American literature as opera

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Title:
American literature as opera
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viii, 172 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
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English
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Moorhead, Jack Phillip, 1936-
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Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Operas -- Stories, plots, etc   ( lcsh )
Music and literature   ( lcsh )
American literature -- History and criticism -- 19th century   ( lcsh )
Libretto   ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 163-171).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jack Phillip Moorhead.
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Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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notis - AAK5593
oclc - 05780740
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Full Text



















AMEHRCAN LTTIKRATURE


A S OPERA


JACK PHILLIP MOORHEAD










A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1979







































For Sondra,


Stephanie


and Kathleen





































"Every
theory


high
that


accurately
we are the


struck
irresp


demolishes


onsible


puppets


of fate


or chance.


Auden
















TABLE


OF CONTENTS


I 'If,1-


ABSTR AC/. .

INTRODUCTION . . . . .

I\lctes 9 p p p 4 4 p a


CHAPTER


ONE SETTING:


LOCALIZATION


Stage


Scenery.


II Dramatic


Present tion


Notes


CHAPTER


TWO SETTING:


OTHER


FUNCTIONS.


Settings Whi
Character


II Symbol,


ch Reinf


force


the Mo


* p a p p .

* p 4 p p p * S p a


Tableau.


Notes.


CHAPTER


THREE CHARACTERIZATION:


OBSERVABLE TRAITS


Actions.


II Physical

III Physical


TraiOts .

Ob Ject . . . .


Notes.


CHAPTER


FOUR


CHARACTERIZATION:


HIDDEN


TRAITS.


I Aria


9-
















Page


IV "Ensemble of Perplexity"


Notes.


CI[APTE F'IVi P IOT


I Structure


* 9 5 9 S S S

. S S a S S S S


II Content


Notes .


CONCLUSION. .


Notes. .

BIBLIOGRAPHY .

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . .











Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate


Council


of the University of Florida in Partial


Fulfillment of


the Requirements for the


Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

AMERICAN LITERATURE AS OPERA

Jack Phillip Moorhead

June 1979


Chairman:


Dr. Gordon E.


Bigelow


Major Department:


English


American literature


as source material for operatic


has attracted librettists since 1855,


when J. H.


librettos


Wainwright adapted


Washington Irving's "Rip Van Wink

American authors whose settings,


Other nineteenth-century


characters, and plots have inspired


numerous English language librettos include:


Hawthorne, Melville,


Cable,


Hale,


Longfellow,


Twain,


and Henry James.


Setting,


character-


ization,


and plot,


all greatly simplified in the adaptive process,


provide a common ground for the comparison of


the original fictional


source and the adapted libretto.


The functions of


in fiction:


setting in librettos parallel


1.) to localize action and character,


some mood or emotion of


a character, and


those of setting

2.) to reinforce


to symbolize important


associations.


The fictional methods of presenting these three


elements, however,


differ from those used in opera.


In fiction,


description,


dialogue,


and the interior monologue of


a character can


present setting.


In opera,


stage scenery and dramatic presentation















In characterization,


both fiction and opera present the


observable and the hidden characteristics of individuals.


Actions,


personal


objects,


and clothing characterize observable traits in


both fiction and opera.


The interior monologue in fiction directly


reveals the inner nature of


the character to


the reader.


The aria


in opera,


like


the dramatic soliloquy in drama,


also reveals the


inner thoughts and emotions of


a character.


In opera,


the additional


resource of


music offers a device for characterization unavailable to


the novelist or the short story writer.


Operatic plots,


in spite of the seeming diversity among them,


have a universal structure and a basic content.


Created to accom-


modate both dramatic continuity and musical development,


structure alternates dynamic mome

periods of lyric introspection.


this operatic


dramatic action with static


Disguised by various approaches to


opera,


e.g.


the "continuous opera" of


the nineteenth century and


the "recitative opera" of the tv

inherent in operatic dramaturgy.


ientieth century, thi

A strong emotional


s structure is

content has


traditionally provided the motivation and the dramatic interest in

operatic plots.


The adaptation of


the works of the various American authors


mentioned above has produced a paradox.


In adapting any


4,, D,,t4 L 9.I* a. t b 4 a.4-. a


nnr-',% '


literary

-P -. -, 1 %














for adaptation.


IHoweve r


these works have not resulted in successful


operatic


librettos.


By contrast,


the complex,


but highly dramatic,


forms of Melville and James and the numerous settings in


a novel like


The Wings of the Dove have provided materials compatible with the


simple,


emotionally charged nature of


opera.
















INTRODUCTION


In the 1580's,


the Florentine


camerata


, a group


of Italian


composers,


scholars


and cultivated


amateurs


of art,


regularly


to plan


a revival


of ancient


Greek


drama.


The camerata


knew


that


both


Greek


comedy


tragedy


had been musical


productions,


although


they


no access


the nature


of the music.


Their


attempts


to recreate


Greek


drama


combining


dramatic


action


with


musical


declamation2


produced


the first


works


a new


art form,


opera.


Striving


to their


to create


understanding


new


dramas


of the Greek


as accurately


model,


as possible


the librettists


according


of these


early


operas


based


their plots


on mythology.


Such


titles


as Peri


Dafne


1597)


Caccini


s Euridi


1600)


and Monteverdi


s Orfeo


(1607)


are representative


a number


early


Italian music


dramas


mythological


sources.


Francesco


Algarotti,


one of the most


influential


writers


on opera,


defended


mythology


as one of the best


possible


subj


ects


for operatic


treatment.


Mytholo


ical


subjects


provided


two advantages:


motivation


for elaborate


stage


effec


ts through machinery


elevation


of everything


above


the human


level,


making


"the


singing


seem


to be the


natural


language


of the character.


The treatment


mythologi


material


reached


its greatest


heights


in the


psychological


music


dramas


nC P o 'lnrd


Woe nor


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npnt.iirv


Patri ak


Smi th


in The


.













opened up the world of wh

Wagnr' s dramatization of


und Isolde,


at has come


to be called the subconscious."4


man's inner nature is developed in


which with a minimum of


Tristan


physical action achieves its


greatest


i1mpanl t


through emotional and psychological


suggestion.


Literature has provided another rich source for tlhe

Plots for many operas have been adapted from works of su


librettist.


ch authors as


Shakespeare,


Beaumarchais, Dumas,


Prosper Merimee,


Goethe, Hawthorne,


Melville,


Henry James,


and Steinbeck.


From


among this great variety


of subjects,


the librettist must decide what is suitable for operatic


adaptation.


Christoph Martin Wieland,


author of


the Romantic epic


Oberon and a contemporary of Algarotti,


sought a


"beautiful simplicity"


in both the presentation of


plot and the depiction of


character.


Plot


incidents should be restricted in number,


presented "more in view of


and characters should be


their feelings and emotions than with regard


to their external actions."


These criteria of


simplicity have been


expressed in various ways by other writers and have retained their validity.

The subtleties of Shakespeare's Hamlet may have defied the simplifi-


cation necessary for successful operatic treatment,

materials as Henry James's The Wings of the Dove, a


but such unlikely


novel of great


breadth and complexity,


and Anton Chekov's The


Sea Gull,


a drama


of psychological and philosophical subtleties, have both been

successfully adapted for the operatic stage."6















operatic


librettists


composers.


Earle


Johnson


in his exten-


sive


examine ti on


operas


based


on American


subjects


writes


that


the American


whose


experience


earnestness


in general


has not been


"has preyed


market


on the minds


a commensurate


many


talent


Johnson


lists


fifty-five


operas


both


English


and in foreign


languages


whose


stories


have


been


based


on literary


works


American


authors.


However


Johnson'


list


not exhaustive.


Four


operas


composed


prior


to 1964


omitted


from


Johnson'


list


and si


operas


composed


after


1964


may now


be added


update


his list


have


narrowed


consideration


of librettos


from


these


those 1


based


on nineteenth-century


American


literature


and 2


) written


in English.


A thorough


canvass


turned


sixteen


librettos


which


meet


these


criteria.


These


librettos


span


time


period


from


1976


when


Washington Square


the most


recent


opera


libretto


ased


on an


American


literary


source


, was


written


and performed.


In this list


libretti


' names


appear


first


and the


composers


' names


appear


parentheses.


Copyright


dates


of the


oper


are in parentheses


other


dates


are for first


performances


except


as indi


Geor


ge Washington


Cable


Keary
revised


Douglas


Craig


and Andrew


Page


Koanga
(l02';


Grandissimes)


TrOi


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r













Nathaniel


Hawthorne


Charles
(compose


Carlson


Hester;


The Scarlet


Letter


r-libretti


orge
alter


Richard
(Howard


Parsons
Damrosc
Stokes
Hanson)


Lathr


The Scarlet


Letter


1896


Merry Mount


Merry


(The


Mount)


Maypole
1933)


Washington


Irving


H. Wainwri


orge


Fred


erick


Bristow)


-Rip V
(1855


Winki


MacK


Van Winkle


(Reginald


Koven)


191


Stephen


Vincent


Benet


The Headl


ess


Horseman


or The


eepy


(Douglas


Henry


Hollow


Moore)


James


Myfanwy


Piper


Turn


of the Screw


(1955
Owen


Wingrave


(Benjamin


Britten


(1971)


Ethan


Ayer


(Douglas
Kenward
(Thomas


Moore


Elms


Pasatieri)


The Wings
(1961)
Washington
(1976)


of the Dove

Square


Henry


Wadsworth


Longf


ellow


Charles F.
(composer-


Carlson


libre


ttist)


The Courtship
Standish (


of Miles
n.d.)


Herman Melville


M. Forster


(Benjamin


and Eric


Crozier


Britten)


Billy
(1951


Budd


rev


. 1961


Ernst
Compp


Krenek


oser


-libretti


The Bell Tower


compose


1955


Mark Twain















been


devoted


to the libretto.


The most


complete


study


of the


opera


libretto


to date


The Tenth Muse:


A Historical


Study


of the Opera


Libretto


Patrick


Smith


attempts


establish


the libretto


a separate


literary


genre


Joseph


Kerman


in Opera


as Drama


suggests


that


the true


dramatist


an opera


is not the libretti


but the


composer


, through


whose


music


the drama


inherent


the libretto


clarified


and refined.


a recent


book


The Ma


of Opera,


Merrill


Knapp


writes


that


opera


has two dramatist


libretti


and the


composer.


Both


have


defined


responsibilities,


each


completing


tasks


necessary


to the creation


an opera.


Throughout


the history


opera


the relative


merits


of the libretto


and of the music


have


been


debate


Composers


and librettists


have


advocated

categories


various

reduce


approaches


to the creation


the complexities


these


opera.


various


While


artistic


historical

positions,


the development


creation.


opera


The neoclassic


suggested


theory


three


opera


basic


stresses


approaches


to its


the dominance


of the


libretto


over


music.


Beginning


with


the camerata,


approach


pre-


dominated


throughout


the seventeenth


and eighteenth


centuries


, finding


support


in writer


from


Corneille


to Rousseau


the Encyclopedi


sts.


Christoph


Gluck


sought


to restrict


music


to its true


function,


namely


serve


the poetry


by means


the expression.


The neoclassi


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The Romantic


theory


opera,


which


emerged


in the late


eighteenth


century


and flourished


in the first


half


of the nineteenth


century,


celebrated


music


over


the word.


Mozart,


"a born


melodramaturgi


believed


"poetry


must


be the obedient


daughter


of music.


Stendhal


carried


ition


to the extreme


in advocacy


of dispensing


nearly


with


the libretto


"Words


are fundamentally


unimportant


relation


to music.


George


Bernard


Shaw


believed


the words


opera


could


reduced


"roulade


vocalization"


or eliminated


completely


since


who ranke


ling "

d music


is the real


as the highest


subject of the


of the arts


drama.


Arthur


bestows


Schopenhauer,


greatest


praise


on the music


of Rossini


which


achieves


its full


"effect


when


rendered


instrument


alone.


Through


operatic


reforms


Richard


Wagner


sought


to unify


these


two diverse


approaches


The dramatic


content


and the music


cal form


should


be mutually


complementary.


a Gesamtkunstwerk


"the content


must,


accordingly,


be closely


linked


to the expression,


while


expression


mus


continuously


evoke


the content


in its full


scope.


that


which


is not present


to the


senses


is grasped


y thoughts


alone


while


feeling


comprehends


only


that


which


brought


before


Friedrich


Niet


zsche


in hi


youth


an admirer


of Wagner,


found


near-perfect


fusion


of music


and drama


in Tristan


und Isolde


and thought


Wagner


the only


arti


capable


kJ U


of divine


rebirth


to Greek


tragedy.


&











In the drama,


we see Tristan


Isolde


as passionate


lovers


"Thus


does


the Appollonian


wrest


us from


the Dionysian


universality


and fill


us with


rapture


for individual


; to these


it rivets


our sympathetic


(Niet sec


229).


Through


the union


of these


two principles,


universal


intel]


ectual


nature


myth


and a detached,


emotional


picture


of human


experience


complement


each


other.


The universal


language


".lus i


essentially


the representative


art for an Appollonian


substance" (


Niet


zsche


From


opera


s inception,


the relationship


between


the dramatic


the musical


demands


opera


presented


the basic


problem


of operatic


dramaturgy.


to advance


the dramatic


situation


at the


same


time


to allow


complete


musical


development


have


been


the perennial


questions


of libre


ttists


composers.


The structures


which


accommodate


both


these


requirements


are the traditional


operatic


forms


recitative


aria.


The recitative


advances


the dramatic


action


and the


aria


provides


lyric


expression.


In his book


Opera,


Charles


Hamm


suggests


these


basic


operatic


techniques


underlie


all the various


forms


opera


the number


operas


of the ei


ghteenth


and nineteenth


centuries,


Cimarosa


II Matrimonio


Segreto


and Donizetti'


Lucia


di Lammermoor;


the nineteenth


century'


contribution


des Nibelungen


and Verdi


the continuous


s Otello;


opera


the modern


e.g. Wagner


recitative


s Der Ring

opera,


Britten'


Turn


of the Screw


and Krenek'


The Bell


Tower.


Because


of the fundamental


importance


of the structure


emotion"'














storytelling


devices


are also


used


writers


of narrative


fiction;


however


the techniques


used


in librettos


differ


from


those


used


fiction


to present


these


three


techniques.


In fiction,


setting


often


conveyed


through


passages


of description.


These


can be


large


blocks


of objective


description


as in the


opening


paragraphs


of Irving's


Rip Van


Winkle


or in Cable


s picture


a Loui


slana


swamp


in The


Grandi


ssimes.


The setting


in fiction


can


be refracted


through


the mind


a chara


cter


, presenting


a subjective


picture


the setting


colored


the character


s prejudi


ces


, e.g


. the


numerous


settings


perceived


through


the characters


are presented


i ctori ally


a Jamesian

through th


novel.


e stage


But settings


settings


in an opera


or dramatically


through


words


sung


a character


or b


the chorus.


opera,


setting


can often


suggest


the psycholo


ical


nature


a character with


the assi


stance


stage


machinery,


e.g. the increasing


distortion


the jungle


scenery


and the increasing


terror


of Brutus


Jones


in Louis


Gruenberg'


The Emperor


Jones


based


on the play


Eugene


O'Neill.


The production


opera


and the history


stage


machinery


have


been


closely


related.


In the development


of stage


machinery,


opera


played


a more


important


part


than


did drama.


Edward


Dent


writes


that


"all


the inventions


stage


engineers


and architects


of the seventeenth


century were


intended


opera.


use and


the development


mechanical


techniques


staging


operas


have


continued


throughout


new


I


___













production,


Rhinemaidens appeared to be swimming beneath the water.


In reality they were women propelled about

machines," flatbed carts each of which hel


the stage in "swimming


d an elongated basket-like


affair on a pole.


The women rested in


the baskets and made swimming


motions.1


Characterization complexities in opera are a luxury.


By comparison


with their


literary counterparts,


operatic characters are drawn with a


simple directness, making their natures clear and immediately recogniza-


ble.


In a novel,


characterization is expansive and creates people


"three-quarters hidden like an iceberg."19


In their


libretto Billy


Hudd,


on the other hand,


E. M.


Forster and Eric Crozier draw Claggart's


character r in broad,


clear strokes.


Claggart sings an aria in which he


directly reveals to the audience his evil nature.


In Melville,


Claggart


cannot be


so easily understood.


The observable aspects of Claggart, his


appearance and his actions,


reveal nothing of


substance.


"But for the


adequate comprehending of Claggart by a normal nature


these hints are


insufficient.


