Monday, October 20, 2008

Contemporary Classical Oratorio/Opera Libretto Publication And Study In The Age Of Digital Reproduction

A Flowering Tree

Act I, Scene 1
I want to tell you a story—
a story of love,
and then pain,
and then love again.

This is Kumudha.
Like the flower
she’s named for,
she is beautiful,
and always has been.

This is the Prince.
Once a selfish
spoiled young man,
careless, rash,
he is different now.

Together they will help me
tell you the story
of their love.

In the time of honey and elephants
in the south of the country
near a town where two rivers
met to mingle their slow pure waters,
near that town
a king ruled among his people.

His son, the Prince,
lived in comfort and luxury.
He lived with his two sisters,
one kind, the other covetous.
Rarely did they leave the palace,
for the world outside
was a place of misery and suffering.

In that same town, close to the river,
an old woman, weary, fretted,
lived alone with two daughters.
With gnarled hands and curved spine,
her sweat mixed with dust and chaff,
she labored in fields,
in order to feed them,
her two precious daughters.

-- Libretto by John Adams and Peter Sellars adapted from the ancient Indian folktale and poetry in translations by A.K. Ramanujan.

(c) 2008.Nonesuch Records. All rights reserved. With thanks.


Header credit: Flowering Tree by Mary Belknap, 2006. Mixed media on matte board. Copyright © 2000-2008 Creativity Explored. All rights reserved. With thanks.

Creativity Explored: Where Art Changes Lives. San Francisco.
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