She Never Lost a Passenger: the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
Composer: Susan Kander
Composer Bio: Having graduated from Harvard University in 1979 with a degree in music, Susan spent the next 15 years working as a playwright before "coming home" to full time composition. Since then, she has been commissioned by a wide range of performers and ensembles resulting in a growing catalog of vocal, chamber, and choral works characterized by a vivid, often chromatic tonal presence and rhythmic immediacy.
Librettist: Susan Kander
Other Artistic Personnel: Paula Winans (Director)
Work Web Site: http://www.susankander.net/info.asp?pgs=workinfo&work=841
Premiere Date: April 10, 1997
Description: Setting - Mid-19th century: the Philadelphia office of William Grant Still, the home of Thomas and Sarah Garrett and the woods somewhere along the eastern underground railroad.

William Grant Still, founder of the Philadelphia Vigilant Committee, receives a letter in code from Abolitionist Quaker Thomas Garrett, telling him news of "Moses" and her human cargo moving north towards his safehouse. Still sings of Harriet Tubman, known as Moses, the extraordinarily courageous woman who "never lost a passenger" along the underground railroad. Miles south, as night falls, Harriet returns to her latest group of exhausted, frightened fugitive slaves (children's chorus) and recounts her adventures attemptimg to scout a safe passage to the next stopping place. She and John, another slave, sing the spiritual "Go Down Moses" to raise the spirits of their fellow travelers. Later, in a safe house owned by the Garretts, food, shelter and a soothing lullaby ("Simple Gifts") are provided. Moving on the next night, ("Follow the Drinking Gourd"), some slaves lose heart and want to return south. Harriet threatens to kill anyone who turns back, since one slave spilling secrets about the route could cost the lives of many. As they move on, she tells them with excitement and ferver about Mr. Still and his "great book" in which he writes their names and stories, and which became, in fact, the first published account of the Underground Railroad. As they move on through the dark woods (children's chorus) Mr. Still eulogizes "Moses" and her mythic courage.
Character List (Major): HARRIET TUBMAN (s)
JOHN/WILLIAM STILL (t)
THOMAS GARRETT (bar)
SARAH GARRETT (s)
Length: 00:45
Total Acts: 1
Chorus: Children’s Chorus of Fugitives
Orchestration: Piano
Contact: Hendon Music / Boosey & Hawkes
Address: 60 Depot Street
Verona, M.J. 07044
Composer Web Site: http://www.susankander.net
THE ORGANIZATION WHAT IS OPERA? RESOURCES
ABOUT THE CENTER RENTAL SERVICES OA PROGRAMMING
BECOME A MEMBER SUPPORT OPERA AMERICA
RESOURCES
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621
Info@operaamerica.org • Directions

Privacy Policy • Returns Policy
© Copyright 1995-2014 OPERA America Inc.