To pass from a normal nature to him one must cross


deadly space between.


this is best done by indirection."20


Forster claims that "it is the function of

hidden life at its source (Forster,


the novelist


p. 45).


'the


E. M.


to reveal


The novelist has


the freedom to enter the minds of his characters at will,


and the ability


to present their thoughts directly through the interior monologue. In















signatures,


and themes


can contribute


to characterization.


Stendhal


term


"dramatic


harmonization"


anticipatess


Wagner'


leitmotif


explains


this


one use of music


as a tool


of character


nation


"It is


rarer


art of


using


the instruments


voice


nuances


and overtones


emotion


which


the characters


themselves


would


never


dare


into


words


" (Stendhal,


in The E


sense


of Opera,


191-92)


In the finest


libr


ettos


, plot


centers


around


a single


dramatic


line.


Boito


s adaptation


of Shakespeare


s Othello


eliminates


subsidiary


characters


and events


to concentrate


on the interaction


Otello


, lago,


and Desdemona.


Otello's


increasing


rage


, lago


s treachery,


and Desdemona


s bewilderment


and fear


surrounding


the mystery


of the


handkerchief


explains


propel


"Because


the plot


to its final


of the emotional


weight


tragedy


of the music


As Lehman


and the time


consumes


in performan


there


generally


no need


to find


an engaging


complement


for the'basic


plot


The simplicity


of structure


operatic


plots


is accompanied


a highly


emotional


content.


Human


pass


ions


, e.g


love


its accompanying


emotions


of j


ealou


hatred,


have


been


at the root


of operatic


plots


from


s Euridi


to Mozart


s The Marriage


Figaro


to Verdi


s Otello


to Elmslie


Washington Square.


This di


ssertation


will


analyze


the adaptation


of six novels


seven


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the new product,


settings,


the opera libretto.


characters,


The similarities between the


and actions written for the relative scope and


structural freedom of


narrative fiction and those which are adapted to the


structural


confines of


drama appear remotely related.


However,


continuous use of fictional source material as the basis for operatic


librettos does suggest a possible closer relationship.


Indeed,


Henry


James,


writing of


the principle of


scenario,


expressed his belief that the


two methods are similar.


working in


For James,


the same general way,


the scenario was the "key that,


fits the complicated chambers of both


the dramatic and the narrative lock.















Notes


Dougl as
of Opera, ed.
1964 p. 10.


ever


"Words
eisstel


nnd M


Greek


York


Drama,"
. Nor Lton


in The


Essence


and Company, Inc


"When


copo
seel


"Preface


that


Euridi


" in The E


essence


reproduce


SI


of Opera


song


. used


a kind


of harmony


which,


going


beyond


ordinary


speech,


remained


so far below


melody


song


that


cons


titut


an intermediate


form.


3Francesco


Algarotti


"Essay


on Opera


" in The Essence


of Opera,


/Patri


Librett


(New


Smith,
York:


The Tenth Muse:


A Hi


A. Knopf, 1970),7


storical


Study of


the Opera


273.


Chri


stoph Martin


Wieland,


Concerning


German


Opera


Few Relate


Subj


ects


The E


ssence


of 0


pera,


turn


6,,Al
Henry


but the


Score


James rarifi


" Newsweek


novel


into


(Oct


robust


ober


eater


1961)
takes


"To


some


doing


but Ethan


Merton
heiress


Ayer'


Densher


have


libre


succ


.as they


some


eeds.


scheme


their


The motives


Jamesian


eece


vapors


Milly


Kate
Theal


fanned


Croy


dying


so that


away


they


stand


out in sharp


focus.


Hubert


Saal,


"Chekov


from


the Heart,


" Newsweek,


March


, 1974),


5. In spite
dramaturgy,


distortions


Pasati


and his


and simplifications


librettist


the American


necessary


poet


ratic


Kenward


Elmslie


have turn


"the


opera


into


a spl


endid


success.


The libretti


Ross


brought

Earle
, Inc:.,


"the


sub t


H. Johnson
1964), p.


erranean


, Operas


Chekov


on American


surface


Subj


ects (New


York:


Coleman-


8
Copyright


performances,


dates


except


appear in
as indicate


parentheses


other


dates


are for first


Louisa


Alcott


Freer


, Eleanor


Everest


Little


Women


1934


Dnvi d


Rel a.qan


I














George Washington Cable


Delius,


Frederick


Koanga (The Grandissimes) (1935,


Rev.


1974)


James Fenimore Cooper


Adam, Adolphe


Alien,
Arditi
Davis,
Genee,
Halevy
Phelps


Paul Hastings
, Luigi


Leo Mohicans 18
The Last of the


La S


Mohicans 1916


1856


The Last of'


Franz


, Jacques


Planquette,


the Mohicans n.d.


Die Letzten Mohikaner
Jaguarita 1'Indienne


C.
Jean-Robert


The Last of


1878


The Spy


the Mohicans n.d.


Surcouf (The Pilot


1888


Villani,


Angelo


La Spia 1


Edward Everett Hale


Damrosch,


Walter


The Man Without a Country (1937)


Bret Harte


Floridia,
Weinberger


La Colonia liberal (M'liss


Pietro
. Jaromrir


Lide


z Pokerflatu


The Out


(1900)
casts of


Poker FLat) (19


Nathaniel Hawthorne


Carlson,
Claflin,
Darmrosch
Floridia
Giannini
Hanson,


Charles F.


Avery


Hester;


Hester Prynne


The Scarlet Letter n.d.


1934


The Scarlet Letter


Walter
Pietro


Vittorio


Howard


1896


The Scarlet Letter composed 1908


The Scarlet Letter


1938


Merry Mount (The Maypole of Merry Mount)


Kaufmann,
Southard,


Walter
Lucien H.


The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter


1961
1855


Dorothy and Dubose Heyward


Gershwin,


George


Porgy and Bess (1935)


Washington Irving


(1885)














Moore


, Douglas


The Headless


Sleep


Planquette


Jean--


Robert


Holl


Van Winkle


orseman;
ow (1937
(1382)


The Legend


Henry


James


Britten


Benj ami n


The Turn


the S


crew


(1955


Owen


Wingrave


(1971


Moore


Pasatieri,


ouglas


Thomas


The Wings
Washington


the
quare


Dove (1963)
(1976)


John


Luther


Long


Puccini,


Giacomo


Madama


Butterfly


1904)


Henry


Wadsworth


Longf


ellow


Carls


Charles


Eames, Henry


Fanciulli,


Jones,
Leroux,
Luening
Rice, E
Soelman


Purm


Franc


esco


Abbie


vier


dward


, Timothy Mather


errish


The Courth
Priscilla
Priscilla;
Priscilla


Evange


Miles


or,
compo


The Maid


Standish


n.d.


Plymouth


1901


sed 18


line


Evangeline 1
Evangeline (
The Courship


1887


of Miles


Standish


compose


Surette


Ware,


Thomas


Whitney


Harriet


Priscilla
Priscilla


The Pilgrim


s Proxy


(1889)


Herman Melville


Aschaffenburg


Walter


Bartleby


compose


Britten


Ghedini,
Krenek,


, Benjamin


erico


Ernst


Bill
Bill


Budd
Budd


The Bell


(1951,


rev.


1961)


1949


ower


composed


1955-


Arthur


Miller


Ward,


Robert


The Crucibl


1961


Eugene


O'Neill


Gruenberg


OU1S


The Emperor


Jones












John Steinbeck


Floyd,


Carlisle


Of Mice and Men (1971)


Harriet Beecher Stowe


Ferrari-Trecate,


Flori o
Giorza


Luigi


, Caryl


Paolo


La Capanna dello zio Tom 1953
Uncle Tom's Cabin 1882
La Capanna dello zio Torn 1859


Mark Twain


Foss,


Lucas


The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
(1951)


John Greenleaf Wittier


Bonner,


Eugene


Barbara Frietchie (from the play by


Clyde Fitch) comp


osed 1920


Tenessee Williams


Hoiby,


Summer and Smoke


1971


'Joseph Kerman


Opera


Drama


New York:


Vintage Books,


1956),


108.


10Christoph Willibald Gluck,


"Four Letters," in The Essence of Opera,


llWolfgang Amadeus Mozart,


"Letters to His Father," in The Essence


of Opera,


131.


12Henri Beyle,


Life of Rossini


in The Essence of Opera,


198.


13George Bernard Shaw,
of Opera, p. 184.

14Arthur Schopenhauer,


"The Tone Poet,


The World


" Shaw on Music in The Essence


as Will and Idea in The Essence of


Opera,


184.


15Richard Wagner,


Opera and Drama in The Essence of Opera,


p. 220.


16Friedrich Nietzsche,
-J^ I. Ct


The Birth of Tragedy in The Essence of Opera,


J


J


J \














19E.


and World,


Forster,


Inc.


Aspects of the
7T, p. 85.


Novel


York:


Harcourt


Brace


OHerman Melville


, Billy


Budd,


Sailor.


Harri


son


Hayford


Merton M.


Sealts


Chicago:


Universi ty


cago


Press


1962


1Lehman


Engel


Words


and Music


York


Macmillan


Company,


1972)


Henry


James


"Henry


James:


The Dramatic


Years,


an Introductory


ssay


Leon


Edel


The Complete


Plays of Henry


James (New


York:


Lippincott,


Co.,


1949,T


74.















CHAPTER


LOCALIZATION


Localization,


the most


utilitarian


use of background


material


a novel


"is a practical


matter


of placing


the characters


an environ-


ment


within


which


they


can act out their


stories.


In fiction,


local-


ization


is presented


through


a variety


of methods.


First


, large


blocks


of descriptive


narration


often


present


the setting


to the reader.


Delivered

present a


through


n objective


e narrator

picture o


of the story,


f the setting.


these

Next


passages

, dialogue


usually

often


conveys


information


about


the setting.


When


presented


through


dialogue


picture


of the setting


is often


colored


the nature


individual


speaking


Last


the interior monologue


presents


the setting


through


the mind


of the character.


This


method


is especially


successful


in revealing


a character


s personal


reactions


to his


environment.


fictional


setting


utilized


in opera must


be presented


one of two


methods:


through


the stage


scenery


or 2


through


dramatically


presented


descriptions


of the setting.


Stage


Scenery


power


the adaptive


librettist


as Patrick


Smith


points


exists "not


only


in organizing


a work


for the operatic


stage


also


in Dreservin


as much


3-


as poss


ible


of the original


in the


adaptation.


--- 1















farmhouse


in Stephen


Vincent


Benet


s The Headl


ess


Horseman,


intended


amateur


production


is practical,


produces


little


of the mysterious


atmosphere


Myfanwy


created


Piper


through


in The Turn


setting

of the Sc


in Irving's


rew


tale.


and in Owen


On the other


Wingrave


hand,


and Kenward


Elmslie


Washington


Square


have


each


adapted


a large


number


of settings


from


the respective


original


sources.


In each


libretto,


the settings


remain


faithful


to James


' ori


inal


works


both


in local


and in effect


instance


, in Chapter


IlI of


Washington


Square,


Henry


James devotes


considerable


length


a description


. S1


oper


s house


Sa


handsome,


modern,


wide-fronted


house


with


a big


balcony


before


drawing-room


window


and a flight


of white


marble


steps


ascending


portal


which


was also


faced


with


white


marble.


2
Kenward


Elmsli


in his


libretto


emphasis


zes


Sloper


s house


through


a unique


visual


presentation


of the setting.


In Act I


, ii,


Dr. Sloper,


daughter


Catherine


Aunt


Lavinia


appear


an open


carriage


behind


which


"the


skel


etal


structure


of the


Sloper


house


can


seen,


dimly.


In the


course


scene


the structure


gradually moves


closer


to them


, slowly


becoming


more


sharply


outlined,


At the conclusion


of the


scene


, the facade


of the mansion


appears


in solid


form,


"with


marble


steps


and a grand


and imposing


front


door"


Elmslie,


25).


Fourteen


of the sixteen


scenes


opera


are set in various


rooms


in the house


or in the


park


facing


the house.


This


scenic


mobility


creates


an emphasis


setting


similar


in effect


to that


achieved


Jame s.


I


v














of his


story


"The


Maypole


of Merry


Mount"


in a single


setting,


the New


England


settlement


Merry


Mount.


The venerated Maypole


stained


seven


brilliant


hues


and decorated


with


ribbons,


banners


and flowers


a multitude


of colors


, occupies


the center


scene.


This


colorful


setting,


filled


with


colonists


dressed


an array


of wild


and colorful


costumes


is framed


the "black


surrounding


woo


ds"4


from


which


the "grim Puritans


(Hawthorne,


. 77)


watch


the activities.


In Richard


Stokes


s three


act libretto


, Merry Mount,


the forest


peripheral


in Hawthorne's


story,


serves


as the 1


local


for Act II,


pers


onal


conflict


within


the Puritan


leader


, Wrestling


Bradford


opera


s hero


involves


ideal of priestly


purity


and his


sexual


desire.


This inner


confli


paralleled


in the social


conflict


between


the Puritans


destruction


and the Cavaliers


of the Maypole


residents


the Puritans


Merry


(Act


Mount.


Following


Bradford


, i),


brings


the colonist


Lady


Marigold


andys


into


the forest


setting


where


makes


advances


toward


her and


renounces


vows


as a prie


Fearing


soul


is damned,


curses


Marigold


prays.


Overcome


collapses.


This


forest


setting


leads


directly


into


opera


s most


original


setting:


"Bradford


s Dream:


The Hellish


Rendezvous


Directly


behind


Bradford,


a curtain


rises


divulging


"hi s


dream


the Valley


of Tophet--an


infernal


glen


with


ramparts


sandstone


laval


I)


lazed


and rain-marked


in purple


and black.


Across the back


1















imps


witches


and devils


populate


the stage.


This


nightmarish


setting


has no parallel


in Hawthorne


s story;


however


, it has dramatic


relevancy,


addition


to possessing


high


theatre cal


qualities


. lavish


scenery


brilliant

to charact

submission


costumes


erization.

to sexual


The main


setting


visual


and aural


Bradford'


desires


of Melville


fear


excitement


of spiritual


dramatized


s Billy


this


Budd


setting


damnation

ghoulish


the military


contributes


through

setting.


vessel,


Bellipotent.


In various


locations


aboard


this


ship,


events


the story


occur.


This


central


setting


is framed


a series


of minor


locations


mentioned


the narrator.


In Chapter


he describes


a black


sailor whom he


seen


once


in Liverpool.


After


Budd


3 execu-


tion,


the narrator mentions


and Portsmouth,


the city


Gibraltar,


in which


scene


the ballad


of Captain


"Billy


Vere


in the Darbies


s death,


" a'as


public


shed.


E. M.


Forster


and Eric


Crozier


co-libretti


of Benjamin


Britten


Billy


Budd


locate


the central


action


in the


opera


on board


the H.M.S.


Indomitable.


setting


framed


in the


opera


an original


setting


the Prologue


the Epilogue


which


serves


a three-fold


dramatic


purpose.


First


new


places


Captain


Vere


outside


the main


action


of the


opera.


In Melvill


s novel


Vere


dies


from a


battle


wound


the libretto,


Vere


doe s


"is revealed


as an old man"


rcomomlr na +


-t-hi


fPTamQ


QQ+~l +1 nr


nlnr v "-innrl"J cr


R- 11 I


RnI rl


+-V-IQran Q~rori


1rI LJ













its impact


so overwhelming


that


time


is needed


for the audience


recover.


Third,


this


falling


off achieved


use of the Epilogue


parall


eff'ec


the final


three


chapters


of Melville


s novel


which


relate


respect


tively


the information


of Vere


s death,


a naval


report


the Budd


affair,


and the ultimate


effect


of Billy


Budd


upon


the sailors


had witnessed


death.


Washington


Irvin


presents


lengthy


descriptions


of various


settings


"Rip


Winkle"


fore


falls


asleep


for twenty years


village


which


lives


the "deep


mountain


glen,


wild,


lonely,


shagged


fashion"


from which


(Irving


a keg-bearing


emerges


stranger


follow w


dressed

. like


"antique


a small


Dutch


amphitheatre"


where


nine-pins


with


the strange


men.


After


awakens


, Irving


presents


same


locations


reverse


order.


Moving


from


the mountain


hollow to


the wild


glen


and,


finally


to the village


Irving


describes


the natural


changes


the setting which


occurred


during


s absence.


These locales


are adapted


as the various


settings


in Acts


and III


of J


. H. Wainwright


s Rip


Winkle.


