New England Chamber Opera Group

Robert Selig Chocorua
Paul Earls The Death of King Philip

Robert Honeysucker — Chorocua
Susan Larson — soprano (Abigail)
Deborah Martin — mezzo-soprano
Michael Auclair — bass (Old Man)
Thomas Olsen — tenor (Hobbomocko)
Michael Warren — bass (Leverett)
Ian Morehead — Chocorua's son

The Death of King Phillip
Ira Bigeleisen — King Phillip
Beverly Morgan — young Mary Rowlandson
Valerie Walters — old Mary Rowlandson
Kim Scown — Reverend Rowlandson
Jerrold Pope, Thomas Olsen — Warriors
Rafael de Acha — Proclamation Reader
Marianne Oberhuber — Weetamo, Phillip's sister-in-law

Director — Rafael de Acha
Conductor — Philip Morehead
Visual effects — Paul Earls, MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies

"The two operas with Northern Indian subjects—one-acters—were played by the New England Chamber Opera Group in All Saints Church, Brookline. Robert Selig's Chocorua, which had its première at Tanglewood in 1972, is a small but touching tale, deftly and economically told in Richard Moore's libretto and a score for small orchestra and six singers (soloists melting in and out of the chorus). Paul Earls's The Death of King Phillip, a new piece, with a text taken from a play by Romulus Linney, is a more elaborate work, containing multiple scenes, multiple sound sources, and, in addition to "regular" singing and playing, electronic effects both prerecorded and applied to the living performers. King Phillip, Pometakomet, Sachem of the Wampanoag, was, I learn from the program note, an Indian leader who "barely missed driving the white settlers into the sea." He captured a minister's wife, Mary Rowlandson, and in 1682 the Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Rowlandson was published. Like Díaz in Montezuma, on the stage she is twice impersonated—both in old age, remembering, and as a young woman taking part in the remembered events. I found King Phillip an adventurous, exciting, and very accomplished opera, enhanced by astonishing light effects devised by the M.I.T. Center for Advanced Visual Studies—laser-projected images solidifying in the spaces of the church, luminous silhouette snapshots of battle actions lingering onstage after the actors had moved on—and by some excellent performers. Beverly Morgan as the young Mrs. Rowlandson, Kim Scown as her husband, and Thomas Olsen and Jerrold Pope as two warriors deserve special mention. The words were exceptionally clear, even during passages of simultaneous discourse. Rafael de Acha directed, and Philip Morehead conducted. (Andrew Porter, The New Yorker, April 19, 1976)

Beverly Morgan, Valerie Walters