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Morning Star

Music by: Ricky Ian Gordon

Libretto by: William F. Hoffman

Based p the play by: Sylvia Regan

Duration: 150 mins

Originally Commissioned and premiered by Cincinnati Opera, 2015


Based on Sylvia Regan’s play and on parallels with the composer’s own family, Morning Star is a deeply touching character piece about life among Jewish immigrants in New York City’s Lower East Side, where the family must learn how to adapt to the country’s ever-changing landscape. Hope blossoms and is dashed as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, World War I, and the Great Depression lead to death, divorce, and despair. Through it all, William M. Hoffman’s colorful libretto and Ricky Ian Gordon’s engaging score maintain charming threads of love and optimism, comedy amid tragedy, and luscious sonorities featuring a large cast of singers – in English, Yiddish, Italian, and Haitian French..



4 Sopranos

3 Mezzo-sopranos

3 Tenors, 2 Baritones

1 Bass-Baritone

1 Boy (13

yrs. old, 1 spoken role)

Optional Chorus


2(2 dbl. Picc.) 1(dbl. E.H.) 3(3=B.Cl., dbl. Cl.) - 2 2 2(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp. 2Perc. Pno/Cel. Str.


Gordon’s score is keenly attentive to the text. . . .His vocal writing is fluid and natural, and there is a bright, fresh sound to all the music.

-Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review

The music sits comfortably on Hoffman’s sharply observed libretto, slyly peppered with Yiddishisms, Sondheimesque in its witty use of language, yet entirely Hoffman’s own in its ability to evoke the rhythms of working-class life and death.

-John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune




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