November 1, 1976 | Opera Philadelphia
The Hero
Composer:Gian Carlo Menotti
Librettist:Gian Carlo Menotti
Synopsis
The story of a man who is famous because he has slept for ten years. He awakes just before he is about to break the world record for sleeping and his wife and the town are in a state of panic because they wish to capitalise on his achievement.

Composer Note:
"Is The Hero a political satire? Only slightly so. It is much more, a humorous comment on contemporary society and on its self-satisfaction and greed. It is a spoof of those leaders who, to protect their own interest, choose the mediocre and the expedient, and glorify the innocuous; the man who sleeps, and thus cannot interfere with or bother anybody.

This is an opera celebrating the American sense of humor. It is a gently, good-natured plea for American’s to wake up to reality, to abandon self-congratulatory illusions, to return to their former rugged individualism and to the uncompromising honesty of their ancestors. They should be aware of the danger of letting themselves be led by a sleeping man.

Who is David Murphy? He is the prototype of the “yes” man, achieving by agreeing with everybody’s views, and by turning a blind eye to corruption. In other words, he is the perfect man for a dishonest society. It is on “the man who sleeps” that the people around him feed their selfishness.

Barbara stands not only for David’s conscience, but also for the new courage and honesty of the American youth who dare to challenge the long-standing myths of “success” as a sine qua of respectability, and search instead for self-respect and inner peace.

Being a comic opera, none of the characters are drawn with hate or contempt. Even the trio of villains, Mildred the Doctor, the Mayor, should deserve our sympathy because, after all, they are part of our own weakness."
-Gian Carlo Menotti

Title Information

All information is derived from OPERA America's Season Schedule of Performances and titles databases which date back to 1991. OPERA America is constantly updating this data. If you feel that a work or an artist has been omitted or that information is incorrect, please use the linked forms below.
Title Information Form
Artist Information Form

Number of Acts
3

Original Cast
Dominic Cossas (David Murphy)
Nancy Shade (Barbara)
Diane Curry (Mildred)
David Griffin (Doctor)
Gary Kendall (Mayor)
Richard Shapp (Guide)


THE ORGANIZATION RESOURCES
THE NATIONAL OPERA CENTER EVENTS FACILITIES AND SERVICES
BECOME A MEMBER MEMBER OPPORTUNITIES
SUPPORT OPERA AMERICA
RESOURCES
To have your company’s photos included in the header rotation, send photos that are at least 1200px wide and 550px tall to Webmaster@operaamerica.org. Please note that submission of photos does not guarantee inclusion.
All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621
Info@operaamerica.org

Privacy PolicyReturns Policy
Financial Statements
© Copyright 1995-2017 OPERA America Inc.

Technical issue with the website? Let us know.