On Bethlehem Hill(1958)
Libretto by Guida Crowley (E)
4 major roles; 4 minor roles; 2-part chorus
Boosey & Hawkes
|NAOMI, PETER, TIMOTHY, MESSENGER||Speaking and solo singing parts|
|RACHEL, JOSUE, MAALA, AZOR, OTHERS||Small speaking parts and singing Chorus|
Bethlehem, biblical times
Inside a cave near Bethlehem a group of children is gathered, busy with various occupations. Naomi has finished a fine shawl, which she says contains summer in it. Peter and Timothy, a blind boy, return from a walk. They have been looking for a lamb. It grows dark and a Messenger arrives, surrounded by light. He tells them of a wonder unfolding nearby, and asks the children to follow him. A star will guide them. As it appears, all the children except Timothy see it – but then he begins to see it too. All fall to their knees at the miracle. Then they rise to follow the star along the road to Bethlehem. The Messenger returns and tells them the wonder is close at hand, on Bethlehem Hill. He describes the baby Jesus in a manger watched over by Mary and Joseph. The children reach the stable and sing to Jesus. Naomi places her shawl over him.