Cast & Creative
The Gift - A New Opera by Paul Herman
THE GIFT SYNOPSIS
Overture. It is snowing. The townspeople bustle about in preparation for Christmas. Children are playing and horsing around. The women sing a chorus voicing a longing for their lovers. The girl makes an appearance declaring her great happiness.
The townspeople congregate on stage. They and the entire audience are welcomed by the Mayor, ending with the lighting of the Christmas tree. He asks the little children what they want for Christmas. They reply and the entire cast sings – The Grand Chorus. The children say what they want for Christmas, the teens rap what they do NOT want, and all of the children join the adults for a final chorus.
Afterwards, the young girls congregate near the porch of the girl’s house. The young men congregate on the other side of the stage where the boy leads a barbershop quartet begging the girl to come to him. At the end of the song, he runs to her and they contemplate a plan, (Thinking about forever). The chorus on stage continues to busy themselves with Christmas preparations. Musicians start a jug and dancing begins. The father arrives on stage where he joins the dancing and sings of fond memories of when his children were young. He sees the boy and girl on the porch and angrily approaches them.
He rebukes them both, dismisses the boy and chides the girl such that she leaves by going into the house while crying. The father explains the reason for his harsh feelings, but realizes he may have lost the love of his daughter. He weeps and cannot finish his song. He straightens, wipes his tears and walks off stage. The mother and daughter come out of the house and sing of their love for the father and boy respectively. They go back inside. The chorus again appears singing and preparing for the holiday. The boy appears and approaches the house as the girl appears. They start to run away. The father sees them and gives chase.
The young couple weave through the crowd and with the help of their friends get away, leaving the father on frustrated and defeated.
The boy and girl are asleep in the bedroom.
The prelude evokes the sunrise and songbirds.
The boy awakens and starts to dress, singing the song of love and commitment (Boy’s Manifesto), but ultimately he lies back in bed before awakening the girl with a kiss. Together they sing 2 love areas (Morning time and In Your Arms).
The boy says he intends to go shopping but the girl implores him to stay and brush her hair. The spirit of the mother appears and sings to the couple while the boy brushes (Daughter dear). The boy and girl both state they will go shopping, but separately.
The girl leaves the room to get dressed. The boy sings goodbye to his pocket watch. He leaves. The girl emerges dressed and sings hear song of love and commitment (What has happened).
She is interrupted by a knock on the door and the appearance of her father. He has come to take her home, but she mollifies him by remembering happier times together (Remember when). He succumbs, they hug and he leaves. She gets ready to leave, but looks in the mirror one last time and contemplates.
She takes the scarf off her shoulders, puts it on her head and after one last look in the mirror she leaves (Remember that Girl).
The room is now empty and it awaits the return of the lovers (Waltz for an Empty Room). The boy returns and prepares the room for the final scene, brining a small table and chairs to the front of the stage (Intermezzo). The girl returns and they open their gifts. Each realizes the sacrifice of the other: the boy sells his pocket watch to buy the girl combs for her hair, the girl sells her hair to by the boy a chain for his watch. The moods lighten as they declare their undying love (Forever in Love with You) then turns romantic with a reprise of the love duet (In Your Arms).
They walk out of the room and off-stage singing of their love.
Cast & Creative
Friends of the Girl
Friends of the Boy
Casey Robards - Conductor
Rebecca Hovan - Flute
Christopher French - Clarinet & Saxophone
Jameson Cooper - Violin
David Machavariani - Violoncello
Jennifer Muñiz - Piano
Micah Detweiler - Percussion
Jeremy Whetstone - Guitar
Carlee Baldwin- Stage Director
Addie Pfeiffer - Assistant Stage Director
Casey Robards - Music Director
Juan-Carlos Alarcon - Assistant Conductor
Dallin Baldwin - Chorus Master
Robert Rhein - Musical Preparation
Jennifer Muñiz - Musical Preparation
Emily Chidalek - Costume Designer
Ivy Jones - Lighting Designer
Coley Mroczek - Stage Manager
Damen Mroczek - Scenic Designer
Hannah Counselor - Graphic Designer
Emanuel-Cristian Caraman - Artistic Director
In Collaboration with