opera in Two Acts
The Libretto by Nelle Richmond Eberhart
and the Music by

Charles Wakefield Cadman


CAST of Characters

Arnold Talbot (Tenor)
Nathaniel Willoughby , a well-to-do Puritan (Baritone)
Thomas Bowen, a family friend (Bass)
Deacon Fairfield, a family friend (Tenor)
Claris Willoughby, (Soprano)
Sheila Meloy, Irish ward of Willoughby (Soprano)
Elizabeth Willoughby, aged twelve (Soprano)
Anne Bowen, aged fifteen (Soprano)
Tibuda, (Contralto)

Children, Neighbors, Villagers, Pastor with Congregation, Governor with Suite, Sergeants, Executioners, Guards, Madagascar Pirates, Indians, Etc.

Time: 1692.
Place: Old Salem Village, Massachusetts.

Act One

[Scene in the large living hall of the handsome Colonial mansion of Nathaniel Willoughby. Large fireplace, blazing log, family portraits, dresser with fine display of silver and pewter, stairway with diamond-paned window over landing, table with large pewter tankard, stand holding large Bible, floor neatly sanded, casement window on one side of the fireplace, outside door at other side. There are two spinning wheels and a harp. It is late afternoon. The casement windows stand open, showing a changing eastern sky , later reflection of sunset, and finally moonlight. Seven young girls from elevento sixteen years of age are spinning, knitting, and working samplers. They hum a Puritan hymn. A book on palmistry lies upon Anne's lap. She and Elizabeth drop their work to consult it. They scan each other's palms.)

ANNE: There is the mystic cross.
Be careful, lest you go at midnight hour
Into the fateful wood
To sign the Black Man's book,
And hear his whisper in your ear!
(She drops Elizabeth's hand and picks up her knitting)
Oh, I have seen most fearful things at night!

CHORUS OF GIRLS: Tell us!Tell us!

ANNE: (impressively:) Hour after hour I waken screaming.

CHORUS OF GIRLS: Hear! She is bewitch'd!
Who is it that has cast the spell?

ANNE: (shuddering:) I oft'times think I see a misty form
Floating around the room...
Sometimes it has a white, white face,
Big-eyed and ghostly.
It may be moonlight,
It may be dreaming,
Perhaps it is a witch!

C u r t a i n.

End of the Opera.

This was transcribed from the 1926 Oliver Ditson Company piano-vocal score by John Mucci.
Any new material, editorial material, and the HTML coding is reserved
as being copyright 1997 John Mucci.

First entered 4/29/97.