October 26, 1961 | New York City Opera
The Crucible
Composer:Robert Ward
Librettist:Bernard Stambler
The story is a parable of good and evil, in which bigoted men and women in 17th century Salem, MA used the cry of "witch" to destroy those they hated or envied. The town of Salem has been seized by a wave of hysteria. The slave, Tituba, is accused by the wily and pretty Abigail, who uses the situation to attempt to destroy the community. When the witch trial begins under the administration of the terrifying zealot, Judge Danforth, Abigail accuses Elizabeth, the wife of John Proctor, of witchcraft. Abigail hopes thereby to get Elizabeth out of the way and regain John's affection. John remains loyal to his wife, however, even admitting in court to his adultery with Abigail in order to expose her fraud. He is not believed and is arrested. John Proctor, along with Tituba and other innocents, is condemned to the gallows. In a blaze of courage at the opera's end, John refuses to sign the false confession that would free him.

Click company name to view productions details.
Opera Santa BarbaraThe Crucible4/26/2019 - 4/28/2019
Glow Lyric TheatreThe Crucible7/13/2017 - 7/28/2017
Miami Music FestivalThe Crucible7/28/2016 - 7/30/2016
Glimmerglass FestivalThe Crucible7/23/2016 - 8/27/2016
Piedmont OperaThe Crucible3/3/2012 - 3/20/2012
Sarasota OperaThe Crucible3/3/2011 - 3/19/2011
Tulsa OperaThe Crucible4/28/2007 - 4/28/2007
Mobile OperaThe Crucible10/1/2005 - 10/21/2005
Chautauqua OperaThe Crucible7/7/2005 - 7/25/2005
Utah Festival OperaThe Crucible7/1/2005 - 7/29/2005
Opera BostonThe Crucible4/1/2005 - 4/10/2005
Indianapolis OperaThe Crucible3/1/2005 - 3/6/2005
Toledo OperaThe Crucible4/1/2004 - 4/25/2004
Des Moines Metro OperaThe Crucible6/1/2003 - 7/1/2003
Central City OperaThe Crucible7/7/1998 - 8/8/1998
Tri-Cities OperaThe Crucible3/1/1995 - 3/12/1995
Tulsa OperaThe Crucible2/1/1995 - 3/1/1995
Chautauqua OperaThe Crucible8/1/1991 - 8/5/1991

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
Click here to learn more about OPERA America granting programs.
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2012
The Next Stage1999
The Next Stage1997

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Number of Acts

Musical Style
Through-composed, diatonic, accessible, and eclectic; American neo-classic style; some melodies evoke 17th-century Protestant hymnody; some parlando; influenced by Hindemith, Puccini, and popular song, among others

Vocal & Musical Forces
Two flutes (dbl. piccolo), 2 oboes (dbl. Eng. horn), 2 clarinets (dbl. bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (dbl. contrabassoon), 4 horns, 2 trumpets, tenor trombone, bass trombone, timpani, percussion, harp, strings; 4 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 2 contraltos, 4 tenors, 2 baritones, 2 basses, SATB chorus; Robert Ward made a reduced orchestration of the work for Chicago Opera Theater in 1985

Original Cast
Patricia Brooks (Abigail Williams)
Frances Bible (Elizabeth Proctor)
Chester Ludgin (John Proctor)
Norman Treigle (Reverend John Hale)
Norman Kelley (Reverend Samuel Parris)
Eunice Alberts (Rebecca Nurse)
Ken Neate (Judge Danforth)
Debria Brown (Tituba)
Mary LeSawyer (Ann Putnam)
Paul Ukena (Thomas Putnam)
Lorna Cenicero (Ruth Putnam)
Joy Clements (Mary Warren)
Spiro Malas (Francis Nurse)
Maurice Stern (Giles Corey)
Harry Theyard (Ezekiel Cheever)
Joan Kelm (Sarah Good)
Helen Guile (Susanna Walcott)
Nancy Roy (Mercy Lewis)
Elizabeth Schwering (Martha Sheldon)
Beverly Evans (Bridget)

Technical Production Directory
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