COLD MOUNTAIN | Student Guide 2015

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ACADEMY OF MUSIC | FINAL DRESS REHEARSAL W E D N E S D AY, F E B . 3 , 2 0 1 6 A T 2 : 0 0 P. M . 2

A FA M I L Y G U I D E TO OPERA Opera Philadelphia believes the family is the most important foundation to learning. Let your kitchen table become a classroom where your children can build their knowledge of opera and the humanities. As you join in the teaching and learning process with your children, watch their eyes sparkle. Opera is a communal celebration; so too should be your children’s education. Pennsylvania’s standards in education call for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do and children need to share what they have discovered or learned. Thus, the title of our program is Sounds of Learning™. It reflects our belief that children must actively be engaged in sharing ideas. The Sounds of Learning™ student guide integrates with core literacy curriculum in many ways. Just as opera is a uniquely integrated art—combining orchestra, voice, literature, drama, and dance—Sounds of Learning™ is an interdisciplinary, student-centered program. Reading the libretto, or script, provides you and your family members with an opportunity to perform together, with each member taking on one of the characters. Research has shown that “performing art activities in dance, music and theater have a tremendous amount of support in the literature for helping young people to express themselves, interpret, and develop themselves within a community context.”¹ “Opera specifically can offer many developmental benefits for children. Opera helps increase language development, teaches higher level thinking skills and creative problem solving skills in real world situations, develops an appreciation for the arts, involves all learning styles and stimulates the imagination. Opera is literature, mythology, folk tales and legends, history, conflicts and emotions. Exposure to opera builds and sustains cultural intelligence. ”² So enjoy coming to the opera with your family! ¹Ball. A. & Heath.S.B. (1993). “Dances of Identity: Finding an ethnic self in the arts.” In Brice and McLaughlin, ed . Identity and inner city youth…beyond ethnicity and gender. (pp. 69-95). New York: Teachers College. ²Overland, C.T. (2013). “Integrated Arts Teaching: What Does It Mean for Music Education?” Music Educators Journal, ISSN 0027-4321, 12/2013, Volume 100, Issue 2, pp. 31-37.


Improve literacy achievement by using the opera’s libretto to teach lessons across the curriculum Understand the plot, characters, and their motivations of the opera Learn about the composer and others involved in writing the opera Make a connection to the historic and social context of the story Know some key musical elements, recognize certain melodies, and differentiate between voices Understand the role music plays in expressing emotions and heightening the dramatic experience Understand the various elements of producing opera and the functions of those involved,

e.g., conductor, director, set designer, technical crew, etc.

Develop the ability to make inferences about the opera, production, and performance Relate incidents in the opera to those of the present day


Best Practices in Arts Education is sponsored by Pennsylvania Alliance for Arts Education, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education




Opera Etiquette


Philadelphia’s Academy of Music


The Language of Opera


Operatic Voice Types


The Then and Now of Opera


Spotlight on Careers in the Arts


Theater Anatomy



Meet the Composer: Jennifer Higdon


The Civil War and Women’s Rights


Events During the Civil War


Philadelphia and the Underground Railroad


A Confederate Deserter and The Home Guard*


Connect the Opera Terms


Cold Mountain: Fact or Fiction?


Cold Mountain Synopsis


Cold Mountain  Libretto


Cold Mountain from Novel to Opera



Cold Mountain and Appalachian Music*


Simile Situation


African American Troops in the Civil War


Character Analysis Pyramid


Cold Mountain and The Odyssey*


Plot the Action in Cold Mountain


Cold Mountain and The Hero’s Journey*


Sing Out with Opera Philadelphia


Overcoming Obstacles through Art*


Glossary of Terms

* individual lesson plan for this article is included in the teacher guide



There’s nothing quite as exciting as attending a opera in a beautiful theater like the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. If this is your first time at the opera there are a few things for which you should prepare: As you are attending the final dress rehearsal for the opera, it’s important to remember that this is a working rehearsal and it is the last chance the performers have to run through the show before opening night. The goal is to treat this rehearsal exactly like a performance and perform the entire opera straight through without a pause. You may notice several computer monitors and a large table spread out over the seats in the center of the Parquet level, the floor level of the Academy. Seated in this area is the production team: Director, Assistant Director, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, and other members of the production team. They’ll be taking notes and communicating via headset with the many people backstage who help make all of the operatic magic happen: Stage Managers, Master Carpenter, Lighting Technicians, Supertitle Operator, Stagehands, and more. They’ll be able to give notes so changes can be instantly made. Should things go awry, they may stop and repeat a section to make sure that it is perfect.

O P E R A E T I Q U E T T E 101

Unlike actors on television or in the movies, performers onstage are acutely aware of the audience and want very much to share their love of singing and acting with you. Everything you do in the audience affects what happens on stage and behind the scenes. Because this is a working rehearsal, we ask that you please refrain from talking. The production team needs to concentrate on fine tuning the production. Have you ever tried to study for a test and there’s just too much noise at home or outside? It’s almost impossible to concentrate! You can show them how much you appreciate their work and the opportunity to come to this free rehearsal by being as quiet as possible. Please refrain from talking out of respect for the cast, musicians, and the entire production team. Give the artists and the production your full attention. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts so that everyone in the theater can enjoy the opera. Please Do...

Applaud after the arias; you can shout “Bravo!” for the men and “Brava!” for the women. Enter and exit the theater in an orderly fashion. Please use the bathrooms before the rehearsal begins or at intermission. Be careful in the auditorium! The theatre is over 150 years old and can be tricky to get around. Turn off your cell phones and all electronic devices. Enjoy the show. You’ve spent a lot of time preparing for today! Don’t Forget...

