OPERAS

Available from Adamo Press

With commissions and performances from the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and many others, Scurria's accessible style almost always receives an audience standing ovation.

 

PEARL, the opera (2015)

based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter

Opera in 2 Acts ~ Based on The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne

Libretto by Carol Gilligan and Jonathan Gilligan

For 2 sopranos, child soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, and piano.

Cast:

Pearl - soprano

Child Pearl - child soprano

Hester Prynne - soprano

Arthur Dimmesdale - tenor

Roger Chillingworth (nee Prynne) - baritone

Reverend Wilson - bass

Length - 2 hours

Synopsis

Based upon Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. Pearl, a young girl in the novel, is now a grown woman reflecting upon the events of her childhood when the love of her parents, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, was considered sinful and punishable by death. Hester Prynne travels to Puritan New England and awaits the arrival of her husband, Roger Prynne. His ship is assumed to have wrecked and he is presumed dead. Hester falls in love with Arthur Dimmesdale, the town minister. They keep their love affair secret until Hester becomes pregnant and is ordered to wear a Scarlet A upon her chest to signify the sin she has committed. With the identity of her lover, Dimmesdale, hidden, Roger Prynne reappears, but upon seeing his wife with a child by another man, he forbids her to reveal his identity and thus takes on the new name of Roger Chillingworth, swearing eternal revenge upon the father of this child, Pearl. When Dimmesdale finally musters the courage to reveal his true identity as the lover of Hester and the father of Pearl, the townspeople and Reverend ignore his admission and implore him to return to his duties as minister and turn his back on his lover and daughter. Caught within the whirlwind and pressures of a patriarchal construct, Dimmesdale finds himself unable to turn his back on his lover, his daughter, or his congregation. Captured in this inextricable conundrum, the pressure surrounding him causes his heart to fail and he dies. Pearl carries with her the hope of a better future when “one brighter day, when the world should have grown ripe for it, in heaven’s own time, a new truth shall be revealed, a new relation, a union founded not on dusky grief, but on shared joy.”

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ESPERANZA RISING (2009)

Chamber Opera in 3 Acts
Libretto by the students at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School

Cast:

Esperanza - soprano

Abuelita - mezzo-soprano

Mama (Ramona) - mezzo-soprano

Marta - mezzo-soprano

Papa - tenor

Tio Luis - tenor

Miguel - tenor

Child - child soprano

Chamber opera for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, violin, violoncello, and piano

Length - 30 minutes

Commissioned by the NC Arts Council and LongLeaf Opera for a "Page to Stage" opera project with Frank Porter Graham Elementary School. The work is based on the book, Esperanza Rising by Pamela Muñoz Ryan.

Program Notes

Esperanza Ortega possesses all the treasures a young girl could want: fancy dresses; a beautiful home filled with servants in the bountiful region of Aguascalientes, Mexico; and the promise of one day rising to Mama’s position and presiding over all of Rancho de las Rosas. But a sudden tragedy shatters that dream, forcing Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. There they confront the challenges of hard work, acceptance by their own people, and economic difficulties brought on by the Great Depression. When Mama falls ill from Valley Fever and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must relinquish her hold on the past and learn to embrace a future ripe with the riches of family and community. Pam Muñoz Ryan eloquently portrays the Mexican workers’ plight in this abundant and passionate novel that gives voice to those who have historically been denied one.

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