The Crucible
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The first new recording of this landmark American opera in 50 years.

Robert Ward's The Crucible was commissioned by the New York City Opera in 1961 and is based directly on the Arthur Miller play, with the libretto by Bernard Stambler. The play, written in 1953, was inspired by the McCarthy witch-hunt of the 50s. The opera won the Pulitzer Prize and a New York Music Critics Circle Citation. A recording of the opera was released in 1961 and this has been the only existing recording of the work until now. Ward himself expressed his desire to have a modern recording of the work to producer John Ostendorf. Purchase Opera, with its deep roster of fine young professional singers and its collaboration with the Purchase Symphony and conductor Hugh Murphy, proved the right fit for this new recording. Ward systematically employs idiosyncratic harmonic language and melodic motifs to create distinct musical landscapes for each of the opera's characters. These landscapes reveal much about each character, sometimes even more than their words do.
Robert Ward, composer
The Crucible
Bryan Murray; Rachel Welshoff; Sylvia D'Eramo; Soraya Karkari; Iris Rogers; Christopher Jones; Joshua Benevento; Ryan Capozzo; Colin Whiteman; Cara Collins; John Downey; Derya Kayaalp; Purchase Symphony; Hugh Murphy, conductor

"…the gifted young performers of the Purchase Opera are impressively successful. The Purchase Symphony under Hugh Murphy plays with obvious commitment and artistry…This is unquestionably an opportune moment for a fine new recording of an important opera." (Opera News)

"This performance is splended; particularly Rachel Weishoff as Elizabeth Proctor and Bryan Murray as John Proctor. All other leads and supporting cast are equally impressive and the orchestra under Hugh Murphy plays very well…An important American masterwork given a very fine performance." (Audiophile Audition)
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