No food or beverages are allowed in the theater. No photos or video can be taken during the opera. No talking or whispering during the rehearsal. No whistling, yelling or singing during the opera. Keep all objects to yourself. If you throw something, you might hurt someone and cause a disruption in rehearsal. It is grounds for removal from the auditorium. Students from Harris Elementary School get ready for the opera



THE LANGUAGE OF OPERA Act - main sections of a play or opera Aria - a solo song sung in an opera Audience - people who watch a performance and sit in the “house” or auditorium Ballet - dance set to music Blocking - action on stage Character - person who is part of the opera’s story Chorus - music composed for a group of singers or the name of a group of singers in an opera Conductor - person who rehearses and leads the orchestra Duet - a song performed by 2 singers Orchestra - a group of musicians who play together on various musical instruments Overture - a piece of instrumental music played at the beginning of an opera Program - booklet with information about the opera, composer, performers, the opera company, and includes advertisements Recitative - words that are sung in the rhythm of natural speech Rehearsal - time when singers/actors practice with or without the orchestra; time when musicians practice together with the conductor Scene - segments of action within an opera’s acts Types of Singers: Soprano - highest pitched female voice Mezzo-soprano - female voice between soprano and contralto Contralto - lowest pitched female voice Countertenor - male who sings in falsetto, in a female range Tenor - highest pitched male voice Baritone - male voice between tenor and bass Bass - lowest pitched male voice 2

THE THEN AND NOW OF OPERA Have you ever wondered how opera got its start? Back in the late 1500s, during the height of the Renaissance (1400– 1600), a group of men called the Florentine Camerata got together to create a new and moving theatrical experience. They wanted to recreate what the ancient Greeks did during their legendary dramas. The result was something entirely new – opera! Most of the early operas were based on Greek myths. The most famous opera of this early period that is still performed today is Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1607). Certain basic ingredients were included in opera: songs, instrumental accompaniments, costumes, dance, and scenery. We still use all of these ingredients today! The early operas were first performed in the grand courts of Italian nobility, but opera quickly became popular with the public, too. Special theaters just for opera were soon built to create the magical special stage effects needed in opera.

Above: Soprano Michelle Johnson as Puccini’s Manon Lescaut Below: A comic moment from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville

During the Baroque period (1600–1750), Italian opera spread all over Europe. The Italian style of opera was so popular that even non-Italians wrote in this style. For example, Georg Frederic Handel (1685–1759) was a German-born composer who lived and worked in England. His operas, like Julius Caesar (1724), were written in the Italian language and used an Italian style of music. The eighteenth century was full of change for both Europe and opera. This time period was known as the Age of Enlightenment. People were talking about new forms of government and organization in society, especially the evergrowing middle class. Music displayed this new thinking as composers dropped the Baroque era’s complicated musical style for simpler, more emotional music. One of the first operas to use this new style was Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (1762). In 1776 the American Revolution changed the world. A few years later the French had their own revolution (1789) and the first modern democracies were born. To match the times in which they were created, audiences wanted to see characters like themselves on stage, not gods and goddesses. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786) featured a timely story of aristocratic class struggles that had both servants and nobility in lead roles. In the 1800s opera continued to grow. The Italian tradition continued in the bel canto movement, which literally translates to “beautiful singing.” The most famous bel canto composers were Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868), Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848), and Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835). Their operas, like Rossini’s popular comedies The Barber of Seville (1816) and Cinderella (1817), are still some of the most popular operas performed today. By the middle of the 19th century, the Romantic Movement led many composers to champion their own national identities. German operas like Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz


life, created music that was new and drastically dissonant. American opera had a huge hit with George and Ira Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (1935) which included jazz and blues musical styles.

Above: The Act I finale of Puccini’s La bohème Below: Lawrence Brownlee in Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD

(1821), Russian operas like Mikhail Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar (1836) and French operas like Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots (1836) were performed across Europe. In Germany Richard Wagner took Romanticism to the extreme in The Ring of the Nibelung (1876), which takes over 15 hours to perform! Opera in the twentieth century became even more experimental. Composers like Giacomo Puccini (La bohème, 1896), Claude Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande, 1902), Richard Strauss (Salome, 1905), and Benjamin Britten (Peter Grimes, 1945) evolved their national styles. Others, horrified by the destruction of World War I (1914-1918) and other aspects of modern

Today, opera is still growing and expanding. Opera Philadelphia helps to shape the future of opera by producing important new works like Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Silent Night (2013), an opera based on the World War I Christmas Truce, and Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD (2015) by Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly, about the troubled jazz saxophonist. Upcoming productions include Breaking the Waves in September 2016, based on the film of the same name by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier. The opera is written by Lansdaleborn composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek. Although opera is one of the oldest musical art forms, it still remains and expands today. From the old favorites to the new experimental works, opera continues to be a moving art form of the people. READING COMPREHENSION

1. On what were the first operas based? 2. What kind of opera spread all over Europe during the Baroque period? Give an example of this kind of opera.

3. How did the Enlightenment movement during the 18th century change how composers wrote operas?

4. What new operatic qualities did Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro display due to the American Revolution and its effect in the world?

5. Describe bel canto opera and give one example of a composer who used this style.

6. Nationalism was a prominent feature in the operatic world in the 1800s. Give an example of an opera written in a nationalistic style.

7. What other musical styles did the American opera Porgy and Bess include?

8. Name a new opera that Opera Philadelphia has produced or will produce.


T H E AT E R A N ATO M Y Opera Singers must act on stage as well as sing! This means that they have to understand the stage set-up. When the director is rehearsing with the singers, he or she must be clear about where they should be on stage. Otherwise there could be a big traffic jam! So, special vocabulary is used. Up Stage is the very back of the stage (away from the audience) and Down Stage is at the front (near the audience). Stage Left and Stage Right may seem to be on the wrong sides as well. Can you figure out why? You might also wonder about “up” stage and “down” stage. Opera sets are frequently built on a platform or “deck” that’s lower in the front near the apron and higher in the back near the back stage area. Thus, the lower end is “down stage” and the higher end is “up stage”. Also, when you visit the Academy of Music, look for the bas-relief portrait of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the top of the proscenium.















