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

CHILDREN'S OPERAS: Bluebonnet

THE LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET

a children's opera based on the Plains Indian tale
music, libretto and lyrics by Susan Hulsman Bingham
and students of
Worthington Hooker Elementary School

Sets and Costumes by Vladimir Shpitalnik

 

l. to r: Peter Schattauer, Katie Learned, Josephine Hwang, Hangyul Kim, Maureen Keefer
and Katie Hardin • Costume design: Vladimir Shpitalnik • Costumes by Dora Shpitalnik

 
VOICING:
 

narrator, trebles and sopranos*

CAST:

 

Ancestors, Elders, Bison, Hunters, Mother, Father, Coyote, Bird, Caterpillar, Butterfly, Rain/Rainbow, Shaman, She Who Is Alone, Doll, Fire. Some parts may double others.

ACCOMPANIMENT:

 

flute, piano, percussion

CHORUS:

 

treble chorus, all acting parts

DANCE:

 

simple Native American group dances

PROPS:

 

costumes available for rental

SOURCE OF TEXTS:

 

Native American legend

LANGUAGE:

 

English

MUSICAL STYLE:

 

contemporary with Native American flavor, tonal, harmonic, rhythmic, some chant

SCENES:

 

one

    Click here to hear a sound clip of this piece

DURATION:

 

sixty minutes

PREMIER:

 

The Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. James, New Haven, Connecticut, 1996 • Production was made possible in part through a grant from Meet The Composer's New Music for Schools, with support from the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation.

 

Josephine Hwang as the Doll in THE LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET Photo: Susan Bingham

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Drought and famine have killed off many members of a band of Nawyeka, or wandering Plains Indians. In order to survive, She Who Is Alone, a lonely orphan, spends all of her time with her one possession and only friend: a warrior doll left to her by her parents before they died.

After enduring years of famine, the Shaman of the tribe goes to the holy hill to ask the Great Spirit why there has been no rain. "You have mistreated the earth. You have killed bison and moved on without replenishing the land," comes the answer. The remedy: the tribe must make a sacrifice of its most precious possession.

After the Shaman returns to the tribe and tells the Great Spirit's message, She Who Is Alone, now twelve years old, decides that the most precious possession of the tribe is her warrior doll. She waits until deep into the night, leaves her tent, goes with a torch to the holy hill, makes a fire and sacrifices her doll.

When dawn breaks the rains come, causing Bluebonnet flowers to open all over the hills. She Who Is Alone is welcomed into the arms of her grateful tribe, her new family.

 

Songs written by Worthington Hooker School Students:

 

MANKIND'S FRIEND - BUFFALO words by Guantong Sun • ANIMALS, ANIMALS! words by Alexis Carter • REALLY HUNGRY words by Jessica James • GOODBYE words and melody by Hangyul Kim • COYOTE SONG words by Peter Schattauer • CATERPILLAR words by Ann Fisher • BUTTERFLY words by Margaret Youngberg • RAIN, RAIN words by Terez Tappin • RAINBOW words by Ji-eun Lee • NATURE words by Danielle Turcio • CHARCOAL HAIR AND SAPPHIRE EYES words by Eliza Hadler and Diana Rosenplanter • BLUEBONNETS! words and melody by Rebecca Genn

 

Composer's comments: a challenging, rich, dramatic piece with several large groups dances using simple Native American steps. Overall message: caring for the earth.

 

Musical score of THE LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET: $85. Price includes shipping within the US. Price also includes one bound copy and one single-sided, unbound copy from which your Company or Group may make as many copies as need for productions within a single year or season; in addition, performing rights are included.

Downloadable PDF file of The Legend of the Bluebonnet: $50

 

DVD of The Legend of the Bluebonnet: $28. Price includes shipping within the US.  

CD of The Legend of the Bluebonnet: $20. Price includes shipping within the US.