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The Sweet Bye and Bye
Composer:Jack Hamilton Beeson
Librettist:Kenward Elmslie
Young Sister Rose Ora Easter is assumed dead. Her followers believe that she has drowned while swimming off the coast of Atlantic City. Some have their doubts about her disappearance, especially Mother Rainey, who raised the orphaned girl and trained her to take on the role as the leader of Lifeshine Gospel. Mother Rainey believes that the departed Sister was actually led astray by a man; after questioning the missing Sister’s close friend Sister Gladys, Mother Rainey’s suspicions are confirmed. Billy Wilcox has spirited her away to New York, and the two plan to flee to the Holy Land using Lifeshine Gospel money. The two women head to the city, bent on retrieving Sister Rose Ora. They are somewhat successful. Sister Rose Ora announces the truth of her disappearance, and asserts that the vows she made as a child are no longer relevant, since she has awoken to the glories of love. Billy prepares to leave with Rose Ora when Mother Rainey arrives with a gun. Knowing that Rose Ora is lost to her and their sect, Mother Rainey shoots him. Rose Ora turns violently on her sect and then returns to Billy, who dies in her arms.

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