Setting We are in two places at once: The Londons’ house in Glen Ellen, a small farmhouse with two screened sleeping porches, one very his, one very hers, and a sense of the house going on behind, with attached out buildings. Though ramshackle and simple, this is an establishment—a spreading tree in front—views. A bare vaudeville stage, the machinery visible. Synopsis by Philip Littell One election night in the early teens of the last century, Jack London came home to his ranch drunk, late for dinner. His wife Charmian was waiting. Out of what passed between them that night came a strange and honest and, in its time, shocking book, John Barleycorn. It was nothing more or less than Jack London’s memoirs as an alcoholic. All that he told her that night—and he held nothing back—is in its pages. How he told her, and how she took it, is the subject of this opera. Out rushes the story of his lifelong struggle with alcoholism, all in a jumble, one story after another, as he continues to drink, getting drunker by the minute, as he tries to make her understand his past, as he tries to make sense of his life, his work, his loves, and the great despair, the crushing depressions that shadow his triumphs and presage his defeats, all the highs, all the lows, all the people he has met, all the people he has become. In the course of one long harrowing night, one life and one marriage hang in the balance. A man has to decide whether to live, and a woman has to decide whether to love. Six singers create the men and women who have created Every Man Jack...every man jack of them.
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