The Juniper Tree
Composer: Philip Glass
Librettist: Arthur Yorinks
Other Artistic Personnel: Robert Pittman (Conductor)
Andrei Serban (Director)
Michael H. Yeargan (Set Designer)
Jennifer Tipton (Lighting Designer)
Original Cast: Lynn Torgove (soprano)
Ruby Hinds (mezzo-soprano)
Sanford Sylvan
Jayne West
Janet Brown
David Stoneman
Thomas Derrah
William Cotton
Premiere Date: December 11, 1985
Producing Company: American Repertory Theater
Description: The prologue introduces an unnamed husband and wife called The Father and The Mother who have everything they want in life except children. The wife finally has a son but dies in childbirth. The father remarries and has a daughter. The stepmother is consumed by jealousy of her predecessor and kills the son, cooking him as a stew that she then feeds to her husband. The daughter, tricked by the evil stepmother into thinking she killed her half-brother, buries the bones around a juniper tree where the boy's soul enters a bird spawned by the tree. The bird flies to Three Craftsmen who reward its singing with a gold chain, red shoes, and a millstone. Returning, the bird gives the chain to the father, the shoes to the daughter, and drops the stone on the stepmother. The son magically returns to life and the family lives happily ever after.
Character List (Major): 2 Baritones, Bass, Mezzo-Soprano, 4 Sopranos, Tenor
Reviews: The New York Times, John Rockwell, 12-15-85; Time, Michael Walsh, 12-23-85.
Comments: Music by Philip Glass and Robert Moran. Libretto by Arthur Yorinks based on a tale by the Brothers Grimm.
Length: 01:30
Total Acts: 1
Chorus: Mixed Chorus, Children's Voices
Orchestration: 1 fl(picc), 2 cl(bcl), 1 bsn - 1 hrn, 1 tpt, 1 tbn - 2 perc - hp, 2 kbd(syn, cel) - str(1 vln1, 1 vln2, 1 vla, 1 vc, 1 db)
Musical Style: Minimalism; lyrical vocal lines.
Contact: Dunvagen Music Publishers, Inc. or G. Schirmer, Inc.(agent)
Phone: 212-979-2080
Publisher Web Site:
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