Publisher: G. Schirmer
The Unicorn in the Garden
Libretto by Joseph Lonstreth after James Thurber’s “Fables of Our Time” (1940).
Opera and Music Theatre
Four characters are in search of truth. A husband is happily preparing breakfast on a sunshine-filled Sunday morning while his wife enjoys a few more minutes of dreamy slumber. Suddenly he spots a unicorn in the garden, but his wife thinks the whole idea is preposterous, interpreting it as a scheme to get her out of bed. ‘Unicorns are mythical beasts, leave me alone!’ The wife thinks her husband has gone mad and wants him taken away; she calls a policeman and psychiatrist for assistance. As she attempts to tell the story, they become convinced she was hallucinating and bind her in a straightjacket. When the husband appears, he is shocked at his wife’s nonsensical notion about seeing a unicorn, that ‘mythical’ beast.