Lima Beans

Douglas Townsend

About this work:
Book and libretto by Alfred Kreymborg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (based on one of his own plays). World premiered at Carnegie Recital Hall on January 7, 1956, conducted by Margaret Hillis and directed by Oscar Brand. The orchestra was composed of members of the NY Philharmonic, the Little Orchestra Society, etc. The soloists were Lauretta Mennone, soprano; Howard Fried, tenor; and Willie Thomas Jones, baritone. (NYTimes 1/1/56) The one-act opera was very popular: "a fetchingly sprightly score" (NYHeraldTribune 1/8/56); "crossed the footlights with effect, and one was thankful for the opportunity to hear [it]" (NYTimes 1/8/56); "Douglas Townsend's score is witty and inventive . .It is scored with craftsmanship, and its musical content is charmingly treated in the contrapuntal design of the light score." (Musical Courier, 2/56). It was performed on radio with piano with the same cast and conductor on a world broadcast premiere on WNYC 2/12/56 (NYTimes 2/12/56). Most recently, the young American soprano Halley Gilbert sang the aria "There You Go," accompanied by Rogerio Tutti on piano, on November 5, 2010, at Columbia Teachers' College Milbank Memorial Chapel. (Piano reduction for this performance written in 2010 by Townsend.) This performance can be viewed on video at
Version: chamber orchestra accompaniment
Year composed: 1955
Duration: 00:20:00
Ensemble type: Opera/Theater:Chamber Opera, Two or More Singers
Instrumentation: 1 Flute, 1 Oboe, 1 Clarinet, 1 Bassoon, 1 Horn in F, 1 Trumpet, 1 Trombone, 2 Timpani, 1 Percussion (General), 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello, 1 Double bass, 1 Soprano, 1 Tenor, 1 Bass
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