May 12, 2007 | New York City Opera
Elegy for a Prince
Composer:Sergio Cervetti
Librettist:Elizabeth Esris
Imagination, humor, cynicism, sorrow and love intertwine in Elegy For A Prince, a bittersweet musical journey that resonates with life. It places Oscar Wilde’s story, The Happy Prince, within an original framework that begins with a father reading the tale to his son. As in the original story, the Prince seeks to alleviate the suffering that he ignored while he was alive. Swallow is a young vagabond and dreamer of exotic origins who stumbles into town and becomes the Prince’s agent to the poor. Together they fulfill the Prince’s mission. In the process, Swallow develops compassion for humanity and learns from the Prince that love is the divine secret, as expressed in the second act in a farewell duet that borrows from Wilde’s discourse on love in De Profundis. The opera ends with the emergence of one of the characters from the story—the Young Writer—as a champion of compassion and beauty in a cynical world.

Title Information

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Musical Style
The music is melodic and tonally free, woven of leitmotifs and shifting meters in an uninterrupted flow; a lyrical work of evocative moods, rich in emotional variety.

Original Cast
Jeffrey Tucker (Father)
Eric Jordan (Mayor)
Julianne Borg (the Swallow)
Scott Hogsed (the Prince)
Wayne Hobbs (the Young Writer)
Malia Bendi Merad (the Match Girl)

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