Elisha, a chancel opera

Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC
www.chancelopera.com
 
LITURGICAL OPERA: Elisha
 
 
ELISHA

a chancel opera based on II Kings 4:8-37
by Susan Hulsman Bingham

 
"Elisha Raising the Son of the Shunemmite" by Lord Frederic Leighton
 
CAST:
  Shunemmite woman (mezzo soprano), Elisha (low tenor/high baritone), Gehazi, Elisha's servant (low tenor/high baritone), Shunemmite's son at age twelve (treble), Shunemite's husband (baritone)

ACCOMPANIMENT:

 

Piano or organ with optional violin part upon request

CHORUS:

 

none

DANCE:

 

none

PROPS:

 

minimal household materials, platform for a bed. Details in score.

SOURCE OF TEXTS:

 

2 Kings 4:8-37 in the Old Testament

LANGUAGE:

 

English

MUSICAL STYLE:

 

tonal, slightly impressionistic, Semitic modalities

SCENES:

 

two

SOUND CLIP:
  Hear a clip of the Shunemmite woman's aria after her son is raised from the dead.
Role of the Shunemmite Woman is sung by Martha Bennett Oneppo, soprano.

DURATION:

 

20 minutes

PREMIER:

 

North Stamford Congregational Church, North Stamford, CT, in collaboration with the First Congregational , Long Ridge Congregational, and Union Memorial Churches • Ash Wednesday Services, 1993

 
SYNOPSIS
 
Scene I
A Schunemmite man and woman see Elisha and his servant, Gehazi, approaching, and as the men pass by regularly on long journeys, the couple discuss building a small chamber for them. Grateful for their hospitality and friendship, Elisha promises the woman a son.
 
Scene 2
(twelve years later)
The son cries out in pain and then dies in his mother's arms. The mother sets out to find Elisha.

Gehazi spies the woman approaching the mountain where Elisha resides. Elisha sends Gehazi to her to ask after the family's welfare. Rather than answer him fully, she continues on her way to Elisha. Elisha sees her distress, and all three set out for the cottage. The woman, now exhausted, cannot move quickly, so Elisha sends Gehazi ahead.

Gehazi does as his master requests, making efforts to bring the boy back to life, but to no avail. Elisha enters the boy's chamber and, praying, lays down upon him, hands to hands, mouth to mouth. The boy does not stir. Elisha lays down upon him again with more fervent prayer. The boy awakens, sneezing seven times.

Seeing her son alive, the Shunemmite woman weeps. The opera ends with the Shunemmite's husband, the prophet Elisha, Elisha's servant Gehazi, and the boy singing words of consolation to her which she hears dimly through her crying.
 

Composer's comment: This is a very dramatic piece with a challenging (and rewarding) accompaniment for a skilled pianist or organist. Accompaniment has been set two ways; one includes a violin part in addition to the keyboard part. Available upon request.

 

Piano/ vocal score and flute part (or violin part--may be done with either and can be done with piano accompaniment alone) for ELISHA: $50. Includes shipping within the U.S. as well as copying and performing rights (see contract which accompanies order form).

"Elisha" downloadable PDF file: $25.

 

CD of the chancel opera ELISHA: $20. Price includes shipping within the U.S.


ordering information • contacting us

 

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