The whole of Act II is


in 1777


while


absent


from


the action


of the story.


Wainwright


expressed


his intentions


in creating


II in hi


"Preface


"In Irving's


story


ne has


marked


the contrast


between


the two


eras.


It has been attempted


here


relate


some


of the incidents


which


that


contrast


was


brought


. 53















setting


scene


"the


bivouac


of the Continentals


" in "a rocky pass"


Wainwright


no parallel


in Irving'


story.


This


setting


provides


the background


for action


involving


s daughter


Alice


operatic


love


triangle.


Whil


frequently


scenes


the libretti


will


omit


fictional


settings


more


often.


major


deci


sion


part


of the simplifi-


cation


process


in organizing


the fictional


material


for operatic


treatment.


This basi

action in


rule


the plot


operatic

is omitte


adaptation


from


based


the libretto,


upon


two criteria:


making


the setting


which


occurs


unnecessary


or the action


is retained


as part


of the


libretto


but is transferred


a different


setting.


The number


scenes


omitted


from


confusion,


the fictional


shall


choose


sources


only


studied


settings


is very numerous.


of major


To prevent


significance


illustration.


The inclusive


panoramic


setting


of Hawthorne


s The Scarle


Letter


Boston


in the 1640


Within


this


neral


setting,


Hawthorne


local


action


a series


of specific


locations


, e.g


. the market-place


Chapter


the prison


cell


in Chapter


and the forest


setting


ChaptersXVI-XIX.


George


Parsons


Lathrop


in hi


libretto


The Scarle


Letter


and Frederick


Carlson


in hi


libretto


Hester


utili


these


settings.


However


both


librettists


eliminate


two of the


same


settings


in Hawthorne


- -1 tern, .


zes


nr 1 *- r*


I


1 ~~ T- T


-


-i nTT %


* I HI Tt


I













blame


for their


present


circums


tances.


However


, as George


Marek


explains


in Opera


as Theatre


"There


is not much


room for


philosophical


animadversions


an opera


These


phil


osophical


discussions


and the


settings


in which


they


are located


are eliminated


from


both


librettos.


scope


settings


available


a novelist


is unlimited.


Both


the number


necessary.


settings


Nowhere


and their


this


local


possibility


can be


as few


of variety


or as many


in fictional


settings


more


clearly


seen


than


in the novel


Henry


James.


In the


two volumes


of The


Wings


of the Dove,


various


settings,


both


interior


and exterior


are present


in America


, England


Swit


zerland,


and Italy


. The


scenes


the novel


which


occur


at the house


of Marian


Condrip,


Kate


Croy's


impoverished


sister


are eliminated


from Ethan Ayer


s libretto.


poverty


associated


with


Marian


s house


offers


one of the


many


contrasts


in the novel


to the wealth


and sumptuousness


of Lancaster Gate


residence

libretto.


of Kate


Numerous


Aunt Maud.


other


This


settings


scenic

are also


contrast


eliminated.


absent

Milly


from


s London


hotel


suite


in which


she hosts


an elaborate


dinner party


is rej


ecte


the librettist.


No outdoor


scenes


are included


in the libretto:


Kensington


Gardens


the great


Mark


s Piazza in Veni


and the well


known


setting


in the


Alps


in which Milly Theale


the heroine,


precariously


sits


on a "slab


of rock at


the end of


a short


promontory


. that


. pointed


to the right


into


gulfs


of air.















The interior


settings


of Miles


Standish


s house


and Priscilla


house


in Longfellow'


narrative


poem


The Courtship


of Miles


Standi


are faithfully


adapted


Frederick


Carlson


for hi


libr


etto.


exterior


settings


with


the exception


of the seashore


scene


which


the Mayflower


sails


for England,


are eliminated.


In section


VII of


poem,


for instance


Standish


and hi


men


march


through


"forest


, swamp


and along

encampment


the trend

"pitched


of the sea-shore


on the edge


a meadow,


party visits


Between


an Indian


the sea and the


rest


" (Longfellow,


In this setting


a fight


occurs


which


Standish


kills


Pecksuot


an Indian


warrior.


With


men


Standish


defeats


the entire


tribe.


The effect


achieved


in cutting


the march


the settings


in which


occurs


the elimination


of the accompanying


violence


from


the libretto.


In two


operas


studied,


settings


were


eliminate


the libretti


when


the narrators


the original


sources


were


dropped


Fred


Ingham,


the narrator


of Edward


Everett


s "The Man


Without


a Country,


relates


the story


of Philip


Nolan,


based


largely


on naval


tradition


and myth


surrounding


Nolan.


In his


narration,


Ingham


either


appears


or mentions


numerous


settings


. the "Mission house


in Mackinaw"


where


he first


appears


in the story


or the settings


in which


he had


first


hand


knowledge


of Nolan:


the schooner


filled


with


Negro


slaves


the George


Wa oh n*nt+nn


onf +ho


fnn agQ


nf REnnnns


Aires


,nd Alexandria


EgyDt.


ns mro ++


*


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stateroom


described


in Danforth's


letter


is omitted


from


the libretto.


None


of the melancholy


action


associated


with


Nolan


s final


scenes


about


the United


States


is included


in the libretto.


numerous


scenes


in the short


story


located


in settings


from


various


parts


of the world


help


suggest


the painful


solution


of Nolan


s life.


The settings


empha


pathetic


attempts


know


some


thin


Amer


give


direction


to his exist


ence.


The homemade


maps


and charts


which


line


Nolan


s stat


room


as well


as the


numerous


there


provide


meaning


for his


life in exile:


"'Here


, you


see


have


a country!


These


final


scenes


in the story


which


provide


contentment


for Nolan


are omitted


from


the libretto.


After


the courtmartial


scene,


remainder


of the action


in the


opera


takes


place


on board


the Nautilus


In the short


story,


Nolan


dies


with


a sense


dignity


resignation


among


the belongings


his stateroom which


he had


come


to treasure.


hero


In the


on board


era,


vesse


he dies


on which


battle


he had been


the death


impri


a naval


soned.


In Mark


Twain


s "The


celebrated


Jumping


Frog


Calaveras


County"


both


Garrulous


Simon


Wheeler


and the Eastener


whom he


tell


story


of Dani


asterner


the frog,


ells


a friend


are narrators


had asked


The staid,


him to locate


humorless


one Leonidas


Smiley


Simon


However


Wheeler.


instead


Both men


of finding


appear


Smiley,


the barroom


the Easterner


stove


turns


the dilapidated


tavern


in the decayed mining


camp


Ange


s ,,]5
o k


This setting


TI-n Kl IT1


ron n


1 ihr


pt.tn


"Tinclp


HPnrv


s RaBr in


,,14


,r


I CI


QQ^T"! nQ 1


I \


S


*- f1I I


I















various


settings,


both


interior


exterior


which


contribute


to the mysterious


atmosphere


Washington


Irving


t "The


Legend


of Sleepy


Hollow"


are reduced


in The Headless


Horseman


Stephen


Vincent


Bene t


one interior


setting


:t large


comfortable


room


in the Van


Tassel


farmhouse.


This


use of


a single


set creates


a dual


effect.


First,


the tale


y Irving


the men gather


outside


on the veranda


to tell


ghost


tales.


In the darkness


of this


setting


the moonlight


and the glow


from


men


s pipes


are the only


sources


of illumination


of the


scene.


contrast


achieved


between


the setting


inside


the house


assoc


iated


with


the gaiety


of the party


and the setting


outside


associated


with


the superstition


the tales


a quality


the story


eliminated


from


the libretto


use of the single


set.


Second,


in the libretto


the phantom


horseman


appears


at the door of


room on


foot


instead


appearing mys


seriously


on horseback


among


the shadows


as in Irving'


tale.


chabod


Crane


sees


the ghost


at the door


and dives


through


window pursued


the Headless


Horseman,


who throws


the pumpkinhead


after


him.


In thi s


chase


scene,


the single


set arrangement


introduces


the implausible


attempts


situation


to apprehend


in which


the horseman.


one person


The quality


in the crowded


of Irving'


room


chase


scene


with


its characteristic


mixture


of humor


and horror


reduced


libretto


slap


stick comedy.


Finally


scene


points


n a n- -. i n -- a h


I













A librettist


will


often


retain


the action


of the original


story


while


placing


it in


a new


local


example,


in Twain


s story


Daniel,


the frog


the jumping


contest


takes


ace


inside


the saloon.


In Karsavina


s libretto


The Jumpi ng


Frog of


Calavaras


County,


contest


is held


outdoors


before


the saloon.


The change


offers


of setting


but little


se.


A chorus


of townspeople


added


to the


libretto,


this


group


could


just


as logically


have


been


located


inside


the saloon.


The changing


of the court-martial


scene


in "A Man


Without


a Country"


from


Fort


Adams


in Hale


s story


to Charleston,


South


Carolina, in


Guiterman's


libretto


no effect


on the story


itself.


The only


a large


rationale


metropolitan


changing


courtroom


this location


is to offer


from a military installation


the opportunity


more


elaborate


stage


setting.


In three


librettos


studied,


Billy


Budd,


The Wings


the Dove


The Courtship


of Miles


Standish,


the local


zation


action


into


a new


setting produces


significant


changes


from


the originals.


In Melvill


manuscripts


of Billy


Budd,


the warship


was various


referred


as both


the Indomitable


and the Bellipotent.


However


as William


Stafford


points


critical


out,


the choice


importance


"for


of which name


the ironic


most


contrast


effective


with


little


the Rights-of-Man


apparent


enough


either


,,1
case.


8
In the novel


, Billy


Budd


first


seen


on the Rights-of-Man.


Impressed


into


duty,


Budd


is taken by


vari


I ___















Indomitable,


not in the launch.


The dramatic


result


in both


cases


same:


the lieutenant


in charge


orders


to be silent.


The irony


impli


Budd


s farewell


but not intended


, is strengthen


opera


having


him deliver


it from


ship


onto


which


he has j


been


impressed.


In the


opening


scene


of James


s The Wings


of the Dove,


Kate


visit


her father


residence


Chirk


Street.


Alone


first,


-Xate


noti


ces


poor,


cheap


surroundings


in which


her father


fore


to live.


moves


from


"the shabby


sofa


to the armchair


upholstered


a glazed


cloth


that


gave


once--


she had


tried


it--the


sense


of the


slippery


the sticky


(Jame s


, 19).


She 1


ooks


"at the sallow


prints


in the walls


and at


the lonely


magazines


a year


old,


that


combined,


with


a small


lamp


in coloured


glass


and a knitt


ed-white


centre-piece


wanting


freshness


, to enhance


the effect


of the purplish


cloth


on the


principal


that


table


father


James


has misspent


In the


an inheritance


scene


from


Kate


wife


discovers


and is


now


discredited.


parallel


meeting


between


Kate


and her


father


with


a similar


exchange

However.


Maud


marble


of information

the setting ha


s parlor


occurs


s been


at Lancaster Gat


and mahoga:


in the firs

transferred

e: "It is a


of the Edwardian


Era.


scene


of Ayer


to the gaudy


room


s libretto.


splendor


in the flounce,


'conversation


piece


of Aunt

brass,

' with


__


Croy


,J


_I


_ _













give


the original


material


a rich,


suggestive


contrast


of wealth


poverty,


not evident


in the libretto.


Frederick


Carlson,


in a note


prefacing


libretto


The Courtship


Miles


Standish,


explains


that


"libretto


stands


, arrange


almost


T'wo n1 Lions


In ,ongfe I1 ow


s poem


were


shit f ted


different

Pricilla


locations


occurs


in Carlson's 1

the end of both


ibretto


poem


The wedding of John Alden and

and the libretto. The


action


remains


same


in both


instances.


In Longfellow


the wedding


set inside


the church.


After


ceremony


the crowd


moves


to the


outdoors


in front


of the church.


Carlson


explains


he "changed


wedding


scene


from


room


' to


an '


open


space


before


the church.


Thi s


change


local


the wedding


has no effect


on the action.


more


poem


revealing


John


example


Alden


ves


occurs


Standish


early


in the story.


s house


a state


In Part


of great


III of


agitation.


He has


sworn


to deliver


Standish


s declaration


of love


to Pricilla,


the girl


he himself'


loves.


John


hurries


through


the woods


in haste


and confusion.


Longfe


allow uses


the setting


heighten


John'


desperation.


The peaceful


surroundings


through


which


John


rushes


contrast


with his


inner


turmoil:


So the strong
errand,


will


prevailed


and Alden


went


on hi


Out of the street


the village,


and into


the paths


fore


Into


the tranquil


woods


where


bluebirds


and robins


were


building


TrI~Im 0


in Thn nrn1l niio?


.1.- -


th IA'n I T rr


a3 r A on a


as the


I


fT


I rI


[poem


- -IIt


n


f T


1 '(- j_ O IBJ
















In Act I


of the


opera,


same


situation


happens.


John


told Miles


he will


deliver


message


of love


to Pris


cilla.


However


Alden


remains


in the room when


Standish


exits.


sense


of loss


and frustration


expressed


Alden


poem


as he h


lurries


toward


Priscilla


s house


is weakened


in the libretto.


Alden


remains


the room and


declaims


his feelings.


Alden'


immediate


need


escape


into


open


air is


lost


the libretto


In the


poem,


be must


outside


where


think.


This


sense


urgency


expressed


Alden


in both his


words


actions


in contras


the peaceful


environment


is missing


from


libretto


II Dramati


Presentation


Characters


opera


often


present


information


dramatically


establish

description


scene


the local


borrowed

of Kenward


Usually

directly


Elmslie


the charac


from


ters


the fiction


s libretto


present

1 source


Washington


straightforward

The gathering


Square


is identify


a guest


as an engagement


party.


On discovering


the crack


newly


forged


bell


Bannadonna


in Ernst


Kreneck's


The B


ell Tower


describes


this


fact


the audience.


The various


officers


seamen


identify


the vessel


Billy


Budd


as the "Indomitable"


a seventy-four


In Act


iii of Billy


Budd,


Forster


and Crozier


borrow words


from


"Billy


in the Darbies


" the


poem


which


concludes


Melville


s


can


,


i


s novel


1


_ _














novel,


Budd


sits


in irons


a bay


of the gun-deck


following


court-martial.


scene


described


in contrasts


between


light and


dark.


Light


comes


from


sources


two battle


lanterns


moonlight


filtering


through


open


ports.


"Fed


with


oil supplied


contractors


. .-


with


flickering


splashes


dirty


yellow


light


they


pollute


the pale


moonshine


all but ineffectively


struggling


in obstructed


flecks


through


open


ports


from which


the tampioned


cannon


version,


protrude"


(Melville,


the moonlight


119).


as described


contrast


Budd


with Melvill


in the libretto


stronger


and colors


the setting


with


a brighter


glow.


In fiction


in opera


a character'


personal


reactions


environment


may be conveyed


through


dramatic


presentation


of 1


ocal


In Part


of James


s The Turn


the Screw,


the Governess


contrasts


initial


unusual


Bly was


impression


experience


actually


of Bly with her


there.


, ugly


feelings


As she wrote


and antique.


about


the house


the Governess


impression


after


admitted


of Bly


that


upon


having


arrived


there


years


before


, however,


had been


far more


romantic


The size


of the house


and the splendor


of its surroundings


had been


her youthful


imagination


more


magnificent


than


the castle


of fairytales


"But


little


conductress


(Flora)


with


hair


of gold


and her


frock


of blue


danced


before


me round


corners


and pattered


down


passages


the view


a castle of


romance


inhabited


- F


a rosy


sorite


such


a Dlace


war


__


















Screw


, adapted


Myfanwy


Piper,


the Governess


briefly


describes


house


and the grounds


upon


her arrival.


"The


scene


and the


park


are so spend


y giving


her romantic


far grander


rT eac tions


than


am used


to the house


She continues


and by


specifying


location


name


"I shall


feel


like


a princess


a prin


cess


here!


Bly,


begin


love


you,


love


, Bly!"


(Piper,


. 18-19).


The Governess


description


and the initial


impression


the setting


upon


osel


parallel


assa


in James'


novel.


most


unusual


localization


through


dramatic


presentation


occurs


a combination


scenes


in Piper'


The Turn


the Screw.


convey


the omni


scient


evil at Bly


, Piper


created


a scene


for the libretto


which


has no precedent


the libretto


in James


the lights


s story


fade


In Act II,


on Quint


designated


and Miss


as "Nowhere"


Jessel.


meaning


of this


abstract


setting


is explained


in the words which


Ghosts


sing


in the


previous


scene,


Act I,


viii


This


earlier


scene


which


all six of the


opera


s characters


appear


on stage


their


reminiscent


of the well


-known


scene


in James


in which


the G


overness


looking


out a window


at Bly


covers


Miles


standing


on the moonlit


lawn


elow


and bell


eves


he i


actually watching


Quint


on the tower


directly


above


her.


