1991 – A Time of Miracles – ABOUT

A Time of Miracles

Commissioned by W11 Opera in 1991


Synopsis: Emilio is a child of the streets who is visited by the spirit of his grandfather. He leads Emilio first to the spirit of his mother in the past, then to his mother in present time, and a Christmas that he had not been expecting.


Composer Richard Harvey  
Librettist John Kane
Music Director Wayne Marshall
Soloists Emilio, Speed, Grandfather, Queen of the Maskers, Father, Elena (child), Store Manager, Mrs Martinez, Rosalie, Elena (adult), Security Guards (3)
Groups Maskers, Emilio’s Gang, Speed’s Gang, Carol Singers
Orchestra Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, Violins (2), Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Percussion, Harp, Guitar, Synthesisers

Notes on Production: An old-fashioned, sentimental Christmas story of reconciliation and magic. An unmarried mother is cast from her family home and years later her estranged son searches for her, aided by his grandfather’s repentant ghost.

Musically traditional. The part-singing is easy to assemble and to learn. Requires two strong male broken voices. There is much spoken dialogue. Groups may be flexibly arranged, with scope for doubling.

Staging suggests several different scene settings, which can be indicated simply with props.

Running time 75 minutes.


Plot

On Christmas Eve on the outskirts of a large city, Emilio, a child of the streets, attempts to rehearse a Nativity Play. THE CHILD IS BORN. He is disrupted by street gangs who are scornful of his simple faith.

THERE AIN’T NO CHRISTMAS

Left alone he is visited by the ghost of his grandfather, who abandoned his daughter Elena when he learned that she was expecting Emilio. To make amends he has been allowed to bring his grandson a day of happiness.

CHRISTMAS IS A TIME OF MIRACLES

Emilio asks that he be allowed to spend Christmas with his mother, so his grandfather invokes the spirits to take him back to a Christmas when he and his daughter were truly happy.

TAKING A CHANCE WITH TIME

Emilio is forbidden to tell his mother who he is as she is now a girl of only twelve years.

LITTLE BIRD

After a visit from some Christmas Revellers. GIVE US SHELTER. He inadvertently blurts out the truth and is turned out of doors by his grandfather as a young man.

SOMEWHERE IN TIME

The spirits return him to the present and his grandfather lets Emilio know that he can find his mother in the penthouse above Martinez department store, now in the throes of:

LAST MINUTE SHOPPING

A Christmas party for Mrs Martinez’s daughter Rosalie is in progress where the party guests lament their boredom.

OH WHAT A PARTY

Emilio gatecrashes and meets his mother who denies and rejects him.

AND THERE’S LOVE

Christmas morning finds Emilio back in the shanty town where the leader of the street gang displays the wallet and cash he has stolen from an American tourist which will make sure they have a fine Christmas.

HARRY J LOOMIS

Emilio is about to throw in his lot with the street gangs when his grandfather appears heralding just the sort of ending a Christmas story should have.


Gallery

If you have any images of this production please contact the webmaster@w11opera.org.