The Mother of Us All
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A new recording of Virgil Thomson's classic opera, The Mother of Us All, is performed by the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater.

Long overdue, this recording of Virgil Thomson’s 1947 opera with libretto by Gertrude Stein by the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, makes a major American opera available. The opera, commissioned by the Alice A. Ditson Fund, tells the story of Susan B. Anthony, but Stein’s approach mixes real and fictional characters from different historical periods. Premiered at Columbia University, the opera impressed the distinguished audience and press, but neither of New York’s major opera companies took on the work. Thomson’s music, a continuation of his style of making text come alive through natural inflections and sparing instrumental supports, is suggestive of its American theme with fanfares, political songs, Salvation Army-style marches and parlor songs.
Virgil Thomson, composer
The Mother of Us All
Noragh Devlin; Scott Russell; Alexander Frankel; Addison Hamilton; Carlton Moe; Manhattan Opera Orchestra; Steven Osgood, conductor

“Thomson’s style can be compared to Charles Ives in his use of typical ‘American’ mu-sic: marches, folk songs, and hymn tunes. I find it a fascinating work–very enjoyable to listen to and offering many interesting possibilities for creative staging. “ (American Record Guide)
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