Based on the story “Benedicta” by Sarah Braunstein
Premiere: June 2013, Harrower Opera Workshop, Atlanta, Georgia; Dwight Coleman, director
I suspect scenes like this happen a lot across the country these days, as more people live longer and are subject to the ravages of old age. When I read Sarah Braunstein’s story in “The Sun” I was reminded anew that human beings are never just patients, or relatives, or any one role. They are people with histories — and names.
Length: 12 minutes
Excerpt - Benedicta (click to launch matching score)
A young woman whose beloved grandmother has just passed away in a nursing home has arrived to deal with undertakers and other matters. While she is waiting she is approached by an old woman in a wheelchair, unknown to the visitor, who addresses her with great urgency.
VISITOR Soprano – Age range from mid-twenties to mid-forties, thoughtful, sensitive.
OLD WOMAN Soprano – Sixties or older, polite but confused
NURSE Soprano – Any age from teens to middle age, helpful but distracted
Cast on recording:
Visitor: Michelle Jennings
Old Woman: Willsonia Boyer