Diagram from OPER A America’s MUSIC! WORDS! OPER A! Level II Teacher’s Manual ©1991, OPER A America Inc.


by Dr. Dan Darigan


Very soon, you’ll be coming to the Academy of Music to see a dress rehearsal for a staged opera production. For years school groups just like yours have entered this beautiful building, amazed by its grandeur and bright chandeliers. But did they miss seeing the old-fashioned gas lanterns by the front doors? Did they see the balcony above those lamps where people used to stand to watch parades pass by? Did they notice the original marble floors they walked on to get to their seats? There are so many things to see and know about in the Academy. Here are a few things you won’t want to miss. For decades before the U.S. Civil War (18611865), Philadelphia had dreams of building its own opera house. That dream was realized when the Academy of Music opened on January 26, 1857, presenting its first opera, Giuseppe Verdi’s Il trovatore, a month later. After more than 150 years, the Academy looks very much today like it did back then. When you enter the Auditorium you’ll first notice the red and gold stage curtains, designed in the shape of pineapples, a Victorian symbol for “welcome”. Looking up you’ll notice the huge Academy chandelier which is 25 feet high and almost 17 feet in diameter. How big is that? Put simply, it would be twice as high as the ceiling in your classroom and it is wide enough that it would fit just inside your classroom with just enough room for you to walk all the way around it. There are 23,000 crystals on it and if you laid each of those out end to end they would equal the distance of 14 football fields! What you don’t see are the three-foot thick solid brick walls that surround the Auditorium. Those walls keep the outside noises out and they enhance the noises inside so you can hear everything from onstage without microphones. Looking up above the chandelier, you will see the four ceiling murals showing the muses of the arts: poetry, dance, music, and theatre. Looking

to the front, you will notice the big arch, known as the proscenium, which separates the stage from the auditorium. At the very top, there is a medallion of the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791); the Academy was dedicated to his memory. To the left of Mozart is a seated figure representing Poetry and to his right, that of Music. What’s changed in the Academy since it opened? Until the 1950s the Academy had a special wooden floor that could be installed over the main floor seats. That gave a flat space so large 1500 people could easily dance the night away. They had circuses in the Auditorium and in 1899 even hosted the first indoor football game in Philadelphia. That floor is gone, but what is new? Just under the proscenium arch, you’ll see a large, black rectangular screen. A translation of opera’s text, called supertitles, is projected onto a screen above the stage during the opera so you’ll understand the meaning of every word. Some standard modern conveniences came late to the Academy, like air conditioning in 1959 and an elevator for general public didn’t come until 1990! Here are a few more historical facts about the theater you might not know. In 1872, it hosted the Republican National Convention where Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) was unanimously nominated for his second term as President. In 1900 the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra made the Academy its home, performing there for the next 101 years! The music for the Disney film Fantasia was recorded in the Academy. Finally, native Philadelphian Marian Anderson (1897-1993), who is remembered all over the city, made her first of many Academy appearances in 1929. Don’t miss: gas lanterns by the doors outside same marble floors and faux-marble design and color selection in Main Lobby balcony along Broad Street to watch parades curtain pattern three-foot thick solid brick walls the chandelier and ceiling mural proscenium arch, Mozart medallion and statues of Poetry, and Music


O P E R AT I C VOICE T YPES Opera began in the late 16th century in Florence, Italy as an experiment by the Florentine Camerata. Composers quickly started writing in this new form because of the high demand, and it allowed them to better express themselves through different emotions and dramatic situations. From the beginning and throughout the Baroque period, opera was about experimentation; everything was new. Virtuosity and flexibility overshadowed if the gender of the performer matched with the gender of the role. Composers insisted that the most skilled singers had the most important roles. During the second half of the 18th century, the voice parts became linked to the various roles of the opera. Voice classification is how vocal ranges classify singers; how high or low s/he can sing. The distinction between the different voice types dictated which characters or roles the person would sing. The seven main categories of singing voice types from highest to lowest are as follows: Soprano – the highest female voice, with

Countertenor – the highest male voice,

a traditional range of A below middle C to the C two octaves above that. The soprano usually portrays the heroine of the story and the object of affection for one or more men.

with a range that is similar to the contralto: A below middle C to the F an octave and a half above middle C. These men achieve their high range through bridging their chest voice with their head voice (falsetto). Countertenors performed the leading male roles in Italian opera by the late 17th century, but fell out of popularity, their roles replaced by the mezzo-sopranos. Composers today have utilized countertenors more often.

Mezzo-Soprano – slightly lower than the

soprano, with a range usually G below middle C to the Bb two octaves above. They are often supporting roles of motherly types or villains and will often sing the trouser roles—portraying the boys or young men—since the countertenor fell out of popularity after the 17th century. In recent years, many of the trouser roles are being reclaimed by the countertenors, as their popularity has gained ground starting in the mid-20th century. Contralto – the lowest female voice, with

a range of the F below middle C to the second G above middle C. It is a rare voice type, and is often sung by mezzo-sopranos. It is the darkest in timbre and is reserved for specialty roles, such as grandmothers, noble witches, and goddesses.

Tenor – the countertenor’s falsetto singing

aside, the tenor is considered the highest “natural” male voice, with a range of D below middle C to the C above middle C. Beginning in the Classical era, the tenor has been assigned the role of the male protagonist; as is most often the hero or the love interest of the story. Baritone – the most common male voice

type, with a range midway between tenor and bass, from A an octave below middle C to the G above middle C. The term baritone was not standardized until the mid-19th century. The baritone is often the villain, the comical leader, or the hero that sacrifices himself for the tenor, soprano. Bass – the lowest and darkest of the male

voices, with a range of E almost two octaves below middle C to the F above middle C. The basso can portray characters who convey wisdom or nobility, but also comedic characters.


by Dr. Amy Spencer


Opera is one of the greatest art forms, but it takes a village to make an opera come to life – both behind the curtain and in Opera Philadelphia’s administrative offices. This season we celebrate a few of the talented individuals behind the scenes who help make operatic magic happen.

