Simeon, a chancel opera

Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC
www.chancelopera.com
 

LITURGICAL OPERA: Simeon

 

SIMEON

a chancel opera based on Luke 2:25-35

by Susan Hulsman Bingham
 

Program cover ink drawing by Susan H Bingham

 

CAST:

Simeon (baritone), Anna (mezzo soprano), Mary (soprano), Joseph (low tenor)

ACCOMPANIMENT:

piano or organ

CHORUS:

treble or SATB choir

DANCE:

none

PROPS:

minimal household materials. Details in score.

SOURCE OF TEXTS:

based on the Gospel of Luke 25-35. Libretto by Susan Hulsman Bingham

LANGUAGE:

English

MUSICAL STYLE:

tonal, melodic, some chant, lyrical

SCENES:

one

DURATION:

twenty-five minutes

REVIEWS:
  [The opera] brings into sharp focus minor characters . . . perhaps Simeon's neighbors, or his temple colleagues, who are just a little annoyed with him . . . The opera ends with a triumphant 'Nunc dimittis' . . ."
Patricia Nakamura, THE LIVING CHURCH.
SOUND SAMPLE:
  Click here to hear the opening of the "Nunc Dimitis: sung by Anthony Lopez, baritone, with the Trinity Boys' Choir (This is an MP3 file.)

Trinity Church on the Green
New Haven, CT, 1980

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Little is known about Simeon, save that he begged God that he not die until he had seen the Messiah face to face, and that his desire was rewarded. Commentaries suggest that he may have been a rabbi and a family man. In this presentation he is both.

Simeon's ardent prayers in the temple alarm Anna, a great devotee in her own right. Together they exult when the Holy Spirit speaks to Simeon.

 

Mary and Joseph are approaching the temple with their newborn Son. Joseph consoles and reassures Mary as she expresses her nervousness about having Jesus outdoors for so long a period of time.

Mary, Joseph and the Infant meet Simeon on the steps of the temple. Simeon sings an aria of greeting and adoration to Jesus, and Jesus, represented by a treble chorus, returns the greeting.

Simeon, having prophesied and blessed everyone, sings,"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace." Then he tenderly leaves the young family to proceed into the temple.

 
Simeon musical score: $50 + $8 shipping and handling within the U.S.

 

Musical score of "Simeon" as downloadable PDF file: $25.

 

CD of three Chancel Operas: Simeon, The Awakening, and One the Road to Emmaus: $17.00 + $3 shipping and handling within the U.S.

 

Composer's comment: wonderful for the Feast of the Presentation. If you have your own church choir, they could do the choral parts, or you may use trebles alone for the chorus. This is a favorite.

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