In the libretto,


Ouint


and Miss


Jessel


tell Miles


and Flora


they


are located


everywhere.


If the children


simply


look,















Bly and its surroundings with evil.


Myfanwy Piper,


by treating this


setting in general


terms,


created an atmosphere of horror suggestive


of James's story.


James believed he could free himself from the


necessity of


creating any specific picture of


evil by presenting to


the reader an intense


, generalized picture of


evil.


"Make him think


evil,


make him think it for himself,


and you are released from weak


specifications. "24


The effect of


this abstract


localization is directed


at the audience.


The opera-goer who reads the libretto or witnesses


a production supplies his own specifics concerning the nature of


evil.


In James


s The Wings of


the Dove, Merton Densher visits Lancaster


Gate for an interview with Aunt Maud whose plan for Kate is simple:


see her niece married to a wealthy man.


Densher is a newspaper reporter


and is conscious that Aunt Maud disapproves of him.


As he waits for


her,


Densher,


in an interior monologue,


observes the elaborate furnish-


ings of


the house and becomes hopelessly aware of


the difference between


his world and that of Aunt Maud.


Hie had never dreamed of
so buttoned and corded,


curled everywhere sc
much gilt and glass,


anything


so fringed and


drawn everywhere


thick.


scalloped,


so tight and


He had never dreamed of


so much satin and plush


so much


rosewood and marble and malachite.


But it was above all


the solid forms,


the wasted finish,


the misguided


cost,


the general attestation of morality and money,


a go


conscience and


a big balance.


(James,


D. 79)


These descriptive words registered by Densher


s mind in the novel are















mental,


and it is


given


Kate


s father


Homer


Croy,


rather


than


her lover


Miles


Dunster


in the


novel


s father


has gambled


fortune


away.


scene


as he looks


at the furnishings


of Lancaster


Gate


Croy


sings


: "Whoever


dreamed


of anything


so f'irin


scalloped


so buttoned


and corded,


drawn


everywhere


so tight


curl


everywhere


so thick?


Whoever


dreamed


so much


gilt


and glass


so much


satin


and plush,


so much


rosewood


and marble


and malachite


such


solid


forms


such


wasted


finish,


such


wasted


cost"


(Ayer


The effect


of thi


description


is different


from


the hopeless


awareness


that


comes


reveals


to Densher


envy


in the novel.


for lost


opportunities


Mr. Croy's


and hi


response


bitterness


to this


against


richness


those


people


possess


what


he has


thrown


away.


The chorus


an opera


often


localizes


the action


dramatically.


Charl


Hamm


in his


book


, Op


era,


describes


several


functions


chorus.


In the first


of these


the chorus


performs


"the


function


setting


the stage


for the first


scene


, of helping


establish


locale.


Functioning


as a narrator,


the chorus


can present


straight


description,


ns in this


passage


from


Carl son' s


The Courtship


Miles Standish


borrowed


directly


from


Longfellow


s poem


Forth


from


the curtain


clouds


romrn the


purple


and scarlet,


Rises


sun,


grea


high


his garments


respl


endent


(Carlson,


- 1- *


v--















summer


has faded


fast


away,


And autumn
We've mowed


is advancing


the hay


from


the verdant


plain--


'Mid the stubble


partridge


is feeding


Wainwright


The chorus


can localize


the setting


the chara


cters


while


part


cipating


in the action


scene.


In S


tephen


Vincent


Benet'


The Headl


Horseman


the female


chorus


introduces


the heroine


and identifies


gathering


as a quilting


bee.


They


sing


of the


one activity


common


all such


occasi


ons,


gossiping


Quilt


and pat


and quilt


said to


eyes


him,


said to


are blank,


you,


hair


and don
brown,


think


he i


s quite


cest


course


mama


in town.
pretends


to frown,


bzz,


bzz,


bzz!


Bene/t


The operatic


chorus


localizes


setting


a second


While


on-stage


action


proceeds


in the location


seen


the audience


a chorus


placed


stage


suggests


the exi


stence


of another


location.


The trial


scene


Verdi


s Aida


provides


an outstanding


example


of this


use of the chorus.


in the halls


an Egyptian


temple,


Amneri s


the Egyptian


princess,


listens


and responds


to the trial


ceedings


which


occur


off stage.


The existence


a trial


chamber


suggested


an off-stage


chorus


of high


priests


interrogate


judge


and ultimately


sentence


Rhadame s


to death


for treason


The effect


upon


an audience


achieved


this


scenic


device


explained


Hamm:


"It is


as though we


are given


a glimpse


a second


set" (Hamm, p.


108).


ess


, bzz


bzz'


1)














in Act


an off-


stage


chorus


of Negroes


heard


singing


work


songs


suggests


the setting


sugarcane


fields


where


they


labor.


The whole


of Act III consists


of the pursuit,


capture,


and death


of Koanga.


on-stage


setti ng


represents


a pagan


al tar


ocated


in a swamp


The off


chorus


making


calling


their way


on the Voudou


through


swamp


gods


of Koanga


meet


represent


at the on-stage


Negroes


location.


Later


the act another


off-stage


chorus


identify


Palmyra


as a


group


of hunters


who are pursuing


Koanga.


These


men


a "wild


cry"


triumph


when


they


capture


Koanga


in the off-stage


location.


The off-sta


chorus


can be used


as a foil


to on-stage


action


while


suggests


another


location.


In Act I


, ii of Billy


Budd,


Captain


Vere


and two of his officers


Redburn


and Flint,


speak


toge


their


recently


suppressed


mutinies


at the Nore


and at Spithead


and of their


constant


heard


fear


of new mutinies.


an off-stage


two officers


reveal


chorus

their


men


Under


singing


suspicions


about


serious


discussion


lighthearted

t the danger


can be


sea chanties.


nature


Vere


of the


recruit,


Billy


Budd


express


their


general


distrust


of the


crew.


Vere listens


to his


men


singing


below


deck.


He dismi


sses


officers


suspicions


Budd


and of the


crew


assures


them


that


as long


as the


are happy


mutiny


an immediate


concern.


The officers


leave


and the


scene


closes


with


Captain


Vere


thoughtfully


listening


to the


crew


singing,


new


men















as a libretto,

on two criteria


the librettist


dramatic


bases


relevan


his choice of

and operatic


locales


in his story


adaptability


Original


settings


are often


created


for a libretto


either


to fulfill


a dramatic


idea


not in the original


the fictional


work


, e.g.


fiction


or to produce


appearances


on stage


vocalizing


a quality


of the Ghosts


and the atmosphere


of evil


they


convey


in the


scene


"Nowhere"


Turn


of the Screw.


Vast


numbers


settings


in novels


and short


stories


are omitted


because


they


are not adaptable


stage


presentation


the lengthy


Veni


descriptions


presented


dramatic c


environment.


of the Swiss


The Wings


Alps


the Dove.


The elaborate


stage


and of


The stage

setting in


Mark


scenery


Merry


s square


and the


Mount


"The


Hellish


leading


Rendezvous"


character.


visualizes


Dramatic


the mental


presentation


state


of setting


opera


can function


like


the interior monologue


in fiction


to reveal


attitudes


responses


a character


to his


environment.














Notes


tion


'D. S. Bland,
in the Novel.


"Endangering
" Criticism.


the Reader'


Ill (


Neck:


Background


Descrip-


1961 ),


The Amenri cn Novels and Short Stories of Henry Jtames
MatthieT en ( New York: A fred A. Knopf, 19647, p. 1.71.


, ed


3Kenward


Elmslie,


Washington


Square


(New


York:


Belwin-Mills


Publishing


Company,


1976)


4Nathani
and Company,


el Hawthorne
1882). n. 79


Twice-Told


Tales


Boston:


Houghton Mifflin


Richard


Stokes


, Merry Mount


York:


Harms


, Inc.,


1933),


6
Hawkes


M. F


orster


and Eri


Crozier,


Billy Budd


(London:


Boosey


, 1961),


Eric


Works (
Sketch.


Walter


White


ndon:


, Benjamin
Hawkes, 1


Britten


948),


, A Sketch of His Life and
162. Hereafter cited as


8The C
, T1-- 2)


complete


Works of


Washington


Irving


, IX (New


York:


Putnam


Sons


Wainwright


Rip Van


Winkle


York:


Corbyn


Darcie


, 1855),


10The
(Columbus


Centenary Ed
Ohio State


i


tion of the Works of Nathaniel
University Press, 1968), 131.


Hawthorne,


11George Marek,


Opera


Theatre


York:


Harper


Row,


Publishers,


12Henry
Scribner's S

13The Po
Edition (New


James, The Wings of the
ons, 19097, 123.


York:


Works of Henry W
Houghton Mifflin


Dove


adsworth


(New


York:


Longfellow


and Company,


1889)


Charles


, II,
, 330


Riverside


14The Works of
flnmnnnv Q1.- T-1 55


Edward


Everett


Hale


(Boston:


Little,


Brown















Jean


Carl


scher


Karsavina,
, Inc.. 19


9


The Jumping


>51r


Frog of


Calaveras


County


(New


9







York:


. 12.


17
Schirme


Stephen


cent
. 11U


Bene t


The Headi


ess


seman


(Boston:


E. C


Willaim


Falla


An Es


Stafford,


-Review


"The


" Modern


New Billy


Budd


Fiction Studi


and the Noveli
es, 8 (Autumn


erman Melville


, Billy


Budd,


Sailor


. harri


son Hayford


Merton


Sealts


(Chicago: University


Chicago


Press


OEthan Ayer


Wings


of the Dove


(New


York:


Schirmner


Inc.


IFre


deri


Carlson,


The Court


ship


of Mil


Standish,


microfilm


(Chi


cago:


ewberry


Library,


n.d. ),


2The


Complete


. Lippincott Con


Tales of
ipany, -19


Henry


James,


ed. Leon


Edel


York:


64) 27.


3Myfanwy


Piper,


The Turn


of the Screw


London


Hawke s


and Sons


1955


, pp.

24The


17-18.


Novel


Tales


of Henry


James


"Preface


" XII (New


York:


Charl


Scribner',


Sons, 19087, XXI.


Charles


Hamm


the sixteen


, Opera


opera


(Boston:

s studied


Allyn a

in this


nd Bacon


Inc., 1966),


ssertation


, eight


104.


use an


off st
but do


chorus


not use them


to suggest


in this


another
manner;


location;
and three


five


operas


operas


have


have


choruses


no chorus.


, 308


. 19.


I
















CHAPTER


SETTING:


THREE


FUNCTIONS


Settings


in adapted


opera


librettos


often


function


like


settings


in their


fictional


sources.


Frequently


an author will


manipulate


his description


so as to make


the setting


reinforce


various


moods


and emotions


a character.


Although


D. S. Bland


relates


this


use of


setting


specific


call


to nineteenth-century


authors


, he recognizes


that


the "association


of mood


and situation


with


setting


remains


a staple


fictional


description"


Bland


127).


The description


of setting


achieve


another


purpose


in addition


to reinforcing mood


and emotions.


i'hen


a setting


suggests


more


than


the author


actually


states


, description


"can


rise


to the level


of symbol"


Bland,


139)


Setting


a character


are achieved


opera I

and also


in opera


ibrettos

function

through th


can both


as symbol.


e lyrics


parallel


These


the moods

aspects


of the libretto


and emotions

of setting


various


forms


stage


machinery.


Finally,


settings


can contribute


to the


structure


a libretto.


an adaptive


libretto,


this


use of


setting


can aid in achieving


a structure


similar


to that


of the fictional


source.


Settings


Which


can Reinforce


the Mood


a Character


In James


s The Wings


of the Dove,


Merton


Densher


, "iho accompanies


Millv


Theale


Veni


visits


on a mo:


Personal


basi


than


can


LJ


LL JV


J^ V


I e ,


.


h-















everything


turned


to the dismal"


(James,


258).


The gusts


of the


first


sea storm


of the


season


are strong


in this


scene.


The beginning


storm,


soon


to break


in its full


est fury


, parall


at this


point


the beginning


of Densher


s own turmoil


of emotions


Baffled


denial


of admi


ssion,


he leaves


the palace


and walks


through


Venice


to the great

acquaintance.


azza.


Knowing


Unexpectedly

Lord Mark h


Densher


pressed


sees

hard


Lord Mark, a

in the past


London


marry


Milly


zled


as to


he should


now


be in Venice,


Densher


begins


make


connections.


senses


that


the direct


cause


for his


banishment


rests with


the sudden


appearance


of Lord Mark


in Venice.


As he reali


this


truth


the storm


reaches


its most


violent


intensity,


In this


highly


emotional


state


Densher


blames


Lord Mark


both


for hi


banishment


from


the Palazzo


Leporelli


and for the state


of the weather


"The


in the air,


otherwi


was


too much


like


the breath


of fate.


weather


changed


the rain


was ugly


the wind


wicked,


impossible


because


Lord Mark.


was b


because


of him,


a fortiori


that


Densher


the palace


was


is unexpect


osed"


edly


(James


summoned


, II,


to the Palazzo


Several


weeks


Leporelli.


later


On the day


he receives


the invitation,


the weather


is described


a bath


warm


air, a pageant


of Densher


during


autumn


light"


episode


(James,


progress


304).


from a mood


The emotional


of gloom and


experiences


despair


-1-aD ,-' nf


flfl Oflflv CO 0


a-rn n,-ricfl^


tPi annt iindl=*r.

zes


sea


r


nri-^^nh


l/~ *- T^./-


I,













scene


v of his libretto


Ethan


Ayer


uses


stage


machinery


lyrics


to establish


a relation


between


the setting


and the mood


Miles


Dunster


(Merton Densher


in the novel)


The storm


scene


in the


novel


has been


combined


with


a reconciliation


of Milly


and Mil


scene


v of the


opera.


Having


been


banished


from


the Palazzo


before


scene


v begins


Miles


comes


Milly


s residence


in the hope


of seeing


While


he awaits


admission


he describes


the storm


outs


ide to


Milly


s servant


in words


derived


from


James


It is


a Venice


all of lashing


rain


and of


cold black


raging wicked


wind


through narrow


asses


Ayer


140).


At this


point


in the


opera


does


know why


he has been


denied


entrance.


reason


Rather


from Milly


than


in this


drawing


scene.


own


conclusions,


Lord Mark


Dunster


had revealed


learns


the love


between Miles


and Kate


Croy


Left


alone


with


this


knowledge


awakened


sense


of guilt


at hi


betrayal


of Milly


Miles


listens


at the


window

more e


as the storm


emphasis


increases


given


in intensity.


to the description


In the novel


of the storm and


considerably

to its


relation to

the libretto


of confusion

subsequent a


the mood


of Merton


the novel


upon


nger


being

upon r


refused


ealizing


Densher. However,

used to give direct


entrance


the storm in


emphasis


to the palace


Lord Mark was


the dire


both


state


and to his


cause.


Hester is


a second


libretto


to reinforce


some


mood


of character


I


__














seven years


and resolve


to flee


Boston


together


in search


a happier


life.


In Carlson


s adaptation,


Arthur


tells


Hester


that


it is usel


to flee.


He bell


eves


that


no physical


or geographical


barrier will


prevent


Chillingworth


from


following


them.


After


a while


Hester


leaves


and Arthur


heard,


is left


and a flash


alone,


Immediately


of lightning


a distant


illuminates


roll


the set.


of thunder


Arthur


sees


visions


of Chillingworth


watching


from


the undergrowth.


expresses


fear


a highly melodramatic


fashion,


and the librettist


indicated


in the text


stage


directions


for sceni


effects which are


intended


parallel


Arthur


s feelings.


Arthur:


what


new


(The


terror
rumble


amI


feeling,


distant


thunder


heard


What


darkness


around


me stealing,


(Flashes


God has surely
(Dark c


that


A spirit
(


Thou
Thou


of lighting
curs'd me.


louds


old friend


s there
Flashes
out of


thou


old fiend get


meant


appear


are seen.)


thicker


elbow


there!


of lightning
hell!


rushing


and thicker
y and night


Everywhere!
continue.


at him.)


thee hence


curse


, get


but to


thee
kill


hence!


