November 17, 2003
Firebird Motel
Composer:David Conte
Librettist:David Yezzi
Prologue: Nova's Warning A few months earlier at the Firebird Motel, a young woman named Julie disappeared under mysterious circumstnaces. Nova sings a song of the desert, joined by the wordless voice of the missing woman. Scene One: The Graveyard Shift In the Firebird's lobby, denizens of the motel are waiting out a violent storm. The local cop, Trooper, taunts Corina, with whom he has been having a series of forced assignations. As he exits, he orders her to meet him outside. Corina, who mocks Trooper in front of the night clerk Ivan, ultimately goes to him as a way to avoid a beating and possibly jail. Scene Two: Ivan and His Radio Ivan is unable to stop Corina from leaving. He has seen this destructive cycle played out before with Julie, whose disappearance haunts him and whose voice he hears over the radio. The lights go out. Julie appears to Ivan and reveals that she was shot by Trooper and left in the desert to die. She warns Ivan that Corina is in danger and urges him to help her. Scene Three: Ivan's Ideal A few hours later, Nova enters the lobby brandishing a pistol, as the lights come back on and Ivan is startled awake. Corina enters with Trooper's blood on her shirt. They have been fighting. Nova offers her, first, a cup of tea and, then, a pistol to protect herself. Corina discovers a picture of Julie as a girl and sings of her own childhood. Ivan comforts Corina and dreams of world without violence, warning Corina to get away from the motel and Trooper. Corina explains that she has nowhere else to go. Scene Four: A Shot in the Dark Trooper enters. His ear is crudely bandaged, and blood stains his clothing. He confronts Corina, with his gun drawn. The lights go out again, and a shot is heard. Nova believes that Corina has been killed and flees to her room. Corina, who has collapsed on the floor, was too scared to fire her gun. Ivan makes a confession, and Julie's voice is heard, as the sun rises and Ivan and Corina escape to an unknown fate.

Title Information

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Vocal & Musical Forces
7 principals (3 Sopranos, Tenor, Mezzo, Baritone, Bass); Chorus; instrumental ensemble (violin, cello, bass, clarinet, piano)

Original Cast
Mark Hernandez (tenor) as Ivan, Milissa Carey (mezzo-soprano) as Nova, Julie Queen (soprano) as Julie, Shawnette Sulker (soprano) as Corina, Micah Epps (baritone) as Trooper, Elena Krell (soprano) as Elena de Mattos, Gabrielle McColgan (alto) as Ruby Fulton, Lawrence Pech (tenor) as Robin Estrada, Patrick Leveque (bass) as Abraham Fabella

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