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Colonel Jonathan the Saint
PREMIERE12/31/1971 — Denver Lyric Opera
COMPOSERDominick Argento   
LIBRETTISTJohn Olon-Scrymgeour   
 
Synopsis
During the American Civil War, Lyonesse, a house in Maryland, was partially burned during a Union raid. After the war, Allegra Harper and her niece Daisy are trying to convert the house into a hotel. Helping them is Colonel Jonathan Gilourin, the leader of the soldiers who set fire to the house during the war. Daisy’s sister Sabrina, the owner of Lyonesse, arrives after searching for three years for news about the death of her Confederate husband. Jonathan looks amazingly like Sabrina’s husband, although Sabrina doesn’t notice. He expresses interest in Sabrina romantically, but she rejects him. Jonathan enlists Daisy’s help, and asks her to describe Sabrina’s husband more fully. Reluctantly, she shares a letter from Sabrina that describes her husband’s last words and farewell. Jonathan utters the words Sabrina’s husband said to her upon his departure. As if in a fantasy state, Sabrina embraces Jonathan. Jonathan and Sabrina marry, but the Colonel is tormented by Sabrina’s inability to let go of her husband’s memory. Alone at night, Sabrina begins to extinguish the lamps in the house. The lights mysteriously come up to reveal her dead husband calling to her. They embrace and pledge everlasting love.
MOST PRODUCED SINCE 2000
RANKTITLEPRODUCTIONS
n/aColonel Jonathan the Saint0
2Madama Butterfly301
3La traviata299
4Carmen286
5The Barber of Seville283
6Tosca273
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