Of Mice and Men
Composer: Carlisle Floyd
Composer Bio: Composer, librettist, pianist, and teacher Carlisle Floyd has written operas for many of America’s cherished stories, basing much of his subject matter on Southern themes. Born in the Southern Bible Belt of Latta, South Carolina, he grew up in the thick of traveling preachers, revival meetings, and a close knit religious community, though at a young age was aware of that world’s controversial and hypocritical nature. Floyd’s primary teacher was pianist Ernst Bacon whom he followed from South Carolina to Syracuse University in New York where he earned a Bachelor and a Master of Music. He immediately joined the piano faculty of Florida State University where he began exploring an interest in composition, writing both the libretti and the music for operas with a distinctly American voice. He achieved national recognition with Susanna, which premiered at Florida State University in 1955.

Today Carlisle Floyd’s operas are performed throughout America and Europe and Susanna and Of Mice and Men have become standard repertoire. Floyd was one of eight recipients of the National Medal of Arts in 2004. He is also the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Citation of Merit from the National Association of American Conductors and Composers and the National Opera Institute’s Award for Service to American Opera. In 2008, Floyd was the only composer to be included in the inaugural National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors.
Librettist: Carlisle Floyd
Other Artistic Personnel: Frank Corsaro (Director)
Anton Coppola (Conductor)
Original Cast: Julian Patrick (George)
Robert Moulson (Lennie)
Archie Drake (Candy)
Carol Bayard (Curley's wife)
Harry Theyard (Curley)
Kerry McDevitt (Slim)
Erik Townsend (Carlson)
Gerald Thorsen (Ballad Singer)
Seattle Opera Male Chorus (Ranch hands)
Work Web Site: http://www.boosey.com/pages/opera/moreDetails.asp?
Premiere Date: January 22, 1970
Producing Company: Seattle Opera
Description: The opera is faithful to Steinbeck's story: Two itinerant workers, George (responsible and intelligent), and Lennie (large and somewhat retarded), travel though California looking for work. Although the two men are an odd couple, they share a common dream of someday owning their own land and farm. At their new job, Lennie and George are close to raising enough money to realize their dream after Candy, an old cripple, offers to pitch in his savings. Soon they will have enough money, if only Lennie can keep away from the mean, belligerent boss, Curley, and from Curley's flirtatious wife. Curley's wife seductively provokes Lennie into stroking her hair, then screams in a sudden panic. Lennie innocently tries to stifle her screams and inadvertently breaks her neck. Lennie and George escape, with Curley's men in pursuit. George realizes he must kill Lennie to prevent him from being lynched by Curley's men. In the final scene, he shoots Lennie in the head.
Character List (Major): George Milton (bar)
Lennie Small (t)
Curley's Wife (s)
Curley (t)
Candy (bar)
Slim (bar)
Character List (Minor): Carlson (t)
Ballad Singer (t)
Bit Parts: Haygood, Luke, Pete, Johnson (t) 1st, 2nd, 3rd Man (t)
Reviews: Opera, 12-88; Opera News, 10-88; New York, Peter G. Davis, 10-31-83; The New York Times, Donal Henahan, 10-15-83; Opera, 1-81; The New York Times, Allen Hughes, 7-4-77; The New York Times, Donal Henahan, 7-9-72; Opera News, 3-14-70; San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Commanday, 1-25-70.
Video Clip:
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: 3
Chorus: Male Chorus: Ranch Hands (at least 8)
Orchestration: 2 fl(picc), 2 ob(Eng horn), 2 cl(dbl. bcl) - 4 hrn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn, 1 tuba, timp, 2 perc, hp, cel - str; Red brass scoring: 2 hrn, 2 tpt, tbn, tba
Musical Style: Quartal harmonies, melodic invention sometimes evocative of American folk tunes, chromaticism, metric flexibility
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Address: 229 W 28th Street, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
E-mail Address: composers.us@boosey.com
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site: http://www.boosey.com
Schedule of Performances Listings
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Friday, April 10, 2015 - Tulsa Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Sarasota Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, May 5, 2012 - Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Friday, October 30, 2009 - Kentucky Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, May 31, 2008 - Fort Worth Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, November 6, 2004 - Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - New York City Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Friday, March 7, 2003 - Florentine Opera Company
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, March 23, 2002 - Vancouver New Music
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, March 9, 2002 - Edmonton Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Friday, February 1, 2002 - Houston Grand Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Friday, June 15, 2001 - Nautilus Music-Theater
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Friday, February 11, 2000 - Arizona Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Friday, March 26, 1999 - Opera Cleveland
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, February 13, 1999 - San Diego Opera Association
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, January 16, 1999 - Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, November 7, 1998 - New York City Opera
Of Mice and Men (Floyd)
Saturday, July 26, 1997 - Glimmerglass Festival
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