Instrumentation: Soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, bass, piano
(Orchestrated version for flute, bassoon, violin, cello, harpsichord was commissioned for performance in 1982, also by Ash Lawn Opera).
Commission: Ash Lawn Opera Festival
Ash Lawn Opera Festiva
Ash Lawn, James Monroe Estate, Charlottesville, VA
Director: Thomas Holliday
Follies and Fancies, a chamber opera in one act, is based on Les Precieuses Ridicules by Moliere, adapted by French Professor Gloria Russo, with a libretto by Russo and Judith Shatin. The lyrics are by Judith Shatin, and the piece is dedicated to Priscilla Cortelyou Little. All of the five characters come in for ribbing. They include Magdelon, an ingenue (soprano); her maid Marotte (mezzo); her suitor La Grange (baritone); La Grange’s servant Mascarille (tenor); and Gorgibus, Magdelon’s father (bass). It also pokes fun at the fad for preciosity, which is so often current in one form or another!–JS