Ali Baba Opera
Composer: Nancy Binns Reed
Librettist: Nancy Binns Reed
Premiere Date: Not available.
Producing Company: Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia
Description: This is a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of The "Arabian Nights" tale of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves". The opera starts when Ali Baba sings, explaining what a remarkable person he is, even though he is poor and his brother Kasim is rich. The families of the two brothers have a squabble. Then Jabar, Ali's son, and Morgianna, Ali's slave, walk apart. Jabar asks her to marry him, but she explains she can't as she is a slave and his parents object. Jabar declares his love will find a way and eventually they will wed. Ali Baba and Jabar set off to gather wood. They hide behind trees when they see thieves coming to a nearby mountain. The Chief Thief calls "open sesame," a cave door opens in the mountain, and bags of golden money and jewels are seen. When the thieves leave, Ali Baba goes to the cave and calls "open sesame." Ali and Jabar enter, grab bags of money, and return home. Shaba, Ali's wife, needs a scale to weigh the hoard. She borrows a scale from Ali's brother Kasim. Later, when the scale is returned, Kasim and his wife find gold at the bottom of their scale. Kasim demands an explanation from Ali Baba. Ali tells about the magic cave. Kasim sneaks off to the cave, calls "open sesame," and grabs treasures. As Act I ends, the thieves return, find Kasim, and hang him high. Ali Baba rushes to the cave. Act II begins and we learn that Kasim did not die, as Ali Baba managed to cut him down in time. The thieves plan and enact two more moves for revenge against Ali Baba. In a surprise ending, the Forty Thieves express resentment of the Chief Thief, who thinks all the gold is his (though a credit card will do). They accuse him of thinking he is a CEO, and all 40 Thieves become Honorable Policemen. Meanwhile, Morgianna has saved Ali Baba's life and he declares she is no longer a slave. Morgianna accepts Jabar's proposal. The happy ending is the wedding. Now all will be rich, as they all have access to the cave of treasures. Everyone, that is, except the Chief Thief, who loudly proclaims that all gold is his and that he wants revenge.
Length: 01:20
Total Acts: 2
Musical Style: Broad range
Contact: Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia
E-mail Address: maestro@novaopera.org
Phone: 703-528-1433
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