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Philip Glass

Publisher: Chester Music

Appomattox (2007)
Commissioned by San Francisco Opera
Work Notes
Libretto (English) by Christopher Hampton.
Text Writer
Libretto by Christopher Hampton
Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc
Opera and Music Theatre
Year Composed
1 Hours 45 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Principals - Baritone, Bass Baritone, Soprano, Mezzo, Baritone, Tenor, Secondary - Tenor, 2 Baritones, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo
Programme Note
Philip Glass Appomattox (2007)
General Ulysses S. Grant - baritone
General Robert E. Lee - baritone
Julia Dent Grant - soprano
Mary Custis Lee - soprano
Julia Agnes Lee - soprano
T. Morris Chester - tenor
Abraham Lincoln - bass-baritone
Mary Todd Lincoln - soprano
Elizabeth Keckley - mezzo-soprano
Edgar Ray Killen - bass-baritone
Edward Alexander - tenor
John Rawlins - baritone
General Howell Cobb - bass
Ely S. Parker - tenor
Wilmer McLean - baritone
Four civil rights marchers - bass, tenor, soprano, mezzo-soprano
An old man - bass
A young man - tenor
Two freed slaves - tenor, bass
A brigadier - tenor
A naval officer - bass
Voice of a confederate soldier - baritone
A captain - bass
Chorus of union and confederate soldiers, citizens of Richmond and Appomattox, Slaves and Women

The brutal American Civil War is drawing to a close. Three scenes unfold simultaneously as Julia (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant), Mary Custis (Mrs. Robert E. Lee) with her daughter Agnes, and Mary Todd Lincoln with her seamstress Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave, separately express their anxieties, then jointly voice their foreboding about the suffering that is imminent.

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  • 08 JUL 2009
    Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds
    Leeds Youth Opera
    Michael Williamson, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9-11 July - Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds
  • 05 OCT 2007
    San Francisco, USA
    San Francisco Opera

    Other Dates:
    10,14,16,18,20,24 October - San Francisco, USA

Where Glass' music shines is in the details of its text setting, especially during the narrative stretches that dot the opera. Here, the composer's simple rhythmic motifs, instead of trying to hold the spotlight, serve as a sort of musical trellis around which he can wind the phrases of Hampton's libretto with the naturalness and careful pacing of a speaking actor
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle,10/8/2007
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