An Opera House, Op. 120

An Opera House is a song written by Lowell Liebermann for soprano and piano. The song sets Amy Lowell's poem "An Opera House" to music, and was written as part of The Opera America Songbook album to commemorate the opening of the National Opera House.

Date: 2012Composer: Lowell LiebermannText: Amy Lowell

Print vitals & song text

An Opera House by Amy Lowell

Within the gold square of the proscenium arch,
A curtain of orange velvet hangs in stiff folds,
Its tassels jarring slightly when someone crosses the stage behind.
Gold carving edges the balconies,
Rims the boxes,
Runs up and down fluted pillars.
Little knife-stabs of gold
Shine out whenever a box door is opened.
Gold clusters
Flash in soft explosions
On the blue darkness,
Suck back to a point,
And disappear.
Hoops of gold
Circle necks, wrists, fingers,
Pierce ears,
Poise on heads
And fly up above them in coloured sparkles.
Gold!
Gold!
The opera house is a treasure-box of gold.
Gold in a broad smear across the orchestra pit:
Gold of horns, trumpets, tubas;
Gold — spun-gold, twittering-gold, snapping-gold
Of harps.
The conductor raises his baton,
The brass blares out
Crass, crude,
Parvenu, fat, powerful,
Golden.
Rich as the fat, clapping hands in the boxes.
Cymbals, gigantic, coin-shaped,
Crash.
The orange curtain parts
And the prima-donna steps forward.
One note,
A drop: transparent, iridescent,
A gold bubble,
It floats . . . floats . . .
And bursts against the lips of a bank president
In the grand tier.

Recordings

The Opera America Songbook--Volume 1

(Lowell Liebermann, Amy Lowell, Mark Campbell, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Shakespeare, Richard Danielpour, Daron Aric Hagen, Carl Sandburg and John Musto)

2012

Sheet Music

The Opera America Songbook: Voice and Piano

Composer(s): Various

Voice Type: Various

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