1974 – The Winter Star – ABOUT

The Winter Star

Not a W11 Opera commission, published by J Weinberger

Synopsis: A cassation — a tiny opera to be performed in schoolrooms, the open air, or anywhere informal — particularly suited to performance in a church. Conceived as a simple method of teaching children of all ages the mechanics of opera.

Composer Malcolm Williamson  
Librettist Malcolm Williamson
Music Director Nicholas Kraemer
Soloists None
Groups Adults, Children, The Star, Angels, Shepherds and Animals, The Courts of the Kings of the Earth
Orchestra “A keyboard instrument, but additional parts provided for any available melodic instruments and/or percussion instruments”

Notes on Production: Not a W11 Opera commission.

Reviews and Feedback: Reviewed in Country Life, see here.


The adults have put their children to bed for the night, but the light from the eastern star pouring in through the bedroom windows is an excuse for the children to get out of bed. Repeated admonitions from the adults have less effect than the invitations from the Star and the Angels to the children to come out into the night. As they watch, shepherds drive animals through the streets, followed by the spectacular courts of the Kings of the earth. The children are drawn from their houses and the adults follow. The whole procession winds its way to the Manger at Bethlehem. Where the star stops all kneel and, following the angels, sing Glory be to God on high for the first time in history, as the star fades.


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