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Mark Adamo

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Avow (1999)
Work Notes
The following arias for voice(s) and piano are sold by Classical on Demand: "Bear Witness, Love" • "Dad? Why did you stay?" • "It wasn't perfect" • "Why? Why this?"
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

  • 26 APR 2019
    Robert L. Annis Playhouse, Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ
    Westminster Choir College of Rider University

    Other Dates:
    27 April - Robert L. Annis Playhouse, Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ

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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