David and Glass (2010)

The experience was powerful and emotionally moving and entertaining.
— Hampton Roads Artsong Update
 Promotional material by Scott Crissman

Promotional material by Scott Crissman

Characters

Prince Jonathan . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . . tenor

David Jesse . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .   tenor

King Saul . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  baritone

The King’s Advisor . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . . baritone

Mr. Glass . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .counter-tenor

1st Maid . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .soprano

2nd Maid . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .soprano

Scene:  The opera is set during modern times in the fictional nation of Gilboah.  The monarchy is under much duress as their Prince Jonathan has been missing for five days.

                                    Act I: “Heroics”

                                    Act II: “Parades”

                                    Act III: “Gambits”

SynopsisACT I:  Prince Jonathan attempts to keep up a strong front during the next in a long series of torture sessions by a figure named Mr. Glass. In the kingdom of Gilboah, King Saul, Jonathan’s father, mourns the potential loss of his missing son.  His anger and frustration quickly devolve into grief as the days drag on without any sign of the prince.   

As Glass continues his exploration of pain with Jonathan as subject, David Jesse, an officer in the Royal Police Force, is in the middle of a drug bust gone awry.  In an effort to hide from the drug dealers who have murdered his partner, he takes shelter in a nearby warehouse.  Hearing Jonathan’s screams of pain, David investigates and, after a brief struggle, kills Mr. Glass and brings Jonathan home.

            ACT II:  The people of Gilboah rejoice at the return of their Prince.  As a reward for his bravery, the King offers David the highest position for a Royal Police Force officer: Chief Inspector.  David accepts, primarily due to the financial benefits the position presents for his family. 

            One week passes, and David finds the position to be more of a public figure than a hands-on leader. David attempts to adjust to this. Jonathan comes to thank David personally for his heroic services, and in doing so, the two begin to form a close bond that Jonathan immediately recognizes as perhaps something deeper than just gratitude and companionship.

            Two palace maids gossip about the Prince and his playboy lifestyle.  They discuss the widely-accepted rumors of his homosexuality, and his frequent domestic battles with his father.  David becomes an extraordinarily popular figure, which the King’s Advisor makes aware to the King.  It is revealed that, in order to preserve tradition and the proud name of the royal family, the King’s Advisor hired Mr. Glass to remove the Prince from succession, essentially leaving the monarchy in the Advisor’s hands. This, he feels, would be far better than letting someone like Jonathan take the throne.

            ACT III:  The King, in an attempt to separate David and Jonathan, begins to suggest that Jonathan question the authenticity of David’s feelings for him. The King then threatens the safety of David’s family if David does not resign from his post.  David ends the relationship with Jonathan and hands in his resignation to the King to ensure his family’s well-being.  Jonathan overhears the resignation and confronts David.  The two express their love for each other.

            The King finds Jonathan’s room empty and realizes that he has lost his son for good, essentially destroying him. The King’s Advisor gloats in the success of preventing the Prince from inheriting the throne. Jonathan and David retreat into exile and a hopeful, if uncertain future.

 

Prince Jonathan:  Wealthy playboy son of King Saul.  Largely rumored to be homosexual whose antics and wild nights are consistently edited from the press by the powers of the royal family.

David Jesse:  The family-minded, compassionate new recruit in the Royal Police Force who unwittingly stumbles upon the kidnapped prince, launching him to hero status and helping him climb the ranks to head the Royal Police Force. 

King Saul:  Head of the royal family and the nation, father of Jonathan.  Despises his son’s lifestyle and flagrant disregard for responsibility.  Largely blames himself for not producing another heir while his wife was still alive.

The King’s Advisor:  Advisor to the king, bringing it upon himself to rid the nation of the chance of Jonathan taking the throne.  Desires to run the country himself.

Mr. Glass:  Psychotic, serial torturer and murderer hired by the Advisor to take care of the prince.

1st Maid:  Older maid who has served the royal family for years quietly, but has a knack for gossiping.

2nd Maid:  Younger of the maids to serve the royal family.  She is blackmailed by the Advisor into aiding him with his plans and consistently spies on David and Jonathan.

 

Cast of the First Performance

Prince Jonathan . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . Michael Baggett

David Jesse . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .Scott Crissman

King Saul . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  .Andrew Rene

The King’s Advisor . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  Wesley Evans

Mr. Glass . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . . Paul Keene

1st Maid . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .Emi Frantz

2nd Maid . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  . .  Victoria Myers

 

Music Director:  Steven Brindle

Staging and Choreography:  Katelyn Welch-Bussard

Story by:  Chris Lamb

Libretto by:  Caitlin Dungan

Designed by:  Scott Crissman

Rehearsal Pianist:  Suzanne Daniel


Orchestra

Flute 1:  Lindsay Evans                                   

Flute 2:  Sarah Beers                                     

Clarinet 1:  Nick Leonard                                 

Clarinet 2:  Tony Smith                                   

Clarinet 3:  Charles Cra  wford                          

Bassoon:  Christina Campbell                         

Horn 1:  Josh Poe                                     

Horn 2:  Dana Reynolds

Horn 3:  Diane Edwards

 

Horn 4:  Brandon Washington

Trumpet 1:   Drew Kaerwer

Trumpet 2:   Chris Young

Trombone:   Mike Sides

Percussion 1:  Clay Bradshaw

Percussion 2:   Matthew Moloney

Piano:  Nick Saffos

Strings :   Lisa Churchya