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

CHILDREN'S OPERA: The Emperor and the Nightingale

 

THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALE

an opera for adults and children based on the
Hans Christian Andersen tale

music and libretto by Susan Hulsman Bingham
 

(l. to r., front row only) Nora Dixon, Carol Quimby Heath,
Carol Marsh, and Elizabeth Lopez, in performance at
Sprague Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1982

 

VOICING:

 

Ideal for both professional level and amateur groups. Sop (3), mezzo sop (1), ten (1 or 2), bar (1, 2, or 3), treble chorus, SATB chorus.

CAST:

 

Emperor (ten), Nightingale (sop), Music Master (ten), Court Lady 1 (sop), Court Lady 2 (mezzo sop), Fancy Bird (sop), Death (bar), Bad Deeds (bar), Good Deeds (low ten), Fixer of Fancy Birds (bar; can be non-singing); also acting parts for Flowers/Birds (treble chorus) and Court Lords and Ladies (SATB chorus)

ACCOMPANIMENT:

 

piano, synthesizer, percussion

CHORUS:

 

treble chorus in addition to main characters; all are in costume and on stage some of the time

DANCE:

 

simple, idiosyncratic group dances

PROPS:

 

a few; stage can be very spare.

SOURCE OF TEXTS:

 

Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale

LANGUAGE:

 

English

MUSICAL STYLE:

 

Harmonic, melodic, uses Chinese tonalities

SOUND CLIPS:

 

Click here for Clip #1 sung by Judith Caldwell, soprano (Nightingale) and Anthony Lopez, baritone (Emperor).

Click here for Clip #2: the "Good Morning" song and FINALE (excerpt).

SCENES:

 

five

DURATION:

 

75 minutes

PREMIER:

 

Sprague Memorial Hall, Yale University, 1982 performed by students of the Worthington Hooker Elementary School, parents and friends.

CRITICAL COMMENTS:

 

"Magical, innocent, simple, melodious, and utterly charming . . ." New Haven Register

 

SYNOPSIS

The Emperor of China hears about a beautiful Nightingale who lives outside his palace walls. She is brought to him, and her ravishing song touches his lonely soul. Soon afterward, the Emperor of Japan sends a Mechanical Bird to the Emperor, and the Emperor's Courtiers are so taken with her brash songs that they insult the real Nightingale, whereupon she flies away. The devastated Emperor, missing his Nightingale dreadfully, takes to his bed. Years pass, and as he prepares to die of a broken heart, he is haunted by regrets and pleads to be forgiven. The Emperor's Nightingale hears his cries and returns.

 

other photos of this opera

 

Price of one bound and one single-sided piano/ vocal/percussion score of THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALE: $150. Cost includes shipping within the US; it also includes rights to make sufficient copies of the score for cast members and accompanists for one season.




Downloadable PDF file of musical score of The Emperor and the Nightingale: $75


DVD of The Emperor and the Nightingale: $28. Price includes shipping within the US.  


CD of The Emperor and the Nightingale: $20. Price includes shipping within the US.

 

Composer's comment: THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALE has had many successful runs by our company and others'. Tremendous fun for all ages, lots of humor ending with an upbeat message. A great showcase for a soprano and character actors. Chorus members act too.

Another note: this opera was performed in August of 2002 by OPERA PACIFIC as THE EMPRESS AND THE NIGHTINGALE. Maria Simeone, Producer. Ms. Simeone cast the entire opera with children ages 7-18, with great success. For a photo of that production, click here.