The Postman Always Rings Twice
Composer: Stephen Paulus
Librettist: Colin Graham
Other Artistic Personnel: C. William Harwood (Conductor)
Colin Graham (Director)
John Conklin (Scenic Designer)
John Carver Sullivan (Costume Designer)
Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Designer)
Original Cast: David Parsons (Frank)
Kathryn Bouleyn (Cora)
Michael Myers (Nick)
Daniel Sullivan (Sackett)
Carroll Freeman (Katz)
Premiere Date: June 17, 1982
Producing Company: Opera Theatre of St. Louis
Description: Southern California in the 1930s; a steamy tale of sex, violence, and betrayal. Set in a roadside tavern during the Great Depression, it is the story of a passionate affair between a handsome drifter and the tavern owner's unhappy wife, who plot to murder her husband. Cain called it "a love story," but with lovers who "wake up to discover that once they've pulled the thing off, no two people can share this terrible secret and live on the same earth; they turn against each other."
Character List (Major): Frank Chambers (bar)
Cora (s)
Nick Papadakis (t)
Katz (lawyer)
Character List (Minor): Sacket (District Attorney)
Bit Parts: Kennedy, Kat's sidekick
Reviews: Musical America, 10-82, p. 32; Opera News, 10-82, p. 52; Opera, 10-82, p. 1030; Opera Canada, 9-82, p. 30; Opera News, 6-85, p. 36; Opera Canada, Spring 1987, p. 36; Opera News, 3-28-87, p. 37; Opera, 6-88, p. 687; The New Yorker, Andrew Porter, 8-2-82; Will Crutchfield, The New York Times, 1-26-89; The New York Times, Donal Henahan, 6-20-82; Village Voice, Leighton Kerner, 7-27-82; Chicago Tribune, John Von Rhein, June 27, 1982; Opera Monthly, 2-89.
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: No chorus
Orchestration: 2 fl(2picc), 1 ob, 1 cl(asax), 1 bsn - 1 hrn, 2 tpt, 1 tbn(btbn), 1 tba - 2 perc(2 timp, tom-t, SD, BD, sus cym, tam-t, brake d, xyl, mar, tempbl, glsp, whip, tub bells, crot) - gtr, pf, hp - str(6 vln1, 6 vln2, 4 vla, 3 vc, 2 db)
Musical Style: Lyrical, with some dissonances combined with polytonality
Contact: Schott Helicon Music
Composer Web Site:
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
The Postman Always Rings Twice (Paulus)
Thursday, February 24, 2011 - Boston University - CFA
The Postman Always Rings Twice (Paulus)
Monday, June 29, 1998 - Center for Contemporary Opera
The Postman Always Rings Twice (Paulus)
Wednesday, December 10, 1997 - Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater
The Postman Always Rings Twice (Paulus)
Wednesday, March 9, 1994 - Boston Lyric Opera
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