By Benjamin Britten
Libretto by William Plomer after Luke 15:11-32
Thursday, October 4 at 8:00 pm
Friday, October 5 at 8:00 pm
Temptation calls upon the Younger Son who abandons his family and spends his inheritance only to find isolation and poverty. But the power of forgiveness heals all wounds. Part of the Chamber Series for Contemporary Opera – tickets for subscribers are $20 and are available for purchase with your subscription package. Tickets are $25 if not purchased with a subscription.
First performed on June 10, 1968 at the Aldeburgh Festival in the Orford Church in Suffolk, England
A Kentucky Opera premiere to be performed at the St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church.
Director: Thomson Smillie
Conductor: Jim Rightmyer
The Tempter/Abbott: Brad Raymond
Father: John Arnold
Elder Son: Greg Jebaily
Younger Son: Patrick MacDevitt
Setting: A medieval English church in the Fens
Processional: The monks enter the church chanting Jam lucis orto sidere, the Morning Prayer for protection. The monks begin the parable of The Prodigal Son by donning costume pieces applicable to each character.
The story centers on a family farm consisting of the Father, the Elder Son, the Younger Son and various servants. The Elder Son and the servants leave to work the fields. The Younger Son hears the voice of the Tempter, tempting him to pursue his most secret longings. The Younger Son asks the Father for his inheritance and leaves for the City of Sin. In the city, the Younger Son is surrounded by the Parasites and cheated out of his inheritance so he is left penniless and alone. He takes up with the Beggars and shares the food of the swine before returning home to beg his father’s forgiveness. Upon his return, the Father and the household celebrate, but the Elder Son is still angry as he stayed and worked in the fields yet receives no accolades for his efforts. The Father tells the Elder Son to reconcile himself with his younger brother so that the family may be fully restored.
Recessional: With the end of the play, the monks return to their normal robes and as they leave the church, repeat Jam lucis orto sidere.
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