The Wild Boy
Composer: Solomon Epstein
Librettist: Solomon Epstein
Premiere Date: Not available.
Description: Victor, the wild boy, bursts into the large third-floor study room of Dr. Jean-Marc Itard's Paris Institute for Special Education, where every shelf is filled with educational toys devised by Dr. Itard to civilize this feral child found near the forest of Aveyron. Itard runs in, chasing Victor. But the wild boy, fast as a deer, always eludes the doctor. Itard calls out for two strong male attendants to subdue Victor. The men force Victor into his specially-designed study chair and strap him in. The men leave; Victor thrashes uselessly until he is exhausted, then falls asleep. Alone, Victor awakes in a kind of reverie or dream-state imagining himself back in his leafy forest home. Unstrapping himself, he dances, remembering the sun and his animal companions. The dream-state ended, Victor is again strapped into his study chair as Itard returns to begin the lesson. Placing the learning devices and toys on a table, Itard loosens Victor's straps. Suddenly Victor bolts from the chair. Thinking of his forest friends the birds, Victor sees his escape: he flies to freedom from the rear third-floor window. Dr. Itard runs to the window, staring in helpless horror at the ground three stories below.
Length: 00:30
Total Acts: 1
Musical Style: Lyrical, tonal first half, contrasted with "impressionistic" percussion in the second half
Contact: Solomon Epstein
Phone: 413-786-0764
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