The Nightingale


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The Nightingale is my second opera. It is a chamber opera that is complete in one act and lasts about an hour. The story, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name, centers around a well-liked but brash Emperor and his quest to have all of the most beautiful things. When the Emperor hears of the Nightingale, a bird rumored to have to the most beautiful song of all, he sends out the Chancellor, under threat of death, to find it and bring it back to the palace. The Kitchenmaid leads the Chancellor to the Nightingale. The Nightingale does, in fact, come to court and amazes the Emperor with her song, but she is soon supplanted by a music box, the Mechanical Nightingale. The Nightingale leaves and the Emperor is furious, banishing her from the empire. Years pass and the emperor is on his deathbed, but before the spirits of the next world can take him away, the Nightingale returns and scatters the dark spirits with her voice.

The premiere performance of The Nightingale was fully staged and accompanied by the full ensemble and a complement of dancers.


The Nightingale – Soprano
The Mechanical Nightingale – Soprano
The Kitchenmaid – Soubrette
The Chancellor – Mezzo-Soprano
The Narrator – Baritone
The Emperor – Baritone


Original Orchestration: Flute (doubling piccolo, alto flute), Cello, 2 percussionists (marimba, vibraphone, auxiliary instruments)
Also available for (this version coming soon!): Flute (doubling piccolo, alto flute), Cello, Piano, Percussion (auxiliary Instruments)