Filiz O’Brien, Membership Manager, Opera Philadelphia

“Look for ways to get involved in the places you like, to see if you truly like them. Ask lots of questions of the people you admire. Sometimes you’d be surprised how much you can learn from other people.” These are wise words of advice, appropriate for the pursuit of any career path, from Opera Philadelphia’s Membership Manager, Filiz O’Brien. As a young girl, Filiz often found herself going to her mother’s painting studio or attending performances by family friends. She knew she wanted to do something in the arts, so she pursued two Bachelor degrees, one in Ceramics and one in Art History from Florida Atlantic University. During college, she also entered into a series of internships which helped her learn that she loved working oneon-one with people and enjoyed being part of the team that works behind the scenes at non-profit arts organizations. After earning a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University, she worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art before joining the administrative team at Opera Philadelphia, overseeing the critical group of donors who make up the Membership levels of annual giving ($1-$2,500). Filiz’s duties include managing and writing donor solicitations, planning donor events and communications, helping with subscribers and subscription renewal, and being present at events and performances to assist donors and subscribers. Her love of people, ability to listen attentively, and ability to stay calm under pressure all make her an invaluable member of the dedicated administrative team. Filiz credits her exciting career to her willingness to try new things and her open-minded pursuit of different internships with a variety of artistic companies. She invested herself in exploring her options, which sometimes meant doing some ‘unglamorous’ jobs, but her efforts and hard work paid off, and she feels “pretty lucky to be doing this.” Ernie DeRosa, Assistant Operations Manager, Academy of Music

Ernie grew up with a passion for and interest in the performing arts, and was always involved with school musicals and community theater, both as an actor and stage manager. He thought it would be a fun hobby, but didn’t initially set out to pursue a career in theater. Ernie understood that many of the skills he would need would be learned on the job, so he used his time in college to earn a degree in Communications Studies with a concentration in Speech Communication. In his role as Assistant Operations Manager for the Academy of Music, he depends upon his skills as an effective communicator and excellent team player on a daily basis as he works closely with the Operations Manager to juggle scheduling and communication with all of the arts organizations that call the Kimmel Center home. It is Ernie’s responsibility to ensure that the front of house, or the area of the theater that is open and accessible to patrons, is ready to receive guests before every event. When you see easels with promotional posters on them, display cabinets with photos of an upcoming production, the ballroom set up for an event, VIP ticketing tables in the lobby, or Broadway merchandise sales tables, preparations for those things are Ernie’s responsibility. In 2007 he got his start with the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (which manages the operation of the Academy of Music), after attending an alumni event for his college. He applied for and was awarded an internship in the Broadway Philadelphia marketing department. Since then, he moved to the Academy of Music in 2011 and loves seeing people who have never been in the building before. “When they walk into the building, because it’s just so grand, to see that expression on their face...they walk in and look around and they can tell it’s going to be a magical experience.” 8

MEET THE COMPOSER: JENNIFER HIGDON Opera Philadelphia teaching artist and curriculum consultant Adam Pangburn sat down with Philadelphia resident and Cold Mountain composer Jennifer Higdon to talk about growing up near Cold Mountain, North Carolina, and writing her first opera, which you’ll see on February 3, 2016 in the Academy of Music. AP: Can you tell the students where you’re from and how you got involved in music?

I was born in Brooklyn, New York, but my parents only lived there for six months. I spent 10 years in Atlanta, Georgia and 8 years of my childhood in East Tennessee. So, I’m actually from the south, which is part of the reason why I think I picked Cold Mountain. It turns out I grew up not too far from Cold Mountain, North Carolina. Charles Frazier, the author of the book Cold Mountain, grew up just on the other side of the Smoky Mountains from me. When I was looking for a story to write an opera, the story [Cold Mountain] stood out because I recognized the people, the landscape, and the familiar pattern of speech. I had grown up with those people in Eastern Tennessee. JH:

Growing up, I was a self-taught musician. I played percussion in the band, and I picked up a flute that was sitting around the house, and learned to read music from beginning band books. I started flute at 15, which is a really late start compared to most musicians. And I didn’t even know classical music growing up. We listened to rock and roll in the house. When I went to college, I knew NO classical music, no Mozart, etc. AP: With such a late start did you find yourself having to catch up a lot?

Yes! I felt like I was catching up pretty much until 5 years ago when I won the Pulitzer Prize! (Jennifer won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto.) Being behind I always had to research the repertoire every time I wrote for a new instrument. JH:

AP: How did you stay positive while being behind all the time?

It was easy because I loved what I was doing so much! Through school most of my classmates were ahead of me. I didn’t stand out. I just kept my head down most of the time, and because I enjoyed writing music, that was motivation to keep going. If you look at the trajectory of my career, it’s completely insane!


AP: What was the hardest part about composing your first opera?

Writing for the voices, and figuring out how to make a big novel work as a two and a half hour opera. I felt a lot of responsibility to represent the characters and the story respectfully. I really tried to write music that encapsulated the characters. Ruby’s a very nervous character so the music always moves fast with a nervous quality. Ada floats along – she writes poetry and paints so there’s not a lot of direction to the music that represents her, but Ada gets smarter throughout the opera and her music changes with her. I use lots of brass for Inman, but I wanted to make his music reflect his character. He’s been hollowed out from being in war and alone for four years, so the middle of the chords were taken out to give his music a more hollow sound. Teague – the bad guy – there’s always some sort of snake sound when he is on stage, like rattles in the percussion. JH:

When writing something like a concerto, all I have to worry about is how to show off the 9

particular instrument. But with characters and a story, there is so much more that needs to be developed and I was responsible for it.

AP: Did you use the style of southern language to influence the music?

I didn’t have to research these people; they’re people like I went to high school with! They all still exist at the base of the mountain. I did look at other operas to figure out balancing voices with orchestra. I looked at over 100 scores and went to new opera premieres to figure that out.

Yeah, that happened naturally. I was able to let go and remember what mountain music was like. I took the libretto and southern-accented it. There are some characters that are less educated in the story so I added double negatives to their lines. For example: I turned “I don’t have” into “I ain’t got no” and just making the language more appropriate for the characters and the music went along with the language. It was complicated putting those pieces [music and language] together.

AP: Did you use any musical elements from Appalachia in the opera?

AP: Is there a particular moment in the opera that is your favorite?

AP: When you were doing research before you started writing, did you look into the people and their culture of that part of the country?

I did. One of the characters, Ruby’s father Stobrod, actually plays a fiddle in the opera! Lots of open strings on the violin because they do that a lot in fiddling. It also makes it easier to sing and play at the same time. He plays tunes for her to get her back and writes her songs. Having a performer play an instrument on stage is very unusual!


