Of Mice and Men(1969)
Libretto by the composer, based on the novel by John Steinbeck (E)
S,4T,2Bar; male chorus
Reduced orchestration by Jim Medvitz:
Boosey & Hawkes
Seattle Opera House, Seattle, Washington
Frank Corsaro, director
Conductor: Anton Coppola
Company: Seattle Opera
|Ranch Hands (at least 8)||Male Chorus|
1930s, an agricultural valley in northern California
Of Mice and Men is based on John Steinbeck’s tragic tale of two migrant ranch workers in pursuit of a simple dream: to own a small house and farm of their own.
George and his traveling companion Lennie, who has the physique and strength of a giant, a child’s mind, and a love for soft things he can stroke and pet, have constant problems with their employers, as Lennie unknowingly creates difficulties for George and himself. George is frequently exasperated, but forgives Lennie and is sustained by their dream.
Hired by contentious ranch-owner Curley, who is frequently at jealous odds with his wife, George and Lennie are joined in their plans for a home by the old ranch hand Candy, whose savings bring them near their goal. Suddenly, however, they lose all prospects: Curley’s wife invites Lennie to stroke her soft hair, but when he does not stop she begins to scream in terror. Fearing he will get into trouble again, Lennie tries to stifle her screams and unwittingly kills her. George, while placating Lennie with thoughts of their long-held dreams, shoots his friend to save him from a brutal lynching.