Heartland — A Musical Story of the American Pioneers
Composer: Philip Westin
Librettist: Burt Peachy
Other Artistic Personnel: Book co-authored by Michael Olton
Original Cast: Alexandra Bergstrom (Soprano); Marie Shabata (Soprano); Emil Bergstrom (Tenor); Carl Lindstrum (Tenor); Frank Shabata (Bass Baritone); John Bergstrom (Bass Baritone); Lou Bergstrom (Tenor); Oscar Bergstrom (Baritone); Amadee Chavalier (Tenor)
Work Web Site: www.heartlandontheweb.com
Premiere Date: June 19, 2009
Producing Company: Center Stage Opera, CA
Description: Heartland tells the story of immigrant families (Swedish, French and Czech) that settled on the plains of Nebraska during the second half of the 19th Century. The tale, like the novel from which it is based, focuses on the life of Alexandra Bergstrom, a young Swedish girl who inherits the task of managing the family farm after her father’s death. Working the land is hard and many leave; however, Alexandra vows to stay and make a success. The action sweeps ahead twelve years where we see Alexandra has become a land baroness. The ensuing action focuses on the romantic relationships between Alexandra’s brother, Emil, and his childhood sweetheart, Marie, the tension between Alexandra and her brothers, and the return of Alexandra’s best friend, Carl. Crises ensue causing rifts between the family, jealousy by Frank over Marie’s naive flirtations, and Carl’s conflict between staying with Alexandra and finding his own way in life. Tragedy and death occur for the young lovers, leaving Alexandra alone without hope or a future. She remembers the lessons of the land and the encouragement her father gave her as a young girl. She vows to carry on, taking care of her family and the land that was entrusted to her. In a final triumphant moment, Carl returns to be with Alexandra for the rest of their lives.
Length: 02:15
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: Chorus (24-32 singers - chorus doubles smaller roles)
Ballet/Dance: 6 Dancers
Musical Style: lyric opera with underscored dialogue; style bridges romantic Americana and 20th-century styles
Contact: Christopher Keene, Archer Norris PC
E-mail Address: ckeene@archernorris.com
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