Daniel's Gift, a chancel opera
Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC
www.chancelopera.com
 

LITURGICAL OPERA: Daniel's Gift

 
 
DANIEL'S GIFT

a Christmas opera based on the tale by M.C. Helldorfer

story adaptation and music by Susan Hulsman Bingham

Bernardo Strozzi, Adoration of the Shepherds, detail

* The original text of DANIEL'S GIFT is published by Bradbury Press, an Affiliate of Macmillan, Inc.
Text © 1987 by Mary-Claire helldorfer. Adapted with the permissiion of the author and the publisher.
All rights reserved.
 

VOICING:

 

Sop, sop, bar, bar, treb, treb, treb, one non-singing child's part, and two trebles from chorus (mentioned below) who sing a duet.

CAST:

 

Daniel (treble), Zeke (treble), Ralph (treble), a Lamb (non singing), Mak (baritone), Mak's wife (soprano), Pair of Angels (part of chorus - trebles), Mary (soprano), Joseph (baritone).

ACCOMPANIMENT:

 

piano, recorder

CHORUS:
  trebles sing in chorus but are all part of the acting cast

DANCE:

 

none

PROPS:

  traditional Biblical shepherds and nativity regalia

SOURCE OF TEXTS:

 

M.C. Helldorfer, DANIEL'S GIFT

LANGUAGE:

 

English

MUSICAL STYLE:

  tonal, melodic, traditionally harmonic but gently experimental and with a seasonal "feel". Click here to hear a sample from DANIEL'S GIFT.

SCENES:

 

one

     

DURATION:

 

30 minutes

PREMIER:

  Christ Church Parish, New Haven, CT, 1984 • stage direction by Jeanne Bartlett Kerr

MORE SOUND SAMPLES:

 

Sound Sample One: brothers are looking for one lost sheep Barbara Yeichner, soprano, Ginger Stevens, child soprano, Thomas Whitney and Jeremy Hutchins, trebles.

Sound Sample Two: near the end of the opera Sung by the Children's Chorus of the Chancel Opera Company of Connecticut. Hannah Howard, recorder, and Susan Bingham, pianist.

 

SYNOPSIS

Two shepherd brothers are sleeping. A thief dupes wakeful Daniel, the third and youngest brother, takes his one lamb and hides it. A noisy hunt ensues. After the lamb is retrieved, angels appear to Daniel, telling of the birth of the Christ Child. Daniel finds the manger and offers a gift.

 

Musical score: $58. Price includes shipping and handling within the U.S. Price also includes performing rights and permission to make sufficient copies for cast and accompanists for one group or company for one season.


A You-Tube video of the entire opera can be seen by clicking here. Visual is very dark, but you will get the idea. Sound is good.

 

Composer's comment: a magical opera, thanks in large part to the author of the story, M.C. Helldorfer. Has a real seasonal flavor. Fun solo parts for a few children and several adults. One non-singing part for a small child. SHB

 

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