H. Lawrence=s The Daughter in Law off-Broadway, and his production of The Tempest for Hubbard Hall, also in New York. In addition to Cio Cio San, he is working as co-producer, scenarist, and director for Don Juan Flamenco, a flamenco opera, to open in Spain in 2004. Also in 2004 he will be producing Kerry Shale=s The Prince of West End Avenue off-Broadway. From 1991-2001 he was co-director of Fifth Amendment, Ltd (UK), which produced over 50 theatre and dance productions for the UK and for world touring, including the West End premieres of Nixon=s Nixon and A Woman in Waiting, as well as the South African dance production Gumboots (which is in its fourth year of touring), The Free State starring Janet Suzman (which he also co-directed), The Good Person of Sharkeville, the Junction Avenue Theatre Company (Johannesburg) production of the musical Marabi, and the National Theatre of Uganda production of Mother Courage. While living in London he also directed the U.K./London premieres of Lady Day at Emerson=s Bar and Grill and Miss Evers Boys. He also directed El Flamenco es Vida for Pureza in Spain. Martin was also founding artistic director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Santa Fe Stages International Theatre Festival, as well as serving as general director of Birmingham Opera Theatre.
Other Artistic Personnel: Martin Platt, Director; Beverly Everett, Conductor; Janina Dumont, Repetiteur; Patricia Puntry, Vocal Coach; Jeremy Villines, Scenic Artist; Richard Naylor, Production Assistant; Rosalind Hudson, Costume Coordinator
Original Cast: Sumi Kittleberger as Cio Cio San, Jennifer Herzig as Suzuki, Jeremy Cady as Pinkerton, Noah Hitt as Sorrow, Caroline Kil as Kate Pinkerton's (pinkerton's American wife), Matt Fallesen as as Sharpless, Kotaro Wanatabe as Goro, Benjamin Plache as Yamadori
Premiere Date: June 11, 2005
Producing Company: Hot Springs Music Festival
Description: In 1904, Lt. B.F. Pinkerton of the U.S. Navy, stationed in Nagasaki, Japan (which had only recently ended its centuries long closure to the West) engages in a marriage of “convenience” with Cio Cio San, a 15 year old Japanese girl, and rents a house on Higashi Hill (for 999 years) for them to live in. Less than a year later, Pinkerton returns to America, with no plans to ever visit Japan, or see Cio Cio San again. As CIO CIO SAN opens, it is three years later. Suzuki tells CIO CIO SAN that the money Pinkerton has left them is almost completely gone. Cio Cio San is still convinced that Pinkerton will return, as he promised, “when the robins nest again.” Her famous aria “One Fine Day” (un bel di) expresses this hope. The American Consul, Sharpless arrives, with a letter from Pinkerton. Before he can read it to Cio Cio San, Goro the marriage broker interrupts. He has been trying to convince Cio Cio San to marry a series of wealthy men, knowing that Pinkerton’s marriage to her was a “sham”. On this occasion Goro brings Yamadori, a wealthy Japanese-American businessman who has returned to Japan to find a new wife. Yamadori tries to convince her that a Japanese husband will be better than an American. Cio Cio San teases him, but will not accept. Alone with Cio Cio San at last, Sharpless reads her Pinkerton’s letter, which asks Sharpless to prepare her for the worst. Sharpless asks Cio CIo San what she would do if her “husband” never returned. Cio Cio San replies by revealing to him her son, “Sorrow”, whom Pinkerton does not know the existence of. “Sorrow”’s name will be changed to”Joy” when Pinkerton returns. Cio CIo San sings to her son of a dream that the Emperor will meet him and make him a noble. Sharpless is moved, and promises to tell Pinkerton that he is now a father. While singing a lullaby to calm her son, a cannon is heard from the harbor, and Suzuki and Cio Cio San see Pinkerton’s war-ship, the ‘Abraham Lincoln’ arrive. They strew the house with flowers, and prepare to sit up all night, waiting for Pinkerton to arrive. During the long night, Cio Cio San drifts in and out of sleep, and dreams, remembering her wedding night with Pinkerton three years earlier. During the love duet, Cio Cio San reveals her fear when she was first told that she was to marry a foreign ‘barbarian’. The dream ends – and the next morning, Suzuki awakes and sends Cio Cio San to her room to sleep with “Sorrow”. Sharpless arrives with Pinkerton and his American wife, Kate. Suzuki is desperate, knowing this blow will be fatal to Cio Cio San. Pinkerton, wracked with shame and self-loathing, realizes he cannot face Cio Cio San again, and gives Sharpless money for her, asking him to take care of everything. Sharpless reluctantly agrees and Pinkerton flees – but his wife, Kate remains. Cio Cio San appears, having heard Pinkerton’s voice – but he is nowhere to be found. Then she sees Kate Pinkerton in the garden and realizes who she must be. Cio Cio San tells Kate that she must be “the happiest woman in the world”, and wishes her peace. Kate asks Cio Cio San to give “Sorrow” to her and Pinkerton, to rear in America. Cio Cio San is non committal, and asks that Pinkerton come himself the next morning for her answer. Kate and Sharpless leave, to return with Pinkerton the next day. Cio Cio San now sends Suzuki away, and calmly prepares to commit ritual suicide. She prays that her son will understand and forgive her. Suzuki, fearing what Cio Cio San may do, brings “Sorrow” into the room just as Cio Cio San has the sword pressing into her throat. The next morning, when Pinkerton returns with his wife, he finds the house to be completely empty.
Character List (Major): Cio Cio San (s), Suzuki (mz), Pinkerton (t), Sharpless (bar), Yamadori (lyr bar), Kate (s), Cio Cio San (soprano), Suzuki (mezzo), Pinkerton (tenor), Sharpless (baritone), Yamadori (lyric baritone), Kate (Soprano)
Character List (Minor): Goro (Actor), Sorrow (child actor)
Comments: Cio Cio San is a new work based on Puccini's opera and its source material, returning to many of the original features of John Luther Long's original story: told from Cio Cio San's point of view, two major differences are Yamadori being a Japanese American businessman from NY who returns to Japan for a bride; and Cio Cio San's decision to keep her child. The opera is scored for piano quintet, percussion, and two Japanese musicians. The libretto is in English and Japanese.
Length: 01:30
Orchestration: pf quintet: 1 vln, 2 vln, vla, vc, kbd, perc, koto, shakuhachi
Musical Style: neo verismo
Contact: Martin Platt or Richard Rosenberg, Hotspring Music Festival
Address: (Platt) 302a West 12th Street #209
New York NY 10014
E-mail Address: (Rosenberg)
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