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Burning Bright
Composer:Frank Lewin
Librettist:Frank Lewin
Setting: Act I: a country circus in the Midwest -- Act II: a farm in Pennsylvania -- Act III, a ship moored in New York Harbor.

A middle-aged man and his younger wife, deeply in love with each other, have no children. The husband, Joe Saul, is obsessed with the idea that he must hand on his tradition to an heir. His wife Mordeen knows that he cannot father a child. In order to give Joe Saul what he craves so desperately, Mordeen encourages the advances of a young man, Victor, and conceives by him, hoping that her husband will accept the child as his own. The fourth member of the cast, Friend Ed, acts as confidant and observer.

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Number of Acts

Musical Style
Tonal; incorporates material from various ethnic traditions (Irish tunes, Scottish rituals, Appalachian ballads, Hawaiian and English sea lore) and elements of American popular music; grand opera

Vocal & Musical Forces
; Small chorus; Two flutes (alto/picc.), 2 oboes, English Horn, 2 clarinets (bass clarinet/contrabassclarinet in E flat), 3 bassoons, 4 French horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, 2 percussion, harp, guitar (electric/acoustic), strings. Offstage circus band (recorded), onstage fiddler, 4 onstage handbells, harbor sound effects (recorded); 2 projected video sequences

Original Cast
Mordeen (Sherry Overholt)
Rinde Eckert (Victor)
Charles Damsel (Joe Saul)
Julian Rodescu (Friend Ed)

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