For mer


(The


more


heav'n
thunder
fierce


cry!


grows


To heav'n


louder


and the


cry!
lightning


Chapters


28 and 29


of George


Washington


Cable


s The Grandissimes


tell


the story


Bras-Coup


a former


African


voudou


prince


forced


into


slavery.


Cabl


underscores


the potential


strength


of Bras-Coupe


J













the conclusion


of the


ceremony,


"the


hurricane


struck


the dwelling


Bras-Coupe


turns


and asks


for Palmyra


has left


his side.


"Mademoi-


sell


e" tell


he will


have


to wait


until


ives


Palmyra


him.


Bras-Coupe


agrees


only


because


"Mademoi sell"


ells


him;


however


if he


deceived,


"Bras-Coup


will


call


Voudou-Magnan"


Cable


curse


the white


man


and his


land.


The potential


danger


of this


threat


to Martinez


and his


gues


sugge


sted by


the storm which


strikes


all its fury


at thi


precise


moment:


"The


crowd


retreated


and the storm


fell


like


a burst


of infernal


applause.


A whiff


like


fifty


witches


floated


canvas


curtain


of the


gall


and a fierce


black


cloud


drawing


moon


under


its cloak,


ched


forth


a stream


fire


that


seemed


flood


the ground


a peal


of thunder


followed


as if the sky


had fallen


the house


quivered,


great


roaned,


every


esser


thing


bowed


down


fore


the awful


(Cable


. 234


Moments


later,


drunk


from


his first


experience


with


wine,


Bras-Coupe


appears


the grand


salon


demands


more


wine.


When Martinez


refuses


him,


Bras-


Coupe


strikes Martinez


and,


as promised


utters


a curse.


After


he rushes


from


room,


scene


illuminated


an avalanche


of lightning


with


as-C


the midst


making


for the


swamp


" (Cable


libretto


Koanga,


Keary


and revised


Douglas


Crai


and Andrew


Page,


based


upon


the Bras-Coup


chapters


in The Grandissimes.


Throughout


Act II,


flashes


of lightning


and distant


thunder


suggest


. 23












has arranged


to have


overseer


Simon


Perez


prevent


Palmyra


marriage


demand


kidnapping


for Palmyra


her.


Don Jose


When


Koanga


strikes


him.


confronts


When


Don Jose


Koanga


with hi


curses


owner


and his


land


the storm


at its most


violent.


"Thunder


darkness--Koanga


alone


on stage,


advances


and falls


on his


knees


with


arms


outstretched


."1 Afterwards


"Koan


seen


, by


occas


ional


flashes


of lightning,


making


thro


' the


dense


ores


Crai


and Page


. 102).


storm


reinforces


the violent


passions


Koanga


as opposed


to the storm


in Hester which


suggests


the psycholo


gical


sturbance


Arthur


II Symbol


The description


settings


often


goes


beyond


reinforcement


mood


and functions


as symbol.


Hawthorne


s use of darkness


and light


The Scarlet


Letter


creates


symbolic


overtones


in the forest


setting


When


Hester and Arthur


meet


the forest


the setting


is at first


"dark


"dismal


" and "gloomy.


Later


when


Hester removes


the cloth


better


from her


invades


"And


dress


and the two have decided


the darkness.


as if the gloom


Hawthorne


of the earth


eave


establishes


and the sky


Boston


the symbol


been


, sunlight


correspondences


the effluence


those


two mortal


hearts


it vanished


with


their


sorrow


All at


once


as with


a smile


from


heaven,


forth


burst


the sunshine


" (Hawthorne


202-03


The fluctuations


darkness


and sunlight


symbolize


emotions


Hester


and Arthur


ose


I















There


is no specific


indication


in the stage


directions


or in the descrip-


tion


itself


that


this


forest


setting


intended


to be symbolic.


However,


there


are frequent


references


in the


text


to the sunlight


which


illumi-


nates


scattered


portions


of the setting


Together with


the text


the libretto,


this stage


lighting


creates


symbolic


overtones


similar


in their effe


to Hawthorne


s use of light


in Chapters


XVI-XIX


of The


Scarlet


Letter.


The opening


words


of the chorus


in Act I


immediate


establish an


association


of Hester with


darkness.


To the chorus


the blackness


Hester


s nature


appears


more


sinful


when


contrasted


with


the glow


sin which


shines


from


within


her:


How boldly
Yet outer


shines


sun:


darkness


Enfolds


wicked


woman:


while


within her


wrong


that


she hath


done


Gleams


bold


as bale-fire


againstt


the light


of day


In Act II,


Lathrop


the son-in-law


of Nathaniel


Hawthorne,


took


care


have


Hester


and Arthur


make


numerous


references


to the contrasting


light


and darkness


of the setting.


Late


in the Act


, Hester,


in the


presence


of Arthur


tears


the letter


from her


dress


throws


away


paralleling


action


in the novel.


Arthur,


observing


appearance


of the


sun, expresses


ideas


which


parallel


closely


the symbolic


meanings


associated


with


light


in the novel.


His words


are stage


directions


-On -


.- Lb j-IL.- t, ,-A..Sr


- -


y..tj A T .- -I -4-.


,--L? ^t


,? ,,,7


II 1


I


~~


A


ir* -S *L- T; j- Li













anguish


and another


of light


with


hope,


dreams


and the promise


bright


future.


And lingering


To follow


shadows


the star


olden
olden


sorrow
morrow


The white


sail


ears


Wi th


a light


It beckons us on with


gladdening


more


In anguish


ark to


grope


. (Lathrop,


having


characters


sing


repeat


the relation


of light


odness


and of darkness


to sin and evil


, Lathrop


made


a consc


ious


effort


to reproduce


in hi


libretto


the symbolic


relationships


Hawthorne


s novel.


The lyrics


and the lighting


effects


combine


this


scene


to gi


the setting


a symbolic


significance


which


it would


otherwise


lack.


In addition


to these lighting


effects


in The Scarlet


Letter


other


librettos


Hester


and Merry


Mount


contain


stage


directions


specific


visual


effects


carry


symbolic


significance.


a theatre


with


sophisticated


stage


machinery


almost


effect


is possible.


Often


the librettist,


the director,


and the stage


designer will


work


closely


toge


their


to produce


astonishing


effect


In his libretto


Hester


Carlson

effect,


uses


sugge


stage

sted b


machinery


the second


create t

scaffold


wo symbolic


scene


effe


the novel


The first


when Arthur


sees


letter


"A" in the sky,


occurs


in Act IV.


Left


alone


in the


forest


after


Hester


eaves


Arthur


Dimmesdale


frightened


knowledge


of Roger


Chillingworth


s evil


nature.


A violent


storm approaches.


new
















remainder


of the


scene.


When


Roger


Chillingworth


appears


in the forest


toward


the end of


scene


, there


is no indication


in the libretto


that


sees


the "A" in the sky.


Since


no other


chara


cter


in the


opera


refers


to the


appearance


of the le


tter


the suggestion


in the


opera


is that


symbol


meaning


izes


of the "A


the guilt


remain


haunting

s ambiguo


Dimmesdale.

us. At first


In Hawthorne

. Hawthorne


s novel


imputes


, the

the


vision


of the letter


"solely


to the di


sease


in his


own eyes


and heart


that


the minister


, looking


upward


to the zenith


beheld


there


appearance


an immense


etter--the


better


" (Hawthorne


155)


Yet,


the next


as the congregation


leaves


the church,


a sexton


inquires


of Dimmnesdale


if he had


seen


portent


in the sky


the night


before


a "great


red letter


in the sky,


--the


letter


--which


we interpret


stand


for Angel"


(Hawthorne


As Hawthorne


explains,


rson


having


seen


the sign may


have


attributed


to it his


own


sense


guilt.


The "flaming


has a wider


symbolic


application


in the novel


than


it has


in the libretto


In Act V of Hester


Carlson


requires


a visual effect which


precedent


in the novel.


Act V ends


as Arthur


dies


in the


arms


of Hester.


Looking


heavenward


Hester


sees


Pearl,


her dead


child


: "A vision


appear


in the white


clouds


reve


aling


Hester'


child


as an angel


granting


heaven


s forgi


veness


" (Carlson,


267)


SIn both


adaptations


- n


II













described


as a blessing


to Hester;


"God,


as a direct


consequence


9





of the


sin which man


thus


puni


shed


given


her a lovely


child


whose


place


was on that


same


honored


bosom


, to connect


her parent


for ever with


race


and descent


of mortal


and to be finally


a blessed


soul in


even


" (Hawthorne


. 89).


In Hawthorne


s short


story


"The


Maypole


of Merry


Mount


residents


of Merr


Mount


gather


to decorate


the Maypole


and to celebrate


the wedding


of the Lord


the celebration


and the Lady


interrputed


and the


of the May


Maypole


and Edith.


destroyed


Later


a group


Puritans,


led by


En dic


ott,


sever


est of


the Puritans.


At first


threatened


the Puritans


, Edgar


and Edith


are soon


released


start


their


marri


life.


The stark


contrast


between


the lightedheart


pleasure


seekers


of Merry Mount


and the grim


Puritans


symbolizes


theme:


"life


s idl


measures"


of whi


ch the


residents


of Merry


Mount


are the


emblems


must


"place


to the sternest


cares


of life


, personifi


the dark puritans"


(Hawthorne,


Twice-Told


Tales


In Merry


Mount,


Richard


Stokes


created


two lavi


scenes


which


require


more


sophisticated mechanical


devices


to produce


than


other


settings


in the librettos


studied.


Together


these


scenes


"The Maypole"


and "Bradford


s Dream"


symbolize


the inner


conflict


of Bradford


opera


s hero


In Act II


"The


Maypole


a crowd


of revelers


gather


decorate


the Maypole


and to


celebrate


the wedding


of the Lord


and the


" the


T -^


__















actions


and in elaborate


intentionally


parallels


costumes


prepares


, suggestive


of Hawthorne


for Act II,


s stor


"Bradford'


Dream.


Act II,


I opens


with


a group


women


revel


ers


twinin


ribbons


around

nations


English7


the Mayp


are complete


pageantry


located


, a lengthy


appears


the center

procession


announcing


of the stage.

of the Nine


appearance


When t

Worthies


of the Lord


he decor

of old


of the


May.


As he takes


his place


on the throne


, "flags


break


forth


arch


above


Gower


s head


Stokes


. 111)


scene


follows


full


color

were


and fill

suggested


with


characters


Hawthorne,


in imaginative


makerss


costumes


falsefa


, some

with p


of which


endulous


noses


and gaping


lips"'


(Stokes


. 111).


These


characters


break


into


a wild


dance around


the Maypole.


Following


this


ballet


, Marigold


Sandys,


the Lady

aloft in


of the May


"a coach


enters


formed


"costumed


y thirty-six


as the

girls


oddess


of Spring


" (Stokes,


125)


borne

adding


the color


and splendor


of the


scene.


This


scene


is climaxed


wedding


ceremony


which


is interrupted


Bradford


and his band


Puritans.


, paralleling


scene


, opens


with


a group


of witches


riding


through


the air


on broomsticks


. A


minotaur


climbs


out of the


earth


and begins


a dance.


As in


scene


, a lengthy procession


takes


place,


this


time


consisting


of monsters


which


announce


Lucifer


__

















its hood


like


a parasol


and shines


upon


the throng


a ghastly


fluorescence"


(Stokes


. 193).


At the parallel


point


when


the Lady


of the May


entered


scene


, Astoreth,


the consort


of Lucifer


sung


same


soprano


who portrays


Marigold


Sandys


n ow


appears.


The obj


ect of Bradford'


eroti

with


fantasies


Lucifer.


Astoreth


Immediately


persuades


after


Bradford


signs


sign


name


a blood


the monste


contract

rs slink


away


the toadstool


"descends


through


the earth"


(Stokes,


. 197)


Lucifer


and Astoreth


leave together


and Bradford


, asleep


alone.


The total


scenic


picture


setting


action


and characters


Bradford


s troubled


dream


parallel


those


in "The


Maypole.


Psychologically


Bradford


assoc:


iates


the residents


of Merry


Mount


and their


heathen


practices

conflict


with t

between


he followers


Bradford


of Lucifer


s Puritan


and their


asceticism


evil


which


temptations.


views


as good,


and his


physical


attraction


to Mari


gold


Sandys


which he


believes


evil,


symbolized


scenically


the parall


contrasts


in these


scenes.


In two librettos


, Billy


Budd


and Owen


Wingrave


power


of the


lyri


alone


invests


the settings


with


symbolic


stature


Through


series


of analogies


Forster


and Crozier,


following Melville's


hint,


intend


the setting


a microcosm.


In Chapter


of Billy


Budd,


Melville


compares


story


of conflicting


passions


a drama.


"Passion,















beggars and rakers of


the garbage" (Melville,


78).


This theatrical


analogy is completed when Melville compares the Bellipotent to a stage:


"In the present


instance the stage is a scrubbed gun deck


" (Melville,


Against this setting,


the drama of Billy Budd with its elemental


conflict of


good and evil is told.


Melville expands his image of the


Bellipotent as a stage into a symbol of the man-of-war as a microcosm.


For instance


"simpler sphere" of


Dudd's impressment involved his transferral from the


the Rights-of-Man to the "more knowing world of


great warship" (Melville,


50).


Moving from one mode of


existence to


another is analogous,


in the novel,


to being transplanted from the


simplicity and innocence of the provinces to the complexity and intrigue


of a royal


court (Melville,


In a production of the opera,


the story of Billy Budd is acted on


a stage made


literally to represent the decks of the


Indomitable.


Various


characters in the libretto describe the setting in terms which suggest it


is to represent the larger world of men.


to make this direct comparison,


Claggart


comments to himself


the first character

that he has studied


mankind.


This larger experience has prepared him for a parallel activity


in the smaller world of the


Indomitable.


Taking offense at his officer's


order to watch Budd,


Claggart asks himself


sarcastically


"Have I never


studied man and man


s weaknesses?


Have


I not apprenticed myself to this


- -I_ _. ----- ----


-L J 1 1


IYr^ iircrn cIA nt I' r' v nnri P n1 an T' I n T


T"l 1


n rl T 13 1 I_ i rl1 t 1 i r T n- T rll i i c11 T














(Forster


and Crozier,


136-37).


Captain


Vere


extends


this


analogy.


After


the court-martial


Vere


comments


upon


position


as head


ship


s realm


: "Death


is the penalty


for those


who break


the laws


earth


and I


am king


of this


fragment


of earth,


of this


floating


monarchy,


have


exacted


death"


(For


ster


and Crozier,


290-91)


As in


the libretto


The Scarlet


Letter


in which


chara


cters


dialogue


identifies


the symbolic


function


of the forest


Forster and


Crozier


use the words


of Clag


art and


Vere


to make


the Indomitable


a microcosm.


At the close


of Chapter


following


the arguments


of the drumhead


court


the narrator


of Billy


Budd


comments


upon


the distinction


between


the actions


and d


sons


of individuals


directly


involved


emergency


situations


the rational


judgments


passed


those


viewing


the situation


in retrospect.


person


participating


in the immediate


situation


often


is forced


to act,


if not


totally


upon


impulse


from a


limited


both


vantage

a practi


point.

cal and


These


emergency


a moral


natur


situations

e. The ma


can involve


n involved


deci


in thi


sions

s type


of situation


is like


a pilot


whose


ship must


sail


through


thick


view


of the


man on the bridge


is greatly


hampered


the fog


while


below


deck


have


little,


any,


true


understanding


of the captain


responsibilities


. "The


greater


the fog


more


it imperils


the steamer


and speed


is put


on though


the hazard


of running


somebody


down.


Little


ween


snug


card


player


the cabin


of the responsibilities


of the


men


v














several


characters.


In all of the references


to them


the mists


literally

insight.


impair

Those


clear

moments


physical

during


vision

which t


and figuratively


he mists


block


symbolize


true

clear


vision,


both


physical


and mental.


In Chapter


18 of the novel


a brief


encounter


the Bellipotent


with


an enemy


ship


is dismissed


in four


senten


ces.


crew


pursues


enemy


frigate


which


eventually manages


to elude


the Bellipotent.


This


short


passage


becomes


an important


scene


opera.


At the opening


of Act II


scene


is the quarter-deck


and "the


air is


grey


with mi


. 171)


Later


when


an enemy


ship


sighted,


"the


mists


begin


to lift


" (Forster


and Crozier,


.176


The first


comment


made


the sailors


their


delight


at havin


unobs


tructed


view


of their


enemy:


"By God


the French!


the mist


gone


" (Forster


and Crozier,


176-177


When


the Indomitabl


fires


enemy,


the shot


falls


short


and the French


vessel


escapes


into


distant


mist.


