The Thunder of Horses
Composer: Cary John Franklin
Librettist: Michael Patrick Albano
Other Artistic Personnel: Cary John Franklin, Conductor; Michael Patrick Albano, Director; Kim Wilson, Set Designer; Robin VerHage-Abrams, Costume Designer; Joseph Clapper, Lighting Designer
Original Cast: Original Cast: Heavy Runner, a Chief and leader/The Old Man, Lester Lynch (adult baritone); Long Arrow, Ryan Bell McAdams; Willow Flower, Katie Vagnino; The Child (from under the water), Devon Barnes; ensemble cast: Sarah Allrich, Maria D'Souza, Kelly Renee Harris, Rachel Kathryn Kopf, David Logan, Trevor McCullough, Peter Merideth, Becky Murphy, Brittany No'el Packnett, Tara Lynn Siesener, Andrew Zipf
Premiere Date: June 10, 1995
Producing Company: Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Description: Two orphaned children, Long Arrow, who is deaf, and his sister, Willow Flower, are alone in the world. When Willow Flower is adopted, Long Arrow is abandoned by his tribe. He is soon discovered by a great warrior named Heavy Runner whose magic power restores Long Arrow's ability to hear. Long Arrow is adopted by Heavy Runner and taken to the warrior's home where he is greeted by his angry, shrewish wife. Once again, Heavy Runner's magic removes the anger from her heart and she, too, grows to love the boy. Time passes and Heavy Runner challenges Long Arrow to find the Spirits who keep the mysterious animals, the Pono-Kamita, or Elk Dogs. None before him have succeeded. On his long journey, Long Arrow discovers a lake where he sees a child who makes the lake her home. Enticing Long Arrow to follow her, he meets her father, the Old Man, who tells him how other men from Long Arrow's tribe were asked to enter the lake. Since fear prevented them from entering, they lost their opportunity to gain the greatest gift ever given to man. The child from under the lake challenges Long Arrow to a test, which, if he passes, will result in the gift of the Pono-Kamita. To earn the gift of the Pono-Kamita, Long Arrow must travel for three days without ever looking back at the horses that are following him. They will disappear if he looks at them. Long Arrow bravely journeys back to his tribe, resisting the urge to glance back. Transformed into a young brave, Long Arrow reaches the village, bringing a rare and valuable gift to his people-wild horses.
Reviews: The Village Voice, NY, 8-1-95; Riverfront Times, MO, Harry Weber, 6-95; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Eileen P. Duggan, MO, 6-95
Length: 00:40
Total Acts: 1
Musical Style: Tonal; rhythmic; loosely-based on Native American music
Contact: Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
E-mail Address:
Phone: 314-961-0171
Schedule of Performances Listings
The Thunder of Horses (Franklin)
Saturday, June 10, 1995 - Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
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