contemporary classical
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Emily Doolittle

Jan Tait & the Bear
Emily Doolittle Jan Tait & the Bear
Emily Doolittle Jan Tait & the Bear

a chamber opera for mezzo-soprano, baritone, narrator and five instruments, based on a Shetlandic Folktale

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Product Name Price Qty
Jan Tait & the Bear - score (download)
Jan Tait & the Bear - score
Jan Tait & the Bear - score and parts (download)
Jan Tait & the Bear - score and parts

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Jan Tait and the Bear is a 45-minute comedic chamber opera based on a 15th-century Shetlandic folktale, and suitable for all ages (from 6 and up). At that time Shetlanders were required to pay tax to the Norwegian king in the form of butter. Tait is accused of short-weighing his butter, argues with and kills the tax officer, and is taken to Norway to be put to death. Rough and rugged, Tait appears before the Norwegian king, Harald with bare feet with ugly bunions on them. When King Harald expresses disgust, Tait cuts the bunions off with an axe. King Harald admires Tait’s foolish bravery, and offers him a pardon if he will kill a brown bear who has been wreaking havoc in the mountain villages. Tait recognizes in the bear a kindred spirit, and instead of killing him, he laces some butter with a sleeping potion, captures the bear, and brings it back to Shetland to live out its days.

Written with the support of a Canada Council grant to professional musicians, awarded an Opera America Discovery Grant and an award from the Hinrichsen Foundation.

“Refreshing innocence… sheer charm” Cusp Magazine
“Witty…beautiful… wonderful…say you saw it first” Tempo House

Additional Information

Composer Emily Doolittle
Year of Composition 2016
Instrumentation Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Accordion, Violin, Violoncello, Narrator, Mezzo Soprano, Baritone
Duration ca. 45'
Student Difficulty No

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