The Proposal


Finalist, National Opera Association new opera competition

A woman receives a proposal of marriage and discusses it with her five alter egos.

Length: 37 minutes

Excerpt - The Proposal     pdflogo (click to launch matching score)

All the alter egos have gathered (in the mind of Herself). It’s Five-year-old’s turn to offer her two cents, but what she says seems – perhaps inevitably — to include them all.

Performed by the Southwest Virginia Opera Society


HERSELF, Soprano or Mezzo – Mid-thirties or younger, stylishly dressed, hides moments of vulnerability behind a business-like exterior

FIVE-YEAR-OLD Soprano – Dressed in playclothes but portrayed by an adult, highly volatile and demanding, but shrewd when the occasion arises

STATUE OF LIBERTY Soprano – Complete with torch and green robes, proud and fiery, unamenable to compromise except under duress

SECURITY OFFICER Soprano – In police uniform, stern, humorless, sometimes threatening, secure in the believe that she is only prudent

SENSUOUS WOMAN Mezzo – In black lace negligee, langorous, sultry, usually stroking herself, comfortable with her own worldview, and doesn’t understand others

MOTHER TERESA Mezzo – As you’ve seen her in photos, calm, kind, wise, sees the good in every situation and individual, has the clearest sense of perspective

Piano only or orchestration: Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano, strings