Kevin Burdette, the singer who plays the character Stobrod, was trained as a violist in high school; he went to a rival high school of mine growing up! In the future, the orchestra’s concetmaster can play it if the singer can’t. I also used a guitar pitch pipe, which sounds like a harmonica. I wanted a harmonica sound, and this made more sense to give it to a percussionist instead of hiring in a harmonica player. Percussionists play on their thighs, like slap their thighs for percussion sound, which is actually written out in the score and very bluegrass-y. There is a bluegrass section in the second act that Stobrod plays with the orchestra. Distinctively bluegrass! AP: Sounds heard in nature are mentioned a lot in the libretto. Did you write any music that was inspired by those sounds?

I actually have the wind and brass players blowing into their instruments to indicate wind sounds. I also have a percussionist with tree branches when two characters are talking about trees on stage [Ada and Ruby] and percussionists use knitting needles on bells to have twinkling sounds when stars are mentioned. They are mentioned a lot in the score.



There’s a chorus of the ghosts of soldiers that died. “Buried and Forgotten” comes after a scene with a lot of people dying; it feels like it’s summing up the war. The music helps you catch your breath. This then goes into Ada’s aria to Stobrod. It’s a very emotional part of the opera.


Another fascinating fact about the opera that I love is that there are 61 gunshots from ACTUAL Civil War-era guns in the opera. These are real guns that we are using in the opera. AP: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to perform at the highest level – at anything?

My advice is to do it completely; don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Even though I started late, and people said I wouldn’t be able to make a career in music and be a freelance composer (I mean, I heard that all along), I just ignored it. And went for it. There’s the discipline to just do it a lot. I didn’t have anyone teaching me about opera. I just had to research it! By the time I got to the point of writing it, I had been looking at opera(s) for five years - how other people did it, and then just DOING IT.


AP: What music do you listen to when you’re not writing or studying?

Rock and roll – everything from Eminem to the Beatles. Anything that comes out nowadays! Sometimes I just put the radio on. Almost NEVER classical.



W H AT I N T H E W O R L D ? E V E N T S D U R I N G T H E C I V I L WA R Below is a list of important historical and cultural events which occurred throughout the world during the Civil War (1861-1865). The items in boldface type are Civil War events and items with an arrow ( ) have local significance. Discuss what it might have been like to be alive during the time period and how your life might be different. How did the inventions of the time affect daily life? 1861 Delegates from six southern states met in Montgomery, Alabama, to form

the Confederate States of America. The kinematoscope was patented by Coleman Sellers II in Philadelphia. Abraham Lincoln was declared president, the first one elected from the new Republican Party. Jefferson F. Davis was inaugurated as the Confederacy’s provisional president at a ceremony held in Montgomery, Alabama, where the Confederate Constitutional Convention was held. Confederate States adopted the Confederate “Stars and Bars” flag. Above: Abraham Lincoln First hostile act of the Civil War occurred when Star of the West fired on Below: Robert E. Lee Sumter, South Carolina. Robert E. Lee was named commander of Virginia forces. Women in New York held a meeting out of which plans were made for the formation of the Civil War-related Women’s Central Association of Relief. This led to the formation of the Civil War Sanitary Commission, a forerunner of the Red Cross. In the first major Civil War battle, Confederate forces fought off an attack by the Union Army to bring their troops into Virginia. Julia Ward Howe wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while visiting Union troops near Washington. The book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was published. San Francisco, California’s Alcatraz Island became an official U.S. military prison during the Civil War. At 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, John Wanamaker and Nathan Brown purchased a six-story men’s clothing store called McNeill’s Folly and renamed it the Oak Hall Clothing Bazaar. Major General Dan Butterfield wrote the “Taps” trumpet call and created the first military shoulder patches.

1862 The first U.S. paper money was issued in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 & $1,000.

John D. Lynde patented an aerosol dispenser. Slavery was outlawed in U.S. territories. President Lincoln outlined his Emancipation Proclamation. President Lincoln instituted an income tax to pay for the Civil War. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was founded. The bowling ball was invented. Victor Hugo published Les Misérables.


by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Roller skates with 4 wheels were patented by James Plimpton of New York. Thomas Crapper pioneered a one-piece pedestal flushing toilet. Samuel Clemens used the pen name Mark Twain for the first time. Free city delivery of mail was authorized by the U.S. Postal Service. An 1880s advertisement for Thomas Crapper’s new The Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania invention ended after three days in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated. The fighting in the small Pennsylvania town marked a pivotal point in the Union’s ascent to victory and helped decide the outcome of the Civil War. George Bizet’s opera Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) premiered in Paris. President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania. The Mütter Museum was founded as part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and was an educational service for practicing physicians.


1863 All slaves held in rebellion territory in U.S. were made free

1864 George Washington Carver, American botanist and a former slave who became a scientist and the inventor of peanut butter, was born. Richard Strauss, German conductor and composer, was born. President Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday. President Lincoln was re-elected with Andrew Johnson as his Vice President. Jules Verne wrote Journey to the Center of the Earth. It was made into a film in 1959. A federal law permitted any woman to divorce her husband if he was in the military. The Richmond–Petersburg Campaign (Battle of Petersburg), a series of battles around Petersburg, Virginia, was fought from June 9, 1864, to March 25, 1865. It featured the war’s largest concentration of African American troops, who suffered heavy casualties at such engagements as the Battle of the Crater and Chaffin’s Farm.

1865 President Lincoln’s home state of Illinois became the first to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing

slavery throughout the United States. President Lincoln rejected Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s plea for peace talks, demanding unconditional surrender. General Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, an act which ended the Civil War. On the evening of April 14th, Good Friday, just after 10 p.m., President Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. He died several hours later. The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery, except for “duly convicted” prisoners. Amnesty for the Confederates was granted. The opera Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner premiered in Munich, Germany. Wagner had begun the work in 1857. June 19, Emancipation Day, also known as Juneteenth, was the day that Union General Granger informed Texas slaves that they were free.