Vere


comments


upon


this:


"Ay,


the mist


back


to foil


The mist


creeps


in to


blind


us.


chase i


foolish


" (Forster


and Crozier,


sea mi


218).


sts which have


To this

impaired


point r

physical


eferences

vision.


have

After


been


to the literal


ordering


Budd


be brought


to hi


cabin


to face


Claggart


Captain


Vere


begins


to think


of the mists


in figurative


terms.


mists become


source


for interior


as well


as exterior problems


"Disappointment


vexation


, everywhere


nreemnn


over


ev' rvth in'-


fnonfnsi in


PV'rvnne


(nnfi.csi nn wi


-t.hrntl


rnd


nnd















person,


Vere,


is "not


so easily


deceived"


(Forster


and Crozier,


In thi


scene


Vere


optimistic


that


can prevent


any problem


since


he clearly


under


stands


the relation


of the two


men.


However


, immediately


following


Claggart'


death


Vere


discover


was


mistaken.


The truth


the matter


is now


clear.


What


he believed


to have


been


true


insight


into


the matter


earlier proves


with


Claggart


s death


to be false.


believed


the symbolic


sts had


risen


and permitted


a full


under-


standing.


With


Claggart


lying


dead


on his cabin


floor


and with


Budd


standing


quietly


Vere


now


sees


the situation


in its


true


light.


"The


mists concealed


all,


all," (Forster


and Crozier,


Vere


sings


The horror


of the truth


clearly


revealed


to Vere


, symbolized


clearing


of the figurative


mists


that


he i


the judge


Budd


action


the destroyer


of the


innocent


Billy,


not Claggart.


views


the trial


as his


own.


"It is not


trial,


it is mine,


mine


mine


."(Forster


and Crozier,


Lyrics


are used


y Myfanwy


Piper


create


a symbol


setting


Owen


Wingrave


based


on James


s short


story.


The dramatic


situation


same


in the libretto


as in the story.


Owen,


youngest


male


member


of British


family with


a distinguished


military


history


rebels


against


following


this


tradition.


Owen


is ordered


to Paramore


family


ancestral


home


where


he will


straightened


out.


The setting


in hrnthh


tih- QT.Tn v


anri +.hn li"hrr+.t.tn


bhPpnnmpec


Shn t.tl


Pfi e d


Thp hnuse


-I -


_ ~


1














represents


the tradition


the exploits


of the British


army"


James


17).


On a dare


from Kate


Julian,


a girl


Owen


loves


, he plans


spend


night


in a room


believed


to be haunte


an ancestor.


What


occurs


inside


The 1


setting


room


sentence


is never


explained


of the story


a battlefield


"He


again

ooked


but it is the


equates

like a


Owen


young


cause


of Owen


a soldier


soldier


s death.


and the


on a battle-


field"


James


51).


In the libretto


Owen


views


his position


at Paramore


as that


soldier


ering


battle.


"How


strange


Here


in my


own


house


stand

opera


an enemy

continue


" (Piper,

s. Owen


. 15).


pictures


The images


himself


increase


engaged


in number


a battle


as the


in which


is surrounded


sacre


family


traditions


, symbolized


in part


portraits


of family


military


heroes


which hang


on the walls


of the house.


Words


are the artillery


of the


enemy:


I'm in
bombard
blockade
starved


a state


with


the
ack


horrible


words


love


Finally,


values


the house


defended


is symbol


all members


a number


of the Wingrave


of concepts,


family


of traditional


but Owen.


openly


rebels


against


these.


In Act


v described


as "abstract


members


of the family


are shown


over


a period


a week


bombarding


Owen


with


the real


meaning


of his


denial


of their


cherished


values.


Owen's


- n I A- A----- -'- -


1 n -


I t


1


1


_ 1 -


'1II












III Tableau


Another important use of stage

effective stage picture or tableau.


setting is to aid in providing an

"Enormously popular in the French


theatre at


the end of


the eighteenth century and during the first half


of the nineteenth century" (Smith,


. 189),


tableaux were


traditionally


reserved for the climactic scenes.


In opera,


these


scenes


are represented


musically by aria,


a cavatina


, or a large concerted ensemble of


soloists


and chorus.


An audience anticipates these musically climactic moments.


One function of


the tableau is to enhance


the effect of


the musical


climax by duplicating "on a visual scale the setpiece of


the ballad,


cavatina,


or ensemble" (Smith,


Act II of Donizetti's Lucia


di Larrunermoor closes with a famous operatic


tableau.


Lucia,


having just


been forced to sign a contract wedding her to Lord Bucklaw,


is shocked


by the unexpected return of her


lover Edgardo.


Her brother Enrico


and Adgardo start


to unsheath their swords but change their minds.


Suddenly

seconds,


, both the dramatic action and the music stop.

the orchestra introduces the famous sextet.


After a few

This tableau


of the interrupted wedding ceremony is maintained throughout the singing


of the ensemble,


after which Edgardo rushes from the hall.


In addition


to these artistic effects,


tableaux,


as Smith point out,


"were


splendidly calculated to generate applause" (Smith,


Wainwright's Rip Van Winkle is the only


189).


libretto among those


studied to give specific instructions for the use of


tableaux.


Careful


tableaux.


Careful











along


the Hudson


River.


The credit


page


of the libretto


explains


that


scenery


was "painted


from


Nature,


drawings


for the


express


purpose


having


been


taken


on the spot"


(Wainwri


The four


tableaux


are presented


in Act I


are "after


the celebrate


etchings


'Rip


Van Winkle


. Darley"


(Wainwright


In addi tion


to the


values


of presenting


a striking


stage


picture


and of providing


visual


support


to climactic


moments


these


table


eaux


offered


additi


onal


pleasure


presenting


scenes


already


familiar


to the audience


from


an early


edition


of Irving


s tale.


Two tableaux


, the first


and the fourth,


occur


at moments


in Ac


when


sings


songs


in honor


of drinking.


Earl


in the act Rip


village


and friends


urge


him to sing


Nicholas


the landlord


the inn. Derrick


Van BLmunel


the schoolmaster


numerous


villa


gers


gathered


in front


of the


inn make


the tableau.


In the fourth


tableau


of the act set in the Catskill


Mountains


sings


for Hendrick


Hudson


and hi s


men


Act I


to add to the mirth


the second


of the


the third


group


tableaux


as they


are set.


play


ninepins.


These


present


pictures


of Rip's


domestic


life.


The second


tableau


not related


musical


moment.


The setting


the interior


of Rip


s house


and the


tableau


involves


Dame


Van Winkle


, a village


maiden


Anna


and Rip


children


and Young


Rip.


The third


tableau at


the close


of this


same


scene


precedes


a duet


and hi


wife


The tableau


presents


the four


members


the Van


Winkle


family.


and his wife


quarrel










table


great


eau


operas


influence


of the nineteenth


on the development


century,


according


of the libretto.


With


to Smith


increasing


emphasis


placed


on the tableau


for theatrical


effect,


the story


line


these


librettos


was condensed


into


a series


of loosely


connected


grand


scenes.

scenic


This

grande


disjunctive a

r and variety


approach

rather


to dramatic


than


presentation


the present action


emphasized

a continuous


story


line.


Consequently


the tableau


and its


accompanying


disjmunctive


story


line


become


prominent


features


of the French


Grand


Opera,


providing


creators


with


maximum


opportunity


for sceni


effectiveness


through


variety


and large


seal


production.


The influence


of the


tableau


upon


scenic


structure


can be


seen


a twentieth-century


libretto


, Wozzeck,


Alb an


Berg,


one of


the most


highly


praised


and most


frequently


produced


operas


this


century.


The original


connect


play


scenes.


y Georg


tell


Buchner


this


consi


story


sts of Twenty-five


of the existential


loosely


anguish


mental


deterioration


of Wozzeck


, Berg


selected


fifteen


scenes


from


the play


The result


was a senr


scenes


even


more


loosely


connected


dramatic


cally


than


they


been


in the original


play


The problem


unification


of these


scenes


was


in Ber


s own words


"more


musical


than 1

rather


literary,


than


and had to be

the rules of


solved


laws


dramaturgy


of musical


According


structure


to Patrick


Smith,


suggests


libretto


the term


as Wozzeck


"snapshot


this hallmark


scenes"


of the


for the units


such


twentieth-century


libretto


r














The sixteen


scenes


in Myfanwy


Piper'


The Turn


of the Screw


present


this


disjunctive


structure.


Fifteen


scenes


were


adapt


from


James


s novella


, which ha


twenty-four


chapter


The idea


presenting


a multiplicity


Britten.


of short


The selection


scenes

of the


originated

scenes was


with


"dictated


composer,


a careful


benjamin


analysis


of the text.


According


to the librettist,


the chief


concern


transforming


these


scenes


from


the novella


to the stage


was presentation


of detail.


"What


be invented


was


neither


sequence


nor


fact,


detail


(Piper,


. 80).


The effect


of these


separated


"snapshop


scenes"


to present


an accumulative


seri


of detail


which


when


viewed


collectively would


accomplish


several


purposes.


"Each


scene


was


then


planned


carry


the drama


one step


further


and at the


same


time


show


some


aspec


of their


residents


of Bly)


daily


life.


In thi


some


indi


cation


of the


passage


of time


could


be given


without


holding


the action"


(Piper


81).


Although


sequence


was not of primary


concern


to the librettist


the question


of unity


had to have


been.


Musically


scenes


are linked


orchestral


linked


interludes


the sceni


called


details


"Variations.


chosen


Dramatically,


the librettist


they


are


for presentation.


These


detail


were


sugge


sted


James


s story


and they


are al


seen


in the st


age settings


opera.


The librettist


writes


"And


even


for detail


there


was more


often


than


some


hint


somewhere


in the text


was


to


__


--I--


_













Thirteen of


the sixteen


scenes


take place on


the grounds of Bly.


Eleven scenes are set in the house itself.


For instance,


Act I,


scene


1i--"The Welcome"--is set on


the porch of Bly.


Scene


entitled


"The Letter" again is set on


the porch but not the window is included


as an additional detail.


scenee


iv--


"The Tower--once again reveals


the porch;


however,


in addition to


the window,


tower of


the house


is now visible.


In this scene


the Governess first


sees


Quint.


Each


succeeding scene unifies this disjunctive presentation of


events in


two ways.


iFirst


the movement from one scene


to the next allows the


action to flow with a minimum of interruption.


Secondly,


this multi


plicity of


scenes reinforces "the impression (so powerfully conveyed


in James's story) that the action covered a considerable period of time


and that there were


long stretches of


normality between the occasional


supernatural appearances of


the phantoms."12


Through


the use of


stage machinery and lyrics,


a librettist often


endows his settings with two special


functions.


Storm scenes produced


through simple sound effects and stage lighting were used in three


librettos to parallel


the inner turmoil


of the characters.


Elaborate


staging,


the contrasting scenes in Merry Mount each with parallel


Visual effects,


created symbolic correspondences


unstated in the libretto.


Likewise,


lyrics,


i.e.


the figurative


language in Billy Budd which


establishes correspondences between visual clarity


and intellectual


I


_ ~ _ n













two-fold:


to create effective stage pictures and to affect the


scenic structure of librettos.














Notes


l"It was a


Venice all


of evil


that had broken out for them alike,


so that
met on i


they were


together in their anxiety,


a Venice of


if they really could have


cold lashing rain from a black sky,


wind raging through narrow passages." Henry James,


II (New York:


Charles Scribner


s Sons


, 1909),


of wicked


The Wings of the Dove,
p. 123.


2Charles Frederick Carlson,


Library,


1958),


Hester,


a microfilm (Chicago:


Newberry


209-10.


3George Washington Cable,


The Grandissimes (New York:


Charles


Scribner's Sons,


1891),


p. 234.


C. F


. Keary,


Koanga,


and Andrew Page (London:


revised English libretto


Hawkes & Son Lt


, 1935,


o by Douglas
1974), p. 10


Craig
C


Hawthorne


equates the sunlight which dispells the gloom of the


forest setting to the love


which,


momentarily at least,


despair in the hearts of Hester and Arthur.


Hawthorne's Fiction:


Oklahoma Press


, 1964


The Light and the Dark (


)T


replaces


See also Richard Fogle's
Norman: The University of


134 in which the light is symbolic of hope


George Parsons Lathrop,


The Scarlet Letter,


Dramatic Poem


(189


7Richard Stokes


The librettist
Hector of Troy,


Arthur,


identi


, Merry Mount (New York:


fies these characters in his synopsis


Inc.,


Alexander the Great,


Charlemagne,


Judas Macabaeus,


: Joshua


Julius Caesa:


. III.
, David,
r, King


and Duke of Godefrey of Bologne.


8The Complete


Tales of Henry


V. Lippincott Company,


James,


Leon Edel


9 (New York:


9Myfanwy Piper,


Owen Wingrave (London:


Faber Music Limited,


1971),


1OAiban Berg,
(New York: W. W.


"A Word about Woz
Norton and Company


zeck. "


in The Essence of Opera


Inc., 1969)7,


Myfnwny Piper,


Screw," Tribute


"Somo


Thoughts on


to Benjamin Britten


TLibrtP to


Anthony Gishford (London:


" aber and Faber, 1963), p. -0.


1964), 35.


1933),


Harm


Turn of















CHAPTER


CHARACTERIZATION


THREE
OBSERVABLE TRAITS


Forster,


paraphrasin


the French


literary


critic


Alain


asserts


that


each


man


two sides


the physical


and the psychological.


The physical


trait


consist


of "all


that


is observable


in man--that


his actions


and such


spiritual


stence


as can be deduced


from


actions.


1 The use of observable


character


traits


to portr


characters


common


to both


drama


and fiction.


In addition


to the


actions


performed


chaxa


cters


, phy


sical


detail


often


can reveal


aspects


of character,


like


the physical


beauty


of Billy


Budd


the impediment


of his vocal


stammer


which


are emphasized


by Melville


in his novel.


Physical


objects


associated


with


a person


will


often


reveal


character


traits.


These


of Catherine


be items


Sloper


in James


chosen


a character


s Washington


Square,


such


as the clothing


or they may


be objects


relating


to the character


independent


of his choosing


such


as the


scarl


letter worn


Hester


Prynne.


can begin


with


a discussion


action


as it affe


characterization.


Actions


Three


types


actions


are usually


specific


a libretto


repeated


actions


, startling


or unexpect


actions


and symb


olic


actions.














novel


with his


hand


over


his heart.


Leland


Schubert


traced


Hawthorne


repetition


of this


action,


intended


to suggest


Dimmesdale'


inner


guilt


remorse


and found


appears


on thirty


different


pages


of the book.


Unlike


numerous


repetitions


in the novel


Dimmnesdale


performs


action


only


twice


in the libretto.


Leaning


over


a balcony


Dimmesdale


appeals


Hester


reveal


the identity


the father


of her child.


When


she refuses


Dimmesdale


"sinks


back


exhaus


ted,


with his


hand


over


heart"


(Lathrop,


10).


This


action


is repeat


just


before


Dimmesdale


enters


the Meeting


House


for worship


. He


"turns


away


with


bowed


head


, hi


hand


clutching


his breast


" (Lathrop,


. 15).


Schubert


qualifies


prai


of Hawthorne


s use of this


motif by


pointing


to the essential


weakness


in any


often


repeated


devi


becomes


monotonous"


(Schubert,


146).


But in Lathrop


s adaptation,


because


Dimmesdale


s action


is specified


the librettist


only


twice


its eff


ectiveness


weakened.


reverse


of Lathrop'


arse


use of repeated


actions


seen


in Forster


and Crozier


s Billy


Budd.


librettists


place much more


emphasis


on Budd


s stammer


than


does


Melville.


Budd's


inability


speak


under


certain


instances


stress


is dramatized


twice


in Melville


version:


first


when


the afterguardsman


tempts


Budd


to mutiny


second,


when


Claggart


accuses


Budd


of mutiny


In the Prologue


to the


opera,


Vere


mentions


this


flaw in Budd:


"There


is always


some


flaw in


: "It














opera



-4


as a leitmotif


asso


citation


with


Budd


s stammer:


crest: poco


(Britten


This


leitmotif


sugge


a message


which


Budd


unabi


to relate


when


he discovers


Squeak,


Claggart


s lackey,


meddling


in his


belongings


again


when


a novice


afterguardsman


in the novel)


attempts


bribe


into


a false mutiny


plot.


