By Luna Pearl Woolf | An Opera for Solo Voices, Chorus and Chamber Ensemble | 33′
Title: The Pillar – excerpts
Composer: Luna Pearl Woolf
Text by: Libretto by David van Taylor. Based on the book, “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust” by Diana B. Henriques.
Year Composed: 2014
Instrumentation: For Four Solo Voices, SATB Chorus, and Chamber Ensemble
Format: Full Score
Page Size: 10″x14.5″
Catalog Number: OM0140
Format: Piano-Vocal Score
Page Size: Letter
Catalog Number: OM0140PV
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From the composer:
Act I, Scene 1
A crowd of patrons greets one another at a charity ball. Ruth takes the dais to intrduce the guest of honor—her husband Bernie.
Act I climaxes when Bernie confesses his fraud to Ruth and their two sons, Mark and Andrew. Their sons retreat in shock, while Bernie and Ruth make a grand entrance at the office Christmas party.
Act II begins one year later. Bernie is in prison. Ruth is standing by him.
Meanwhile, recriminations fly as a court-appointed trustee weighs the division of Bernie’s assets. Financial analyst Harry has attained celebrity as the unheeded prophet of the scandal.
Recovering from a failed suicide attempt, Mark demands that Ruth sever ties with Bernie. She can’t understand why she must choose between her son and her husband of 40 years.
Act II, Scene 4
At a street fair in Soho, a vindicated Harry holds forth to a crowd of reporters, victims and curiosity seekers. Unseen, Mark looks on from his apartment window, holding his young son in his arms.
Act II, Scene 5
Ruth appears as the street fair disperses. She has just left Bernie at the prison. She stands rooted to the spot beneath her son’s window, mustering the courage for the decision she must make.
Premiere: First performed by the Washington Chorus for its New Music for an New Age Series, February 28, 2016, National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC, with Marnie Breckenridge, Jim Shaffran, Peter Tantsits, Jonathan Blalock, and Novus NY, Julian Wachner, Music Director.
More information about Woolf’s opera, The Pillar – excerpts, can be found on its website HERE.