by Vincent Renou


When North Carolina seceded from the Union on May 20, 1861, the young men of a rural, provincial North Carolina backwater known as Cold Mountain hurried to enlist in the Confederate military. Among them was a historical man named W.P. Inman. In the opera Cold Mountain by Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer, Inman, a carpenter, also falls in love with Ada Monroe, a minster’s daughter. The American Civil War was fought between the southern states and the northern states. The southern states did not want the North telling them what to do or making laws they did not want. As a result, many southern states decided to break away and form their own country called the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy. The North, however, wanted to stay as one united country, and so a war began. The Civil War, and the major events leading up to it, lasted from 1860 until 1865. While slavery is generally cited as the main cause for the Civil War, other political and cultural differences between the North and the South were certainly contributing factors. In the mid-1800s, the economy of many northern states had moved away from farming to industry. Many people in the North worked and lived in large cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. The southern states, however, had maintained a large farming economy based on slave labor. While the North no longer needed slaves, the South relied heavily upon slaves for labor to work the fields. Many people in the North believed that slavery was wrong and needed to be banned. These people

Engineers of the 8th N.Y. State Militia, 1861. (National Archives)


were called abolitionists. They wanted slavery to be made illegal throughout the United States. Abolitionists such as John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Harriet Beecher Stowe began to convince more and more people of the evil of slavery. This made white southerners fearful that their way of life would come to an end. The final straw for the South was the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln was a member of the new anti-slavery Republican Party. He managed to get elected without even being on the ballot in ten of the southern states. The southern states felt that President Lincoln was against slavery and also against the South. When Lincoln was elected, many of the southern states decided they no longer wanted to be a part of the United States and felt that they had every right to leave. Starting with South Carolina, eleven states would eventually leave the United States and form the Confederacy. President Abraham Lincoln said they did not have the right to leave the United States and sent in troops to stop the South from leaving; the Civil War had begun. The life of a soldier during the Civil War was not easy. Not only did soldiers face the very real possibility of being killed in battle, but also their daily lives were full of hardships. They had to deal with hunger, bad weather, poor clothing, and even boredom between battles. Soldiers were woken at dawn to begin their day. They had drills in the morning and afternoon when they practiced for battle. Each soldier had to know his place in the unit so that the army could fight as a group. Fighting together and quickly obeying the commands of the officers was a key to victory. Between the drills, soldiers would do chores such as cooking their meals, fixing their uniforms, or cleaning equipment. If they had some free time they might play games such as poker or dominoes. They also enjoyed singing songs and writing letters to home. At night, some soldiers would have guard duty. This could make for a long and tiring day. The soldiers of the Civil War also had to deal with terrible medical conditions. Doctors did not yet

Harriet Beecher Stowe 1811-1896

John Brown 1800-1859

understand how infections were passed from one person to another. They often treated and even operated on patients without washing their hands. Even a small wound could become infected and cause a soldier to die. At the time of the Civil War, medical knowledge was limited. Anesthetics and pain killers did not exist yet. There was little that doctors could do for injuries to the torso, but for wounds to the arms and legs they would often amputate. Soldiers of all ages fought during the Civil War. The average age for a soldier in the Union Army was 25 years old. The minimum age to join the army was 18 years old; however, many young boys lied about their age and, by the end of the Civil War, there were thousands of soldiers as young as 15 years old. The soldiers of the Civil War were often hungry. For the most part they ate hard crackers made from flour, water, and salt, called hardtack. Sometimes they would get salt pork or corn meal to eat. To supplement their meals, soldiers would forage from the land around them. They would hunt game and collect fruits, berries, and nuts whenever they could. By the end of the war, many soldiers in the Confederate Army were on the verge of starvation. A private in the Union Army made 13 dollars each month, while a three star general made over 700 dollars each month. Soldiers in the Confederate Army made less, with privates earning 11 dollars each month. Payments, however, were slow and irregular, and soldiers sometimes waited over six months to be paid. Like W. P. Inman in Cold Mountain, many soldiers deserted; desertion was common on both sides. It became more frequent later in the war when more of the soldiers were draftees rather than volunteers, and when the brutal realities of

Frederick Douglass 1818-1895

Harriet Tubman 1822-1913

Civil War combat had become clear. Desertion was more common among Confederate soldiers, especially as they received desperate letters from wives and families urging them to return home as Union armies penetrated further south. One real example concerns Private Edward Cooper, who deserted and started for home shortly after receiving this letter from his wife: “My Dear Edward, I have always been proud of you, and since your connection with the Confederate Army, I have been prouder of you than ever before. I would not have you do anything wrong for the world, but, before God, Edward, unless you come home, we must die. Last night I was aroused by little Eddie’s crying, I called and said ‘What is the matter Eddie?’ And he said, ‘Oh momma, I am so hungry.’ And Lucy, Edward, your darling Lucy, she never complains, but she is growing thinner and thinner every day. And, before God, Edward, unless you come home, we must die. - Your Mary” While it is impossible to know with certainty how many soldiers deserted over the course of the conflict, generals from the North calculated that during the war at least one soldier in five was absent from his regiment; at war’s end, it was estimated that nearly a quarter of a million men had been absent from their units sometime during the war. Estimations for Confederate armies ranged even higher—perhaps as many as one soldier in three deserted during the course of the war. Officially, desertion constituted a capital offense and was punishable by death. However, because of the number of soldiers involved, it proved practically, as well as politically, impossible to execute every deserter who was arrested. The armies could not afford the numerical loss of such large numbers of troops. More importantly, as President Abraham Lincoln himself noted, the American people would not stand to see American 14


national government and whether this nation, born of a declaration that all men were created with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as the largest slave-holding country in the world.

Image of a Confederate Army deserter being discovered by the Union Army. (National Archives)

soldiers shot by the dozens and by the twenties. Both armies employed other punishments (for example, “branding” captured soldiers with a “D” on the hip was common) rather than executing every deserter they recovered. Both armies did execute some captured deserters—often in highly public ceremonies before the entire regiments, intended to deter other would-be fugitives—but such punishments were unusual. The Confederate Home Guard worked in coordination with the Confederate Army, and was tasked with helping to track down and capture Confederate Army deserters. The Home Guard was a type of militia for the Confederacy, having a loose rank structure and certain regulations, whether those were enforced or not. Most units consisted of volunteers and received no military training. A bounty was offered by the Confederate government for the capture of deserters, although it was rarely paid due to the government’s debt. Home Guard units were essentially a measure of last defense against any invading Union forces. They also were used at times to gather information about Union troop movements, as well as to identify and control any local civilians who were considered sympathetic to the Union cause. The Confederate Home Guard plays a major role in Cold Mountain. The opera is presented from the sympathetic point of view of a Confederate deserter and the Home Guards hunting him are the villains. The Civil War might be considered the central event in America’s historical consciousness. While the Revolution of 1776-1783 created the United States, the Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation it would be. The Civil War resolved two fundamental questions left unsettled by the Revolution: whether the United States was to be an indivisible nation with a sovereign 15

