The Herbert Situation (work in progress)
My newest project with the distinguished opera director Rhoda Levine (librettist and director of Fox Fables) is a 1-act opera designed for family audiences. It is based on one of Rhoda’s children’s books, “The Herbert Situation.”
The story, in a nutshell: young Herbert cries all the time. The village elders foolishly conclude that Herbert is crying because he can’t stand the ending of happy times. They decide to suspend all birthdays and holidays, so everyone will live in joyful anticipation. What could go wrong? Everything!
The following is a recording of the opening scenes. On Christmas Night the repose of the village elders, Gideon and Garson, is interrupted by Herbert's mother, frantic over Herbert's constant crying. The elders attempt to entertain the little boy, to no avail. Then, unexpectedly, Herbert stops crying (he has discovered a candy cane, but the adults don't notice this). The elders decide that Herbert was crying because happy times don't last forever; therefore, if they suspend all holidays, everyone will live in a state of perpetual joyful anticipation. They announce their new law to the village population; the only person who dislikes the plan is a curmudgeon named Henrietta Hetherwhite.
Garson: Scott Dispensa
Gideon: Andrew Fuchs
Herbert's Mother, Chorus Soprano: Chloe Holgate
Herbert's Father, Chorus Bass: Andy Dwan
Herbert, Henrietta Hetherwhite, Chorus Alto: : Jennifer Aylmer
Chorus Tenor: Brian Jeffers
Musical Director, Pianist: Timothy Long
Recorded at Sean Swinney Recording Studio, New York, June 11 2018