The final


occurrence


of Budd


s stammer


is in the accusation


scene


which


in the novel


is entirely


descriptive


with


the exception


of Vere


s plea


for Budd


to speak.


The parallel


scene


in the


opera


underscored


the stammer motif


which


serves


both


as a remini


scent


theme


as an anticipatory


theme.


While


recalling


previous


incidents


when


Budd


could


not respond


the motif


creates


a degree


suspense


through


anticipation.


Appearing


closer


intervals


whi ch


become


more


insistent


in their


impact,


arpe


suggest


Budd'


increasing


agitation.


Finally,


at the moment


of dramatic


climax when


Budd


shouts


"Devil"


as he strikes


and kills


Claggart


, the orchestra


stops.


The stammer motif


does


appear


again


ah *


now


-1 -


q


1


__


I~ _















When Budd is unable


to defend himself


against Claggart's charge of


mutiny,


he responds with a


the audience.


violent action which startles both Vere and


Characterization through


the performance of violent or


unexpected actions is common


H. Auden,


to successful operatic dramaturgy.


this immediate active quality is necessary in operatic


characterization because


"music is immediate actuality and neither


potentiality nor passivit


can live


in its presence."


This passionate


active state is the


"quality common to all great operati


roles,


e.g.


Don Giovanni


, Norma,


Lucia,


Tristan


, Isolde,


runmnhilde" (Auden,


, 356).


All sixteen of the librettos under discussion portray charac-


ters


through startling actions.


In eleven librettos these actions occur


with little or no change from the source material.


five remaining librettos perform startling actions which,


Characters in the


in each instance,


introduce some alteration in


the original story.


The most extensive


change occurs in Stokes'


Merry Mount.


Wrestling Bradford,


who does


not appear at all in Hawthorne


s story,


is the spiritual leader of


the puritan New England colony.


In the course of


the opera,


he performs


a series of


startling actions--a compact with


the devil, a demonic


curse against the colony,


the murder of the beautiful young Marigold


Sandys,


and his suicide by immolation.


Taken together these actions


reveal a religious leader who has been converted into a full-blown













In Melville's


short


story,


"The


Bell


Tower,


" Bannadonna


designs


and erects


a combination


bell


tower


clock


tower


On the giant


bell


designed


for the tower


are twelve


ures


young


girls


each clasping


hands.


Una,


the figure


representing


the first


hour,


holds


the hand


Dua and


so on


size


the fire


necessary


to forge


this bell


frightens


the workmen


that


they


refuse


to perform


their


duty.


prevent


failure


of thi


final


casting


Bannadonna


strikes


and kills


anonymous


individual


among


men.


The others immediately


return


to their


duties.


In Ernst


Krenek'


libretto


the murdered


man


identified


as Giovanni,


Bannadonna


s foreman


the f


ather


of Una.


Unlike

in love


the figure


with


in Melville


Bannadonna.


s story,


The only


Una i


female


a human


character


being


in the


fall


opera,


added


to the libretto


for music


cal and


dramatic


reasons


Musically,


she supplies


opera


with


vocal


variety


a quality which many


libretti


composers


believe


necessary


an operatic


score


Dramati


cally,


the introduction


of Una


produces


two effects


First,


she provides


love


interest


which


the original


story


lacks.


More


importantly,


as a living


creature, contributes


a charac


terization


of Bannadonna


different


from


that


created


by Melville.


When she


reali


zes


that


Bannadonna


has betrayed her


Una attempts


kill


but fails.


retaliation,


Bannadonna


performs


a feat


magic


not attributed


in the short


story.


an ancient


and mysterious


Chinese


technique


- -


was


n














inductions,


arrive


a knowledge


of the


source


of life.


What


he strove


to accomplish


as an arti


"was


to have


been


reached


not b


y logic,


not by


crucible,


not by


conjuration,


altars


plain


vice-bench


and hammer.


In the pref


ace


to Percy MacKaye


s free


adaptation


of Rip


Winkle,


the libretti


this work


warns


with


that


the story


any "reader,


of Washington


or spectator,


Irving


compare


or the play


Jeff


person


will


discover more


differences


than


resemblances


5 Rip


a bachelor


engaged


to the shrewish


Katrina


Vedder


, goes


to the mountains


and falls

husband w


asleep.


ho rebel


In this

against


adaptation,

his shrewish


Rip i

wife


s changed


into


from a


an enamored


henpecked

young


man


beli


eve s


he i


in love.


In Irving'


tale


, Rip


acts


independently


outside


control.


He leaves


wife


when


she refuses


to allow


his dog


into


the house.


In MacKaye


s operati


version


, Rip


eaves


villa


ge to satisfy


the demands


of hi


shrewish


fiance.


return


watched


over


Hendrick


Hudson


and his crew who


wish


see him marry


Peterkee,


Katrina


s younger


sister.


supernatural


intervention


Hudson


and his


crew


produces


two results.


First


success


their


plan


is ensured.


Their


supernatural


powers will


exert


a control


over


destinies


of the human


characters.


Secondly,


is changed


from a


character whose


actions


form


plot


into


a figure


is controlled


the demands


-


the plot


itself.


. J
















Note


" that


"new


incidents


and moods


are introduced"


(Lathrop,


prepare


the reader


of his libretto


for Hester'


ul timLunate


of suicide


In the novel,


Hester


admits


to Chillingworth


that


she has


considered


death.


have


thought


of death


' she said,


--'have


wished


for it


--would have


prayed


for i


'" (Hawthorne


never


active


y pursues


this


course


of action.


the libretto,


a parallel


interview


tween


Hester


and Chillingworth


takes


place


during


which


Hester


asks


about


the nature


a phial


medicine


"Will


bring


me death?/


Then


gladly


drink


it,/


To win


release


(La throp,


Here


Hester


'ml ike


Hawthorne s


heroine


drinks


the potion


unhesitatingly.


La throp


s characterization


chan


Hawthorne


s strong


, intellig


woman


into


an impulsive,


emotional


heroine.


She becomes


a typi


operati

little


character


forethought.


acting

This


emotionally


portrait


on the demands


Hester


of the moment


illustrates what


with


Patrick


Smith


describes


as a key


nineteenth-century


Romanticism:


"The


first,


and probably--in


a breakthr


ough


sense,


--the


most


important,


change


in the libretto


was that


involving


the idea


of death.


The death


the hero


or the heroine


. was


hallmark


of the Romantic


opera


" (Smith


, pp


. 195-96)


Hester


s death


is contrived


sati


a contemporary,


romantic


theatrical


convention.


rhaps


the most


problematic


characters


in terms


successful


oes


. 56


16)













ambiguous.


At the end of the story,


the reader


could


only


question


whether


the ghosts


ever


really


outside


the Governess


s imagina-


tion.


] ame s


bel


eved


that


direct


s statement


concerning


the motives


of the ghos


ts would


weaken


the nature


evil he hoped


convey.


own method,


as expressed


"Pref


ace."


was to present


the ghos


through


shadowy


innuendo.


adapting


Quint


and Miss


Jessel


for the sta


Bri tten


Piper


either


had to make


them


appear


on stage,


visible


to the audience


are to the Governess,


or to


suggest


their


invisible


nature


through


some


effect


resulting


from


According


to George


Martin


"the


latter


course


would


have


mean t


abandoning


crux


James


s story


rather


than


losing


only


its final


subtle


In the libretto


the ambiguous


nature


of Quint


and Miss


Jessel


sacrificed.


audience,


like


the Governess,


sees


them.


However


two questions


central


to the mystery


entirely


clear


in James


the libretto


s story


which


are retained.


of the other


First,


characters


the apparitions.


Second,


the motives


of Quint


and Miss


Jessel


remain


suffi


ciently


hazy


and,


as James would


have


, suggestive


of their


evil


presence


and intentions.


Through musical


character


zation


Britten


"What


achieves


Britten


effects


have


possible


lost


only


in ambiguity


in opera.


he gained


George Martin


in other


explains,


respects


with


sound,


a resource


unavailable


James


( "Another


Turn


see


it i














with


orchestral


instruments


suggests.


The supernatural


appearances


Quint


and Miss


Jessel


are assoc


iated


throughout


opera


"with


flat


keys


and flattened notes


" (White


His Life and His


Operas,


181-82).


Quint's


first


appearance


is accompani


a surprising


E flat major


chord


on the celesta


a predominant


tonality


of D major.


Quint becomes visible on the tower.


- rene.


S----
D. 'y ..


f J' ll L t *


y v- I


S


* ~ --



.- V. 6.


4
\ ..



- *


(Britten,


Miss


Jessel,


as Eric


White


notices


, "is not so strongly


characterized


as Quint.


appearances


are frequently


underpinned


a sombre,


brooding


slowly


spread


chord"


White,


His Life and His


Operas,


182).


%r---4 C ---
:^^=t =?.l^ft __-


... t =


:r ---^ ^ -


26


t\ J,


:a


-^1 I 1


t


I ^.















This


arpeggio


culminates


in the characteristic


E flat


associated


with


the supernatural


world.


The most


interesting


and complex musical


characterizations

between the Gover

However, the tona


occur


ness


lity


in the final


and Quint.

of the music


scene


The key


sung


during t

signature


he confrontation


the Governes


A major.

s and Mili


fluctuates


, beginning


in E major.


Also


a ground


bass


figure


appears


the orchestra


at this


point


which


will


later


be associated


with


Governess


s strength


in combatting


power


of Quint


() Miles.... I can-not bear to.. lose, you.


4%)


I ITn. |it


W--i:
--- -


- -- I


Ir /*It.I I p

^f=
17 h lit;'


- _-- ,-- .__.


*z


(Britten


. 184)


Quint


s appearance


this


scene


is announced


when


he i


heard


calling


Miles


In contrast


to the major


tonality


of the Governess


s music,


Quint


begins


on the charac


teri


stic


flat


I--I ~.---


h
















The final


struggle


between


the wills


of the Governess


and Quint


characterized


in the meters


Lhe key


signatures,


and the


tonalities


the rmusi .e


orn'e s


S muslS1


is in


meter


. The


tonality


of her


mus i


C IS


a strong


0 mIusi


indicated


3
as --8


meter


in A


upper


flat


hand


major,


in this


creating


struggle.


a jarring


This


dissonance.


chara


The Governess


zed in the


has the


mIusi


the fact


that


the meter


the key


signature


the firm


ground


bass


in the orchestra


correspond


to those


the Governess'


music


addition,


she duplicates


strong


melody


of the ground


bass


oppo


the light,


flori d


passage


sung


Quint.


Al though Miles


does


sing


any point


during


dramatic


and musical


struggle


between


the Governess


and Quint,


Britten


carefully


assigned


to him


a most


curious


signature


and meter.


Mile's key


signature


Musically


that


as well


of the Governess

as dramatically


and hi

.4iles


meter is that


characterized


of Quint.

as the


center


of the conflict.


Coils




MIiles


J
.1L

9 .^pr^


S-, q












Seven measures


before


Miles


shouts


"Peter Quint,


devil!"


the music


indicates


that


Quint's


hold


on the situation


wea


kening.


signature


changes


abruptly


to that


of the Governess,


and his vocal


line


consi


an insecure


sharp


and G against


Governess


s solid


and G.


After Mil


Strugglin


shouts


Quint


is slowly


the apparition


being


s name


brought


, Quint


sings


under


dominance.


in unison


with


the Governess


as he admit


defeat.


Immediately


following


this


passage


in unison,


Quint


s farewell


to Mil


musically


characterizes


final


submission


and defeat.


The familiar


tune,


begun


on E


flat


in all


previous


appearances


now


begins


on E natural.


(off stage)


Fare w ell, .. ... ... ....... ....... .. ...... fare-w ell ,


(Britten


. 195)


Four


librettos


studi


use symb


actions


to characterize.


we have


seen


in Merry Mount


the actions


pagan


chara


cters


"The


Maypole


and their


demonic


counterparts


in "The


Hellish


Rendezvous"


present


symb


olically


the psychological


conflict


of Wrestling


Bradford.


In his libretto


The Wings


of the Dove,


Ethan Ayer


uses


pantomime


second


tvne


of svmb


olic action.


- -


reveal


the character


of Miles


now















learns


from


Susan


Stringham


that


he is to be included


in an entertain-


ment


to be presented.


"Oh that


course


, Why,


we're to have


music


auti ful


as in


instruments


guide


ann songs
either.


and not T


as so


arrange


I.aimed


it--


or at 1


east,


re in


have.
picture


That


"(James


enlo n
, 207)


Besides


In the libretto,


the entertainment


arranged


the servant


Giuliano


actually


performed


for Milly,


Miles


Dunster


, and


usan


Stringham.


Whil

ters


a ministrel


Janus


sings


and a maiden


the simple

"pantomime


story


of betrayal,


the action


two other


appropriate


to the


charac-

verse


in stylized


motion"


(Ayer,


105 )


Janus


"carries


a staff


with


masks


one representing


spring,


the other


winter"


Ayer


. 105)


the love


After


pantomime


of the young maiden


she has surrendered


symbolizes


Janus


turns


s deceitful


presents


his winter


relation


youthful


face


face


toward


to Milly.


He is


involved


with


Kate Croy


a plot


to win Milly's


love


and to


marry


Their plan


will


be completed


upon Milly


s anticipated


death


when Mil


inherits


Milly'


fortune,


enabling


marry


Kate


Suspecting


motives


Giuliano


closely watches


Miles


during


the performance


of the


masque


detect


indi


cation


of guilt


in his


reaction.


masque


produces


the expect


results


: "Miles


is di


sturbed


angry


" (Ayer


108).


I 1 I 1 -t *,


i ,i i __ -


I I<-


I 1


1


mr














(Smith,


276).


This


technique


produces


in The Wings


of therDove


degree


dramatic


irony.


While


Miles


reacts


unfavorably


to the


masque


even


masque


suspect


in relation


Giuliaxno'


to Miles


intentions,


and the results


the final meaning


it produces


of the


are all


comply


etely


clear


to the audience.


In two other


librettos


music


functions


in conjunction


with


pantomime


and the words


of chara


cters


on stage


to symbolize


in the first


instance,

instance,

The Jumpin


an on-stage


an off-stage

g Frog of Ca


action

action


laveras


that is

that i

County


never


s never s

. the fro


performed


een.


never


and,


In Jean K

r appears


in the second


arsavina


on stage


action


performed


the fr


in Twain


s story


is described


Simon


Wheeler


the narrator.


In the libretto,


all actions


of the frog


are symbolized


sung


through


and the pantomime


the music

performed


in the orchestra


the individual


in the words


characters


and the


chorus.


The pantomime


involved


here


serves


a different


purpose


than


that


in The Masque


of Janus.


The latter


related mainly


to character


In The Jumping


Frog


of Calaveras


County,


the pantomime


serves


the dual


purpose


usually


assoc


iated


with


this


sort


stage


action:


"stage


movement


synchronized


with music


can be


a useful


and effective


tool


in narration


and in


establishing


the personalities


their various


characters"


(Hamm,


Special


music


characterizes


Daniel


Webster


celebrated


frog.


When


Smiley places


Daniel


on the barroom


floor


Lulu














must


both


portray


their


astonishment


and pride


in Daniel's


accomplish-


ment


and suggest


the dimensions


of this


ability.


DANIEL'S


DANCE


Doppio lento (Andantino) (J


=69)


(Karsavina,


Pantomime


in the jumping


and a noticeable


contest.


absence


When


of music


the frogs


symbolize


are placed


Daniel's


actions


on the starting


line


and the people


shout,


"Go!


" the music


stops.


This


dramatic


silence


and the accompanying pantomime


the various


characters


the chorus,


symbolize


Daniel


s inability


to jump


and the total


amazement


of the miners.


The Stranger'


frog makes


a few


small


jumps


suggested


the weak


intermittent


chords.


use















contrast


with


the first


use of


music


and pantomime


which


chiefly


charac


terized


Danie I


s jumping


ability,


this


second


use of these


devi


ces


primarily narrative.


The jumping


contest,


the climax


the story


symb


through


pantomi me


and the significant


lack


music.


Stephen


Vincent


Benet


planned


a different


type


of pantomime


The Headl


ess


Horseman.


To stage


a chase


even


remotely


resembling


one described

insurmountable


Irving


problems.


in "The Legend

Because his


of Sleepy

libretto w


Hollow"


as written


would

n with


present

amateur


performers


in mind


Bene/t


simplified


the actions


of the Headless


Horseman


through


use of


a type


of melodrama.