Northern victory in the Civil War preserved the United States as one nation and ended the institution of slavery that had divided the country from the beginning of the war. These achievements came at the cost of 625,000 lives—nearly as many American soldiers have died in all the other wars in which this country has fought combined. The American Civil War was the largest and most destructive conflict in the Western world between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the beginning of World War I in 1914. DID YOU KNOW? President Lincoln asked Robert E. Lee to command the Union forces, but Lee was loyal to Virginia and fought for the South. The Union Army of 2,100,000 soldiers was nearly twice the size of the Confederate Army of 1,064,000. The Civil War was the deadliest war in American history. A total of 625,000 total died: approximately 210,000 soldiers were killed in action and 412,500 from disease. 30% of all Southern white males between the ages of 18 and 40 died in the war. Stonewall Jackson, one of the South’s greatest generals, was killed by friendly fire. Around 3.4 million of the 9 million people living in the Southern states during the Civil War were enslaved. Only 1 in 4 Southern farmers owned slaves, but it was the rich and powerful farmers who owned them. In the first few battles each side did not have regular uniforms. This made it tough to figure out who was who. Later, the Union wore dark blue uniforms and the Confederates wore gray coats and pants. Many Southern men knew how to shoot a gun from hunting. Northern men tended to work in factories and many did not know how to fire a gun. President Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address was only 269 words long. President Lincoln dreamt of being assassinated only a few days before John Wilkes Booth killed him. After John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln, he jumped from the theater box and broke his leg. Still, he managed to stand up and shout the Virginia state motto, “Sic semper tyrannis,” meaning “Thus always to tyrants.”

by Vincent Renou


For his epic novel, Charles Frazier found inspiration in the mountainous backwoods near Asheville, North Carolina. “Whenever I’m back in those mountains, I feel like that’s home, no matter how long I’ve been away,” said Frazier, whose family has lived in North Carolina for over 200 years. “That’s the place I know the best…my imagination sums up all those things about being rooted and knowing and having a place,” he said. Few people realize that Cold Mountain is a real place nestled in the Western North Carolina mountains. The real Cold Mountain was originally part of the Cherokee Nation until white settlers began migrating there in 1796. At 6,030 feet, it is the tallest peak in the area. Cold Mountain has not changed much since the Civil War. While there is no town named Cold Mountain at the peak, a few small hamlets, or small settlements, along the base of the mountain might have been the inspiration for the fictional town. Was there a real Inman? The answer is yes. The author based the book on the Civil War service of William P. Inman, or W. P. Inman, from the 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment. In local archives, he is listed as having been five foot seven inches tall, with dark hair, a fair complexion, and 22 years old when he enrolled for duty on June 29, 1861. He entered into Confederate service on October 22, 1861 and was first wounded on July 1, 1862. He deserted on September 5, 1862. He returned to his company on November 19, 1862 and was pardoned for this offense. He was present for the remainder of the year 1863. During the summer of 1864, his unit participated in the siege of Petersburg, Virginia (June 1854 – April 1865). Part of that action, known as the “Battle of the Crater” (which took place on July 30, 1864), is where the story of Cold Mountain begins. It was at Battle of the Crater that W. P. Inman was wounded for the second time. He was admitted to a hospital in Petersburg, Virginia on August 21, 1864 due to a gunshot wound in his neck. He was later transferred to hospitals in Danville,

Detail of cover jacket of William P. Inman’s compiled military service record for service in Company F, Twenty-fifth North Carolina Infantry Regiment. (War Department Collection of Confederate Records, RG 109) Public domain

Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina. On October. 11, 1864 he was discharged from the hospital in Raleigh to return to duty. He deserted from the hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was dropped from the roll on November 2, 1864. All five of W. P. Inman’s brothers served in the Civil War as well. Joshua and Lewis served alongside their brother William. The three others, James, Daniel, and Joseph, served in another company. Could W. P. Inman, whose lone journey home is depicted in Cold Mountain, have actually been headed home with one of his brothers? Lewis survived the war, but according to the family’s oral history, W. P. Inman was killed by Teague’s Home Guard approximately three to four miles from his home. Frazier said that the real W. P. Inman was his great-great uncle who lived near Cold Mountain. AC T I V E L E A R N I N G


Find a map of Pisgah National Forest. If you were to hike Cold Mountain, which paths would you likely take?


Create a time line of Inman’s life according to archival evidences listed in the article.

3- Find a movie based on a true character. Research how “true” he/she was depicted and the reasons why the director chose to portray him/her differently. 16

PHILADELPHIA AND THE U N D E RG RO U N D R A I L ROA D Since the Civil War was fought over the fundamental right to own slaves, it is important to discuss slavery and the abolitionist movement that happened locally. Philadelphia, a city traditionally known as the seat of freedom in America, has had a checkered past when it comes to slavery. Many of our founding fathers, who fought so hard for their own freedoms, were slave owners themselves. However, the spirit of the Declaration of Independence inspired many to lift up their voices against slavery, and Philadelphia came to lead the nation in the development of the abolitionist movement. Abolitionism in Philadelphia had many heroes – black and white, free and enslaved, male and female. Soon after the abolitionist movement began, the Underground Railroad was formed to help fugitive slaves trying to reach freedom. The Underground Railroad was neither “underground” nor a “railroad,” but a secret network of people (conductors) and places (stations) strategically located to assist fugitive slaves (passengers) in their escape to freedom. Philadelphia was centrally located and played an important part in the development of the Underground Railroad. Slaves escaping the South could choose a number of routes into the city. Many were hidden in ships traveling along the Delaware River by sympathetic captains who let them off at Arch Street Wharf or League Island (where Broad Street met the river). Others stowed away in cattle or grain cars and hopped off train cars at the railroad station at 11th and Market Streets. Still others were taken by buggy and cart down one of the three major highways of the time: Baltimore Pike, West Chester Pike, and Bethlehem Pike. Once in Philadelphia, slaves could find lodging in one of the many local churches or private homes that functioned as Underground Railroad stations. While some continued farther north in order to avoid recapture, many were able to find work in the city and made Philadelphia their new home. Though there were many Philadelphia stations on 17

