The Masque of Angels
Composer: Dominick Argento
Librettist: John Olon-Scrymgeour
Other Artistic Personnel: John Olon-Scrymgeour (Director)
Thomas Nee (Conductor)
Premiere Date: January 09, 1964
Producing Company: The Minnesota Opera
Description: A few angels, led by Sandolfon, enter an empty church to inspect the sanctuary. Sandolfon tells them that their leader, Metatron, has been displeased with their work. Suddenly, Metatron appears, accompanied by Jeremiel and Raguel. Metatron criticizes the group and reminds the angels of their purpose for gathering: “To encourage one mortal love.” A mortal, John, who cannot see or hear the angels, arrives in the church. Metatron summons the presence of the Spinster and the Professor to prevent John from leaving the church. John confesses to the Spinster that he is there to meet Ann, whom he would like to marry, but he has his doubts. The Professor encourages Ann. Ann enters, and John hesitantly asks her to marry him. They both discuss their doubts as Metatron and Raguel urge the chorus to lend some encouragement. Time is suspended for the two lovers, and Metatron delivers a sermon, encouraging John and Ann to face the difficulties of life. For a fleeting moment, Ann seems to see the angels surrounding her, and her beatitude is transferred to John. They accept the imperfections of human love, and the angels go on to their next assignment.
Character List (Major): METATRON, the officer in charge (bar) SANDOLFON, his aide de camp (t) SADRIEL, the company clerk (t) Jeremiel, a Principality (t) RAGUEL, another PRINCIPALITY (bar) JOHN, a young man (t) ANN, a young woman (s) THE SPINSTER (mz) THE PROFESSOR (b)
Length: 01:10
Total Acts: 1
Chorus: Yes
Orchestration: 2 ob(II=corA), 1 bsn - 2 tpt, 1 tbn - timp.perc(1):cyms/susp.cyms/t.bells/glsp/tamb/sleigh bells/tgl - harp - strings(2 vla, 1 vc)
Ballet/Dance: Four dancers
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site:
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