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Leonardo Balada

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Hangman, Hangman! (¡Verdugo, Verdugo!) (1982)
Text Writer
Libretto by the composer after a traditional cowboy song.
G Schirmer Inc
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Chamber Opera
Year Composed
45 Minutes
Narr, T, A, B, S, Bar, B; 2 actors
Catalan, English, Spanish
Narrator, Tenor, Alto, 2 Basses, Soprano, Baritone, 2 actors
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Programme Note
Leonardo Balada Hangman, Hangman! (¡Verdugo, Verdugo!) (1982)

Hangman, Hangman! is based on an old folk ballad and set in the old West. Johnny is about to be hanged when he sees his parents and sweetheart approaching and believes they will buy his release. Unfortunately, Johnny has mistreated them for years and now they’ve come only to watch him swing from the gallows. Shortly before he is to be hanged, however, a wealthy landowner buys Johnny’s release and seeing his luck turn, the crowd, including his family, cheer him.

Balada's extraordinary tragic-comic chamber opera HANGMAN, HANGMAN! was written in 1982. [It] deals with the cowboy, Johnny, who is to be hanged because he stole a horse, but is saved by means of a bribe. [It is a] brilliantly told parable of predatory capitalism and its consequences. Balada constantly brings out new effects from the eight-person stage orchestra. His score give the singers numerous opportunities to show their skills - above all the beguiling tenor [role]. [I] emphatically recommend this piece.
Benjamin G. Cohrs, Klassik-Heute (Germany),01/01/0001
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