The Tender Land
Composer: Aaron Copland
Librettist: Horace [Erik Johns] Everett
Other Artistic Personnel: Thomas Schippers (Conductor)
Jerome Robbins (Director)
John Butler (Choreographer)
Original Cast: Rosemary Carlos (Laurie)
Norman Treigle (Grandpa Moss)
Jean Handzlik (Ma Moss)
Jon Crain (Martin)
Andrew Gainey (Top)
Adele Newton (Beth)
Michael Pollock (Mr. Splinters)
Mary Kreste (Mrs. Splinters)
Teresa Gannon (Mrs. Jenks)
Thomas Powell (Mr. Jenks)
Premiere Date: April 01, 1954
Producing Company: New York City Opera
Description: Set in the American Midwest during the 1930s at harvest time. The plot concerns a farm family. Ma Moss, her daughter Laurie, Laurie's sister Beth (a speaking role), and Grandpa Moss are approached by two drifters, Martin and Top, and asked if there are any odd jobs available for them. The family has heard reports about two men molesting young girls in the area and are at first reluctant to hire the drifters. At Laurie's urging, they hire the men. Soon, the men are accused of being the molesters. Even though the charges against the two are proven false, the men are asked to leave the farm in the morning. That night, at Laurie's high school graduation party, she and Martin fall in love and plan to run away together. Martin, attacked by fears of responsibility, is then convinced by Top that the road is no place for someone like Laurie. Laurie awakens to find that the two men have left without her. She decides to leave anyway. The mother now turns her attention to the younger daughter.
Character List (Major): Ma Moss (con)
Laurie (s)
Top (bar)
Martin (t)
Grandpa Moss (b)
Character List (Minor): Mr. Splinters (t)
Mrs. Splinters (mz)
Beth, a child (speaking)
Bit Parts: Mrs. Jenks (s)
Mr. Jenks (bar)
1st and 2nd Men (t and bar)
3rd Guest (s)
Reviews: Musical America, 5-76, p. 30; Musical America, 11-78, p. 29; Opera Canada, Fall 78, p. 30; The New York Times, Howard Klein, 7-29-65; The New York Times, Vivian Perlis, 4-26-87; The New York Times, Raymond Ericson, 5-14-77; The New York Times, Will Crutchfield, 8-18-85; The New York Times, Will Crutchfield, 5-3-87; London Financial Times, Andrew Clements, 6-11-90; International Herald Tribune, James Helme Sutcliffe, 6-22-90; The New York Times, Allan Kozinn, 2-6-90; The Washington Post, Joseph McLellan, 10-20-92; Musical Times, Wilfred H. Mellers, CIII (1962), p. 245.
Video Clip:
Length: 01:40
Total Acts: 3
Chorus: SATB (AGMA minimum 12)
Orchestration: 2 fl(picc), 1 oc(Eng Hrn), 2 cl(bcl), 2 bsn - 2 hrn, 2 tpt, tbn - timp, 2 perc - hp - pf(ad lib) - str; Chamber Version by Murry Sidlin: 1 fl, 1 cl, 1 bsn - pf - str(4 vln, 2 vla, 2 vc, 1 db)
Musical Style: Traditional operatic set pieces with recitative. Diatonic. Score contains several folksongs and is written in a simple style for a small orchestra.
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
The Tender Land (Copland)
Friday, June 13, 2014 - Chelsea Opera
The Tender Land (Copland)
Saturday, July 10, 2010 - Glimmerglass Festival
The Tender Land (Copland)
Saturday, January 30, 2010 - Juilliard Opera Center
The Tender Land (Copland)
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - Madison Opera
The Tender Land (Copland)
Friday, April 20, 2007 - Living Opera
The Tender Land (Copland)
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - Opera Omaha
The Tender Land (Copland)
Friday, April 2, 2004 - Opera Company of Brooklyn
The Tender Land (Copland)
Friday, March 26, 2004 - Opera Vivente
The Tender Land (Copland)
Friday, February 1, 2002 - Skylight Music Theatre
The Tender Land (Copland)
Thursday, October 19, 2000 - Mobile Opera
The Tender Land (Copland)
Friday, January 23, 1998 - Virginia Opera
The Tender Land (Copland)
Saturday, March 15, 1997 - Fargo-Moorhead Opera
The Tender Land (Copland)
Saturday, July 27, 1996 - Ash Lawn Opera Festival
The Tender Land (Copland)
Friday, June 23, 1995 - Chicago Opera Theater
The Tender Land (Copland)
Thursday, November 21, 1991 - Curtis Institute of Music Opera Theatre
To have your company’s photos included in the header rotation, send photos that are at least 1200px wide and 550px tall to Please note that submission of photos does not guarantee inclusion.
All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

Privacy PolicyReturns Policy
2015 Form 990FY16 Audited Financial Statement
© Copyright 1995-2017 OPERA America Inc.

Technical issue with the website? Let us know.