November 15, 1974
A Bayou Legend
Composer:William Grant Still
Librettist:Verna Arvey
The story concerns a young, idealistic man, Bazile, who falls in love with a spirit maiden named Aurore. He is pursued, however, by the conniving Clothilde, who will stop at nothing to snare him as her husband, even if it means duping him into believing that she is carrying his child.

Aurore tells Bazile that they have been sweethearts throughout the ages and that they will be reunited in another life. She also reveals that Clothilde is not bearing his child. Clothilde is madly jealous of Bazile's devotion to Aurore and schemes to expose the fact that he is consorting with spirits, a crime in the village punishable by death. Bazile refuses to renounce his love for Aurore and so the villagers, fearful of witchcraft, hang him.

Released by death, Bazile's spirit rises to meet that of Aurore's. Even the loyal Leonce, who truly loved Clothilde in the beginning, stands by her until he, too, sees her for what she has wrought, and rejects her in the end. Clothilde is left alone, her happiness gone forever.

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Musical Style
Simple, singable melodies; lushly romantic; vibrant orchestral colors

Original Cast
Juanita Waller (Aurore)
John Miles (Bazile)
Barbara Conrad (Clothilde)
Robert Mosley (Leonce)
Francois Clemmons (Minstrel)
Naymond Thomas (Father Lestant)
Francois Clemmons (First Blade)
Earl Taylor (Second Blade)
Eddie Goins (Third Blade)

The broadcast of the videotaped performance starred Raeschelle Potter as Clothilde; Gary Burgess as Bazile; Carmen Balthrop as Aurore; Peter Lightfoot as Leonce; Cullen Maiden as Father Lestant; and Francois Clemmons, Irwin Reese and Ben Holt as the Three Blades.

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