David


Ewen


defines


this


form


of melodrama


an operatic


passage


or scene


in which


singer


recites


his part


in the orchestral


while


a musical


accompaniment.


commentary

Examples


on the situation


of such melodrama


appear


are


the bullet-casting


scene


in Der


Freischutz


, Lady


Macbeth


s letter-


reading


scene


in Macbeth


the grave-di


gging


scene


in Fidelio.


In Benet


s libretto,


the mel


odrama


begins


as Van


Tassel


prepares


deliver


a speech


in honor


of the betrothal


of his daughter


Katrina


to I


chabod


Crane.


Various


characters


comment


on the strange


outs


ide.


At first


the music


parallel


Tassel


s festive


mood.


key is


a bright


A major,


meter


is a square


tempo marking


-~~ S


ses


* 1


I __


I I 1I


1 I


J 1















time.


Slowly


increasing


in volume,


music


portrays


the approach


of the Headless


Horseman


the increasing


apprehension


of the characters


on stage.


music


stops


at the moment


when


a knock


is heard


door.


As the door


sudden


op)en


the I1


endless


Horseman


enters


chases


Ichabod


Crane


across


room


and out the window


throws


a pumpkin


after


him.


These


various


pantomimes with


the accompanying music


very


appropriate


to the librettos


in which


they


are used.


Neither


action, th

be staged.

instances.


ie jumping


Pantomime

the result


a frog

and music


of having


or the chase


can suggest

to present


on horseback,


both.


could


However


the actions


successfully


in these


in this


manner


to weaken


their


effect.


First,


case


of Daniel


Webster


the attempt


to represent


an action


without


presence


of the central


character


seems


anti-dramatic.


Second


the chase


of Ichabod


Crane


the Headl


ess


Horseman


reduced


slapstick


come


dy when


transferred


an indoor


confrontation.


II Physical


Traits


Physi


appearance


a second


observable


trait


used


an author


characterize.


A novelist


or a short


story writer will


often


present


physical


characteristics


through


lengthy


descriptive


passages.


Detail


the most minute


physical


qualities


can be presented.


In Billy


Budd,


ln h S 1


n 3 I


are


nt-rn:~y /-h nl


ft w- / l- / / P, 1 + 1 1


,..,:,,*


-- -


-1 L.


IC1 r i ^


I













bill,


a hand telling alike of the halyards and tar bucket


a lineage in direct contradiction to his lot" (Melville,


. indicated


51).


This


detailed physical


description,


impossible


to a librettist,


is in sharp


contrast to the passing mention made by Melville of


another feature of


his sailor.


Billy Budd


sings.


Melville suggests the quality of Budd's


musical abilities by comparing his singing to that of


the most beautiful


of songbirds:


"He was illiterate;


he could not read,


but he could sing,


and like the illiterate nightingale was sometimes the composer of his


own song" (Melville,


52).


In the opera this physical characteristic


is fully exploited by Britten and his librettists.


Assigned the opera's


most beautiful melodies,


Budd sings and sings magnificently.


While he


cannot hope


to achieve the quality of


physical


character descriptions


approaching those of


a novelist,


the librettist has available to him through


the musical characterizations provided by the composer a technique


enabling him to produce effects unique


The reminiscent theme


to opera.


as a tool for characterization can become


complex.


In lieu of physical description,


a character may be described


by musical


themes.


For instance,


in The Courtship of Miles Standish,


Carlson describes Miles Standish most frequently with a steady,


ting descending pattern:


I I


unhesita-














John Alden


is characterized


consistently


a musical


phrase


which


suggests


his desire


woo


Priscilla


on one hand


and hi


hesitancy to


follow


through


because


of his friendship


with Mil


Standish.


The first


measure


of each


phrase


rises


confidently


only


to fall


back


on itself


the second measure.


(Carlson


Priscilla


s characteristic


theme


resembles


John Alden


s in that


ascends.


However


it is free


in design


ascending


with


confidence


suggest


Priscilla


s open


honest


personality.


(Carlson,


Carlson


combines


three


these


individual


thematic


designs


into


harmonious


whole


at the happy


conclusion


to the


opera.








'r Ila
Strisci Hi)
- :_


CAlden) ( Sluini 3 )


htl L.
i u -> ^-


4-P


C


9)>


_, d

, I-


l..-.. _.L. ...L. i. 11__


(Carlson,


The complexity of


musical characterization can


go beyond the mere


union of'


various musical


themes.


Leitmotifs can be developed


so as to


convey,


as Wagner believed,


ideas and meanings not directly stated in


words or revealed in actions.


At his first appearance,


Claggart sings


a phrase which becomes his hallmark.

CLAGGART pdolce e tiberamentle
CLAGGART a a -


F-_- .-...I---


Your


- nour,


I am at your dis- po sal.....


(Britten, p. 31)


The theme occurs in


the opera at virtually every important reference


Claggart.


Because of


its frequent appearances in the context of


i -


wm














Uallis


a ____________


Jem-my-Legs


down


youl


(Britten


he realizes


that


he will


receive


the blame


Budd


death.


sugg


est the continuing


influence


of Claggart


and to parallel


ironic


realization,


Vere


sings


an inversion


of Claggart


theme


r---. 1


it is for me


............... to des troy you.


(Britten,


Captain


Vere


is characterized


y an ascending


musical


theme.


Melville's


identified,


novel,


"Starry


the narrator


Vere "


reveals


(Melville,


the name


61).


which


In the


Vere


opera,


is popularly


a sailor


Donald


first


developed


into


sings


the theme


a full


ensemble


identified

e of chorus


with

and


Vere.

soloist


The theme


Budd)


is then


in which


I- DONALI


Star- ry


Vere


we call him,


Star


- ry


Verel


368


a


i


~


I I


D mf
>----ff ~" -I














given to it in the full development of


an ensemble


Vere's theme is


used again at


the penultimate moment.


In Melville's novel


Budd's


benediction is "delivered in the


clear melody of


a singing bird on the


point of launching from the


twig" (Melville,


123).


In Britten'


Budd sin


Vere'


melody which is echoed by


tlhe chorus.


use of Vere's theme at this point enriches Budd's statement.




BILLY f (. ^_
CN I


As in


Star


- ry


Vere,


God bless youl


(Britten,


Melville's novel,


321)


beneath the actual words lie unspoken implications.


The reminiscent theme immediately relates Budd's present action with

the first appearance of Vere when Budd sang of his allegiance to Vere.


This sort of


emotional


characterization is impossible in a novel.


writing of verse drama,


Joseph Kerman explains that


"even the most


passionate of


speeches


exists


on a level of


emotional


reserve


that music


automatically passes"


Kerman,


13).


Budd's farewell


to Vere sung


to Vere


s theme produces an immediate emotional appeal surpassing that


created by Melville.


-~ -.- ... -


opera,











choice.


Second,


an article


relate


a character


independent


choosing.


In the


following


discussion,


reference


will


be made


only


to those


librettos


which


place


special


emphasis


on specific


physical


ects


as means


of characterization.


"The Maypole


of Merry


Mount"


contrast


the "lightsome


hearts


of Merry


. 77)


group


Mount" (H

Hawthorne

The Maypol


[awthorne


used


. 70) with


representative


worshippers


the "grim


items


dress


Puri tans"


characteristic


an array


colorful


(Hawthorne


each

costumes


Puritans


appear


"each


with


a horseload


iron


armo r


to burden


footsteps


" (Hawthorne,


. 77).


In Stokes


s libretto,


this


contrast


present


in costumes


, stage


properties,


and music


The Cavaliers


dress


in colorful


outlandish


costumes


. The


Puritans


wear


"steel


caps


and breastplates


Stoke


In both


story


and libretto,


the coloni


at Merry


Mount


venerated


the colorful


, highly


decorat


Maypole


contras


the center


of Puritan


works


was


the church


front


which


stood


the wooden


stocks,


"which might


be termed


Puritan Maypole"'


(Hawthorne


, 77)


Two stocks


hold


a pair


of sinners


in the


opera


s first


scene.


Finally


the colonists


loved


music


and dance.


The Puritans


frowned


on all music


one sort.


"Their


festival


were


fast


days,


and their


chief


pastime


the singing


of psalm


Hawthorne


. 77)


In the


opera


, composer


Howard


Hanson


full


advantage


contrast


in musi


tastes


To characterize


the Cavaliers,


identifies


them with


a chorus


suggestive


an English Dance


tune.













James


s heroines


Catherine


Sloper


and Milly


Theale


are character-


ized


by their


clothing


and jewelry


In Washington Square,


Catherine


"expressed


desires


herself


through


in her


her choice


clothes.


of clothing


"Her


She often r

indulgence


eveal


of it


suppressed

was


really

(James


the desire of


. 169).


a rather


In the libre


inarticulate n

tto Washington


ature tc

Square,


manife


Elmslie


itself"


describes


heroine


ress


once.


At her


first


entrance,


Catherine


elaborately


dressed that


appears


older


than


twenty-one


years"


(Elmslie,


. 13).


general


description


suggests


little


about


Catherine


Dove,


comparison


James


with


character


zes


James


Milly


s chara


terization.


y presenting


In The Wings of


the effects


ress


and jewels


have


upon


other


people.


Merton


Densher


, Milly's


"wonderful


white


dress


(James


makes


look


"younger


fairer.


" (James


, 213).


Milly


s dress


and her pearls


priceless


chain,


wound


twice


around


the neck"


James


, II,


217)


cause


Kate


compare


Milly


a dove.


old lace


and the pri


celess


pearls


represent


believes


for Kate


that


money


Milly'


chief


power


source


are dove-like


power:


"only


wealth.


so far


Densher


as one remembered


that


doves


have


wings


and wonderous


flights"


(James,


218).


Densher,


Milly'


"wings


and wonderous


flights


are her


compassion


concern


for people.


Merton


sees


Milly


s :feelings


for others


like


wings


a dove,


as having


recently


spread


an inordinate


reach


a "long














for the last


time


she asks


give


the shawl


to Kate.


scene


Kate


Milly


accepts


the shawl


has left


and automatically places


fortune


to Miles


over


the conclusion


a chair


of this


Although


scene


both


Kate


and Miles


realize


their


plan


marry


can never


be fulfilled.


Milly


s influence


, symbolized


the shawl


continues


after


her death.


eaves


Aunt


Maud


enters


, grabs


the shawl,


and puts


Kate's shoulder


Kate


instinctively


shrinks


from


The shawl,


an article


usually


intended


cover


and protect,


horrifies


Kate


first.


Like


money


she left


to Miles


the shawl


was given


to Kate


in good


wed.


Milly


firs


conscience.


The shawl


s ironically


ects


In Cable


was meant


invisible


then


money was


left


to enable


as a remembrance.


influence


is forced


s The Grandissimes


Ayer


through


to accept.

, Bras-Coupe/


Kate


and Mil


successfully


shawl


in the custom


conveys


which Kate


of hi


African


homeland


appears


at his


wedding nude


and "has


painted himself


all rings


and stripes


beautiful Madmoi


selle


antelope


wife


fashion"


of Martinez,


(Cable


"gently


178).


bids


When


and dress"


(Cable


178)


he ob


If his


first


wedding


dress


was shocking


Bras-Coup


second


outfit


of "red


and blue


regimentals


" (Cable,


178)


is ridiculous.


emphasis


on Bras-Coupe


s dress


contrasts


natural


dignity


wedding


the slave


with


the assumed


believes


superiority


is appropriately


of the master


dressed


who attempts


S


,s


I


___ _1_1














all reference


to Koanga


s dress


dropped.


The effects


of costumes


a tool

the hum


of characterization

or, the pathos, and


in the libretto


the social


are bland


commentary


when


achieved


compared


Cable


Clothes


or items


given


or forced


upon


a chara


ter often


express


facets


of hi


personality.


In The Scarlet


Letter,


Hawthorne


places


great


emphasis


upon


the cloth


letter


forced


upon


Hester


the community


as a visible


mark


of her


sin.


However,


Hester


s true


character


revealed


the changes


she makes


in the letter


Hester'


elaborate


embroidery


on the letter


suggest


ts her


strength


character


In both


adaptatiors of


Hawthorne


s novel,


the librettists


emphasize


the relation


of the 1


prompts


better


the first


Hester


remark


s charac


of the chorus


In Lathrop


after


s version


Hester'


the letter


entrance.


Hester


"stands


for a moment


on the door-step


silent


, dignified


woebegone"


(Lathrop,


. 7),


the chorus


shouts


its disapproval


attitude


as expressed


in her


embroidery.


See how


serpent-like


it twines


tter,


with


its coiling


lines


she sports


with her


shame


hath


woven


the letter


With


gaudy


splendor


scarlet.


Lathrop,


In Carlson


s version


Hester


conceals


the letter


as she enters,


revealing


it to the crowd


only


after


they


have


damned her.


In neither


libretto


does


the letter receive


the emphasis


placed


on it by


Hawthorne.


However















necessary


actions


which


characterize,


the librettist


specifies


in stage


directions


only


certain


actions.


These


usually


fall


into


three


types


repeated


actions


, startling


actions


and symbolic


actions.


Physi


details


relating


an individual


can indicate


character


traits.


novelist


will


often


devote


lengthy passages


of description


to the physical


appearance


a character.


The libretti


on the other


hand


will


refer


to physical


appe


arance


only


in the most


general


terms.


Material


ects associated


with


a character


in a novel


or in


a libretto


often


contribute


to characterization.


In the absence


of detailed


physical


descriptions


as a tool


characterization,


the librettist


and the


composer


often


use music


deepen


the characterization


outlined


in the libretto.


Through musical


form


great


subtlety


can be given


to operatic


chara


cters


are almost


universally


ess


complex


than


their


literary


counterparts.


The reminiscent


theme,


or 1


eitmotif,


asso


ciated


with


an individual


can remind


audience


of the character


even


in his


absence


In


a second


capacity


the reminiscent


theme


can suggest


a character


s thoughts


feelings


responses


which he


either will


or cannot


reveal.


Sensitive


music


characterization


can add a subtle,


direct


emotional


appeal


surpassing


that


obtainable


by words


alone.


, and
















Notes


Edward


Brace


Morgan


and World,


Forster,


Inc., 1927),


Aspects
p. 46.


of the Novel


(New


York:


Harcourt,


Leland


chubert


Hawthorne


the Arti


(Chapel


Hill


: University


North


Carolina


Press, 1944),


Wystan


Hugh Auden,


"Some


Reflections


on Music


and Opera


" in The


Essence


of Opera,


4The


Works


Herman Melville


X. Standard


Edition


(London:


Constable


and Company,


Ltd.,


271.


'Percy MacKaye
. 111i,
SIii.


, Rip


Winkle


(New


York:


Schirmer,


1919),


b"The


essence


matter was


villainy


the motive


the evoked


were
on b


this
ehalf


process


predatory
element of


iden


adumbration


creature
evil but


the lively


so that


feebly


the result


or inanely


interest


The Novels


would


suggest


a possible


and Tales


of Henry


be ignoble


There


suggest
James.


arose


tion


(New


York:


Charl


Scribner'


Sons


, 1908), XX.


George


Martin,


"Another


Turn,


" Opera


News


, (7 March


1970)


David


Ewen,


Encyclopedia


of the Opera


(New


York:


Hill


and Wang


Inc. 195


The A
Matthiessen


merican


Novels


York:


and Stories


Alfred


of Henry


James


.0.


A. Knopf, 1964),P 169.


(New


. 146.
















CHAPTER


FOUR


CHARACTERIZATION


HIDDEN


NATURE


E. M. Forster writes


that


the second side


man


s character,


hidden nature


includes


"the


pure


passions,


that


the dreams


joys


sorrows


and self-communings whi


ch politeness


or shame


prevent


him from mentioning"


(Aspec


. 46)


Only the


novelist


can reveal


directly


the psychological


nature


of his characters.


E. M. Forster


writes


that


express


side


of human


nature


one of the chief


functions


of the novel"


(Aspects


. 46).


opera,


as in spoken


drama


the hidden


nature


a character


conveyed


directly


to the audience


only


through


some


external


devi


The dramatic


use of


silence


and of stage


actions


can strongly


suggest


chological


states


they


cannot


specifically


identify


them.


Musi


in opera


contribute


to characterization,


but,


to do


it must


heard


in relation


a character'


situation


as expressed


in the action.


Forster


explains


that


unlike


the painter


or sculptor


choose


represent


human


beings


or not


"the


musician


cannot


represent


them


even


if he wishes


without


the help


a programme"


Aspects


operatic


aria


or some


lyric


subs


titute


enables


the libretti


and the


composer


portray


directly


psyc


hological


nature


a chara


cter


a a