Ether Game

Floyd: Susannah, Ain’t It A Pretty Night

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Trouble in the deep south. . .

While he was a piano professor at Florida State University, Carlisle Floyd decided to try his hand at writing an opera. He chose to adapt the Biblical story of Susannah and the Elders for his opera, setting the story in the 20th century and in rural Tennessee. The final product, Susannah, became an instant classic and is one of the most performed American operas in the repertoire. The opera focuses on 18-year-old Susannah Polk, an innocent girl who is targeted as a sinner by the ultra-conservative residents of New Hope Valley, a small mountain town in Tennessee. In this aria, “Ain’t it a Pretty Night,” Susannah is walking home through the woods and admires the countless number of stars that illuminates her way home.

Music Heard On This Episode

Carlisle Floyd: Susannah: Ain’t It a Pretty Night
Renee Fleming, soprano; The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; James Levine, conductor — I Want Magic!: American Opera Arias (Decca, 1998)
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album cover
Carlisle Floyd: Susannah: Ain’t It a Pretty Night
Renee Fleming, soprano; The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; James Levine, conductor — I Want Magic!: American Opera Arias (Decca, 1998)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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