June 17, 1990 | Opera Ebony
The Outcast
Composer:Noa Ain
Librettist:Noa Ain
Ar, High Priestess of Moab, mourns the loss of her daughter Ruta to the Jews. Ruta suddenly appears among the wheat fields, pursued by Jews. Boaz, to whom the fields belong, arrives and protects Ruta from the workers. Fascinated by her, he asks to hear her story. Ruta tells her tale: The Moabites, led by Ar, pray to Inanna. It is the festival of sacrifice, and Inanna is hungry. Guards bring two strangers, Naomi and her son Gideon—Jews from Bethlehem. The Moabites want to sacrifice the Jews, but Ruta objects. Against Inanna's wishes, Ar permits Naomi and Gideon to live among them as long as they follow Moabite ways. Ar gives Gideon to Ruta for a night of love; they fall in love and wish to marry. Naomi and Inanna despair. In a Moabite ceremony, Ruta and Gideon are wed. Slowly wooed by Ruta's goodness, Naomi's disapproval is overcome. She begins to teach Ruta "Jewish Ways." The Moabites are threatened by the changes in Ruta. Led by Ar, the guards kill Gideon so that Ruta will return to her "Priestess Ways." At the funeral Ruta accuses her mother of murder and chooses a new mother in Naomi. Ruta and Naomi journey back to Bethlehem. In Bethlehem, the Jews are furious with Naomi for having lived among idolaters. Boaz offers Naomi and Ruta his protection. Boaz and Ruta begin to care for each other; Boaz asks Ruta to marry him. Ruta replies that she must speak with Gideon first and goes in search of his spirit. In the mountains, Gideon tells Ruta to let go of their love. He tells her that she cannot, however, just marry one Jew; she must marry all of the Jewish people. Ruta and Boaz marry, and Ruta joins the Jewish Faith.

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Houston Grand OperaThe Outcast6/1/1994 - 6/12/1994

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
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Opera for a New America 1994
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1989

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Musical Style
Incorporates gospel music, jazz, pop, rock, African folk styles, Middle Eastern, and New Age music.

Vocal & Musical Forces
Saxophone, percussion, synthesizer, cello, bass; 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, baritone, bass; choral octet

Original Cast
Original Cast: Ruta, Gail Hadani; Naomi, Blanche Foreman; Gideon, Andre Solomon-Glover; Boaz, Harry L. Burney; High Priestess, Novella Nelson

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