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Music Text

Libretto by John Donahue (E,G)


colS,S,M,lyrT,T,Bar,B,mimes (number optional)
cast/chime/wind chimes/maracas-gtr-pft(=cel)-strings(

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Cedar Village Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
John Donahue, director
Conductor: Philip Brunelle
Company: Center Opera Company


A Lady with a Hand Mirror, (also an Operetta Singer) Coloratura-Soprano
A Lady with a Cake Box Soprano
A Lady with a Hat Box (also a Foreign Singer) Mezzo-Soprano
A Man with Old Luggage (also 1st Puppet and an Operetta Singer) Lyric Tenor
A Man with a Paint Box Tenor
A Man with a Shoe Sample Kit (also 2nd Puppet) Baritone
A Man with a Cornet Case (also a Puppet Maker) Bass
Entertainers Mimes
Time and Place

around 1914- a railway station


A small group of people wait in a railway station. One of them sings about the hand mirror she carries. The passengers ask Mr. Owen, a man with a paint box, what he does; before answering, they are distracted by a puppet show.  One of the passengers talks about his luggage.  Another man has a cornet case, but will not open the case. Another traveler makes hats for the movies, but is misunderstood by the rest.  One passenger reveals that he is a shoe salesman, but also refuses to open his case. Mr. Owen is asked about his painting. One of the ladies has a cake box, in which she says she keeps her lover. Mr. Owen talks about a magical ship he imagined when he was younger. A puppet maker appears, talking about all of the things that go into puppet making.  Mr. Owen is asked to paint the passengers’ portraits.  As they wonder about his paint box, they bully him into place to paint them.  His box falls open, revealing that it is empty.  The puppet show concludes, and everyone but Mr. Owen leaves.  He sings about the ship of his childhood dreams.


Comic, Dramatic

Recommended Recording

Barbara Brandt, Sarita Roche, Janis Hardy, Yale Marshall, Vern Sutton, Barry Busse, Edward Foreman, Minnesota Opera Orchestra, Philip Brunelle
CRI CD 614

Click here to purchase this CD from Amazon


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