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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
Down in the Valley
Kurt Weill
Kurt Julian Weill (March 2, 1900 – April 3, 1950) was a German-Jewish composer, growing up in a religious household. He began piano lessons at 12 and immediately began experimenting with his own compositions. His early success came with his non-stage works though he gravitated toward vocal music and musical theatre. He fled Nazi Germany in 1933, denounced for his socialist views despite being a popular composer. Traveling to Paris, London, and the US he eventually became a United States citizen in 1943. His ideals of writing music that served a socially useful purpose followed him in his travels and he wrote Down in the Valley and other songs in support of the American war effort. Weill died of a heart attack in New York City. His music is still popular sixty years after his death.
Arnold Sundgaard
Hans Busch (Director)
Ernst Hoffmann (Conductor)
Marion Bell (Jennie)
James Welch (Brack)
July 15, 1948
Indiana University
Brack Weaver is in prison awaiting his execution the next morning for killing his rival, Thomas Bouché. When the evening train does not bring a letter from his beloved Jennie, he breaks out of prison and rushes to find her. At Jennie's home, she assures Brack of her undying love for him but tells him that her father has forbidden her to have any contact with him. A flashback reveals the moment when Jennie and Brack met for the first time at a prayer meeting. As he walks her home, Brack asks Jennie to accompany him to the square dance that weekend. Jennie happily agrees. When she arrives home, her father's business associate, Thomas Bouché, also invites her to the square dance. Jennie refuses the offer. Her father tells her that she may not attend with anyone else. Jennie, disobeying her father, goes to the dance with Brack, where Bouché appears with a knife in his hand. A fight ensues and Brack eventually kills Bouché. Brack is arrested.
Brack Weaver(t or high bar)
Jennie Parsons(lyr s)
Thomas Bouche(b)
The Leader(bar)
The Preacher(bar)
Guard(speaking)
Peters(speaking)
Jennie's Father(speaking)
Two Men(speaking)
Two Women(speaking)
The New Yorker, Andrew Porter, 4-30-84; The New York Times, John Rockwell, 4-16-84; The New York Times, Robert Sherman, 3-9-71
There are many videos of this opera: The Ambrosian Singers, Carl Davis, conductor; Unitel/Channel Four, 5-7-86, #8101; Tarrant County Jr. College, 1982, #12153; Pro Arte Orchestra, Charles Mackerras, conductor; BBC, 8-29-61, #11962; Rundfunkchor des NDR, Gerhard Maasz, conductor, NDR, 1-31-58, #11961; CBC-E, 5-21-56, #11960; The Ambrosian Singers, Leo Quayle, conductor, BBC, 5-6-55, #11959; CBC-F, 4-12-53, #11958; BBC, 12-12-52, #11957; NBC Opera Company, Peter Herman Adler, conductor, NBC, 1-14-50, #11956
00:45
1
SSAATTBB Chorus
1 fl[+], 1 ob, 2 cl, 2 sx, [1 bsn] - [2 hrn], 2 tpt, 2 tbn - perc - pf - gtr - str(no vla); Alt: 2 pf
Ballet
Based on Anglo-Appalachian ballads
G. Schirmer, Inc.
257 Park Avenue South, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10010
pm@schirmer.com
212-254-2100
http://www.schirmer.com
Schedule of Performances Listings
Down in the Valley (Weill)
Saturday, September 16, 1995 - Lyric Opera of Kansas City

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