Rarely performed in Toronto, Susannah is the second most popular American opera after Porgy and Bess, with a gorgeously tuneful score rooted in American folk melodies and hymns. Though it premiered in 1955 and was awarded the New York Music Critics Circle Award for Best New Opera in 1956, the opera received new life in the 1990’s when Susannah became a signature role for American soprano Renée Fleming, who headlined its 1999 premiere at the Metropolitan Opera. Two of the opera’s most stunning arias, “The Trees on the Mountains” and “Ain’t it a Pretty Night” quickly became cornerstones of Fleming’s repertoire.
Floyd adapted the story of Susannah from the apocryphal story of Susannah and the Elders. It is a dramatic tale of the injustice and ostracization faced by an innocent young woman, Susannah, in the conservative religious community of New Hope Valley, Tennessee. Written during the McCarthy years in the US, its themes of oppression, intolerance, and resistance continue to resonate today.
Fully staged performances with piano accompaniment.
Susannah will be sung in the original English with English supertitles.