Tale for a Deaf Ear
Composer: Mark Bucci
Librettist: Mark Bucci
Other Artistic Personnel: Boris Goldovsky, stage director
Original Cast: Jean Kraft (Laura Gates)
John Hornor (Tracy Gates)
Donna Jeffrey (The Woman)
Elaine Quint (The Girl)
John King (The Soldier)
Edward Purrington (The Doctor)
Premiere Date: August 05, 1957
Producing Company: Tanglewood Music Festival
Description: After an acrimonious dispute between the suburban couple, Laura and Tracy Gates, in which many old wounds are reopened, Tracy dies of a heart attack. Laura penitently wishes him back. Her fervent plea is made at exactly 3:59 and three quarters on a winter Sunday afternoon; at that same moment, Hypraemius, a mariner, had died centuries ago. So good was he that four miracles were allowed him, one each season. When a penitent plead for the return of a dear one at this exact moment, the wish was granted. This had already happened three times: in springtime, a son was returned to a noblewoman in Tuscany; in summer the plea of a Scottish girl in the Isle of Skye brought a much-needed cow back to life; and in an autumn during the Thirty Years' War, a soldier gave life to his young brother before dying himself. True to the pattern, Tracy is restored. But he is as cantankerous as ever, and in spite of Laura's efforts, they are soon quarreling bitterly again. Once more, Tracy dies. This time it is too late. The chorus comments: "The only death in life is the death of love."
Character List (Major): Laura Gates (s or mz)
Tracy Gates (bar)
Florentine Noblewoman (s or mz)
Scottish Farm Girl (s)
German Soldier (t)
Character List (Minor): The Doctor (speaking)
Length: 00:45
Total Acts: 1
Chorus: Composer’s Note: (chorus remains unseen) but heard at the beginning and end sections, and visible during the narrative and introductions to each miracle. Choral Part is generally written unison throughout; its size and gender is left to the discretion of the director. This Part might conceivably be sung by One Singer, provided the voice is sufficiently amplified.
Orchestration: fl,ob (Eng hrn), 2 cl (bs cl), bsn, hrn, trp, perc, piano (celeste), harp strings. 2 piano (celeste, harpsichord opt). 2 piano (as above), plus perc (2 players).
Contact: Unknown
Schedule of Performances Listings
Tale for a Deaf Ear (Bucci)
Friday, May 30, 1997 - Center for Contemporary Opera
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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