The Flood
Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Composer Bio: Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky is widely considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Noted for his stylistic diversity, Stravinsky is known for his revolutionary rhythmic styling and orchestration while paying tribute to masters such as J.S. Bach and Tchaikowsky. Born in Russia and a naturalized citizen of France and the United States, he wrote two operas after emigrating to America.

A complex and dark man, Stravinsky wrote of his childhood in his autobiography, “I never came across anyone who had any real affection for me.” Studying piano and composition from an early age he had his first taste of the orchestra at the age of eight when he saw Tchaikowsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre. Though his father was a bass singer he encouraged the young Igor to study law instead of music, a fate from which he was spared with the timely arrival of Bloody Sunday and his university’s consequent closure. Instead of entering the Petersburg Conservatoire he began twice weekly composition lessons with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. He traveled the world to collaborate with many esteemed artists in varied fields, settling in Switzerland, France, and Los Angeles.

Though most commonly recognized for his ballets, Stravinsky possessed a passionate curiosity for all types of music, art, and literature. Successful throughout his career and in equal measures known for his pendulous pride and modesty, Stravinsky wrote in similarly polar genres incorporating Russian folk songs, neoclassicalism, and twelve-tone techniques. He moved to New York City in 1969 where he died at the age of 88. He was buried in Venice.
Librettist: Robert Craft
Librettist Bio: Robert Craft was born in Kingston, New York and is well known for his many collaborations with Igor Stravinsky. He himself was a musician who studied at the Juilliard School and was particularly interested in early music, Monteverdi, Schutz, and contemporary composers. He met Stravinsky in 1948 and worked with him in a multitude of roles including conductor and writer and even lived with the composer's family in California and New York. He remained close friends with Stravinsky's widow, Vera, until her death in 1982. Robert Craft is the author of An Improbable Life (2002) in which he discusses his friendship with Stravinsky and how it affected his life.
Other Artistic Personnel: George Balanchine (Choreographer)
Original Cast: Laurence Harvey (Narrator)
Sebastian Cabot (Voice of Noah)
Elas Lanchester (Voice of Noah's Wife)
Jacques d'Amboise (Adam/Lucifer/dancer)
Paul Tripp (Animal Caller)
Jillana (Eva)
Edward Villella (Satan)
John Reardon (1st Voice of God)
Robert Oliver (2nd Voice of God)
Richard Robinson (Voice of Satan)
Raman Segarra (Noah/dancer)
Joysanne Sidimus (Noah's wife/dancer)
Premiere Date: June 14, 1962
Producing Company: CBS television
Description: The Overture: the prelude presents a musical picture of the world in chaos, at the conclusion of which the chorus of angels sings a Te Deum.
The Prologue: sung by voices representing God and Satan; the story of the expulsion from Paradise and of God's summoning Noah to build the Ark. The singing is illustrated in action by pantomime and dance.
The Building of the Ark: pure ballet-dance and music without words; the procession of Noah's family aboard the Ark and the cataloging of animals.
The Flood: an elaborate and dramatic ballet interpretation of the angry waters and life aboard the Ark, ending with the appearance of the rainbow and the release of the dove.
The Covenant of the Rainbow: the finale combines voices, dancers, and music in a joyous dramatization of the landing on Mount Ararat and God's promise to repeople the earth. A final Te Deum concludes the work.
Reviews: The New York Times, Allen Hughes, 7-25-66; The New York Times, Allen Hughes, 6-15-62
Length: 00:30
Total Acts: 1
Chorus: SAT Chorus
Orchestration: 3 fl(picc), afl, 2 Eng hrn, 2 bcl, cbcl - 4 horns, 3 tpt, 2 tbn, btbn, tba - timp, perc (xylorimba, 3 tom toms, cym, bdrum), hp, cel (pf) - str
Musical Style: The score is part of Stravinsky's advanced serial period; somewhat episodic, using elements of the composer's earlier use of momente form; angular, sparse melodies; inventive orchestration
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
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