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Mark Adamo

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Avow (1999)
Text Writer
the composer
G Schirmer Inc
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Chamber Opera
Year Composed
12 Minutes
Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Bass-baritone, Bass
Alternate Orchestration
Programme Note
Mark Adamo Avow (1999)
   THE MOTHER: Soprano. Avid, elegant.
   THE BRIDE: Mezzo-soprano. Wry, ambivalent.
   THE CELEBRANT: Tenor. Glib, daft.
   THE GROOM: Baritone. Earnest, haunted.
   THE GHOST: Bass-baritone. Cool, steadfast.

The wedding morning.

Composer Note:
It was Jonathan Sheffer’s idea in 1999 to recreate the Spoleto Festival’s famous 1959 evening of one-act operas that had introduced, among scores by Hindemith, Foss and others, Samuel Barber’s comedy of domestic discontent A Hand of Bridge, to a libretto by Gian-Carlo Menotti — and he graciously asked me to write a new work to end the evening.

I came up with the idea of the emotions experienced on a wedding morning by an ambivalent bride, her avid mother, the haunted groom, the glib, daft celebrant, and, the ghost of the groom’s father; and, in a gesture to history, I made the groom’s father David, that large-hearted husband caught in a too-small life whom Barber scored as a baritone in A Hand of Bridge but reappears as a bass-baritone in my score.

Avow is scored for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass-baritone, and either piano or chamber orchestra, and is dedicated with respect and gratitude to Jonathan Sheffer: it was introduced by Eos Orchestra in New York in May 1999.

— Mark Adamo

  • 28 SEP 2017
    University of Alabama, Bryant-Jordan Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL
    University of Alabama Opera Theatre

    Other Dates:
    1 October - University of Alabama, Bryant-Jordan Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • 30 APR 2017
    Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayatteville, AR
    Opera Fayetteville
    Cris Frisco, conductor

    Other Dates:
    5 May - Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayatteville, AR
  • 06 NOV 2015
    Boston, MA
    Boston Opera Collaborative

    Other Dates:
    7 November - Boston, MA
  • 02 JUN 2013
    Arlington, VA
    Urban Arias
    Bob Wood, conductor
  • 02 JUN 2012
    Arlington, VA
  • 01 OCT 2010
    Avow New York Premiere
    Brooklyn, NY
    Remarkable Theater Brigade

Smooth, melodic, and memorable, this piece jells into a perfect start in life for a young couple. Best of all, it’s beautiful music to hear at any time.
Maria Nockin, Operawire,01/08/2017
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