the Underground Railroad, one of the more important, and st i l l-sta nd i ng, institutions is Mother Bethel Church. The land it sits on was purchased by Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church at Richard Allen 6th & Lombard Sts. in 1791 and is the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African Americans in the U.S. There have been four buildings at this site (6th street near Lombard); the current building was erected in 1889 and restored in 1987. Mother Bethel’s basement was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad, and in 1830 hosted the first national convention of black Americans. William Still (1821-1902) was one of the most prominent Philadelphians involved in the Underground Railroad. Born in New Jersey, he was the youngest of 18 children born to a couple who were former slaves. He had little formal schooling but read what was available and studied grammar on his own. In 1844 he moved to Philadelphia and three years later became a clerk at the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, where he worked for 14 years. William interviewed as many of those who passed through Philadelphia on their way to freedom as possible, including his own long-lost brother, Peter. William’s careful records helped many families reunite in later years. In 1872, he published The Underground Railroad, one of the earliest accounts of these activities. After the Civil War, he continued to press for equal rights for blacks, including organizing an interracial rally to oppose segregation in Philadelphia’s street cars, and founding an orphanage for children of African American soldiers and sailors. In 1880, he was one of the organizers of the first African American YMCA. For more information about the anti-slavery movement and the Underground Railroad, visit this link:

by Adrienne Bishop

Can you imagine a time when women couldn’t own anything? A time when they couldn’t earn money, vote, or work, and basically had to be married to a man to survive? This is what life was like for women during the Civil War era. The war was a turning point for American women and brought the beginning of the feminist movement, to which women today owe the right to vote, own property, and be equal in every way to men. When the Civil War ended in 1865, the lives of American women had been changed forever in many ways. Some had lost husbands during the war and had to continue to fend for themselves in any way they knew. Some had their husbands return, only to feel as though they deserved the same freedoms they had known when the men were away. In fact, the feminist movement started even before the Civil War began. It was spurred on by the abolitionist movement to end slavery in which most of these women were involved. The feminist movement demanded equal political, economic, and social rights for all women regardless of their ethnic background. In the opera Cold Mountain, Ada is left alone to tend her farm after her father’s death. She is vulnerable to Teague, the villain, because of her lack of independent rights and skills without a man around. When Ruby steps in to help, Ada is shocked at how Ruby is able to care for her and for the farm. Ada assumes she needs a man to run the farm, but Ruby shows her that they are fully able to do it themselves. They

“Silent sentinel” Alison Turnbull Hopkins at the White House on New Jersey Day picketing for suffrage. (Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman’s Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C)

T H E C I V I L WA R A N D WOM E N ’ S R I G H TS both soon realize they don’t need men to survive, and this is how many women felt during the war, leading to women demanding equal rights to men. After the Civil War, women’s suffrage (the right to vote) came to the forefront of the feminist movement with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They began publishing a paper called The Revolution, which supported suffrage for women. Soon there were many women who became proponents of the movement, such as Lucy Stone, Isabella Beecher Hooker, and Julia Ward Howe, who founded the New England Woman Suffrage Association (NEWSA). Another area of inequality for women was in higher education. Before the Civil War, the Seneca Convention advocated for equal coeducation, in which women could have access to the same classes as men; this was a radical idea at the time. Because of the Seneca Convention, more and more women were admitted to coeducation colleges in the Midwest after the Civil War ended, even though the Northeastern colleges resisted the change. Sadly, women who attended college met with harsh judgment. Critics said that an education would damage a woman’s frail health. American historian Henry Adams famously said that women could not even “master one emotion much less express it in figures and words.” In order to combat this widely held belief, in 1885 the Association of Collegiate Alumnae published a study that found that women who graduated from college did not show any health-related problems. Women’s health actually improved with college education, as many women in the late 1890s were introduced to sports. Even though the feminist movement helped in gaining ground with co-education from the postCivil War era to 1900, women’s right to vote did not come until much later in 1920, after many sacrifices were made by suffrage advocates. 18


1. Opera Seria

A. Dance spectacle set to music

2. Baritone

B. Highest pitched woman’s voice

3. Opera

C. Dramatic text adapted for opera

4. Ballet

D. Lowest female voice

5. Orchestra

E. Comic opera

6. Libretto

F. A drama or comedy in which music is the essential Factor; very little is spoken

7. Duet 8. Aria 9. Soprano 10. Chorus

G. Opera with dramatic and intense plots H. Music composed for a singing group I. A composition written for two performers

11. Act

J. A group of musicians who play together on various musical instruments

12. Contralto

K. Highest pitched man’s voice

13. Tenor 14. Opera Buffa

L. A musical style used in opera and oratorio, in which the text is declaimed in the rhythm of natural speech with slight melodic variation

15. Recitative

M. Male voice between bass and tenor

16. Bass

N. A piece of music originally designed to be played before an opera or musical play

17. Overture 18. Verismo

O. The term describing the realistic or naturalistic school of opera that flourished briefly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; libretti were chosen to depict a ‘slice of life’ P. Deepest male voice Q. Elaborate solo in an opera or oratorio R. Main division of a play or opera


C O L D M O U N TA I N SYNOPSIS ACT I Teague, the leader of the local Home Guard, is hunting down Civil War deserters. W.P. Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to desert and return home to his beloved Ada. On his journey, Inman meets Solomon Veasey, whom he stops from committing murder. Meanwhile, the once-privileged Ada lives a life of deprivation at Black Cove Farm until she meets Ruby, a mountain woman who teaches Ada about farming and surviving. Inman reencounters Veasey near a river while fleeing the Home Guard, and bargains with him for passage across the water. Fate and weather conspire against the pair, who capsize and drift downriver. The next morning, Lila and her three sisters stumble upon the two men. Lila’s husband drugs Inman and Veasey before giving them up to the Home Guard. The men are put on a chain gang of deserters. Back at the farm, Ruby finds her estranged father Stobrod trying to steal food. She wants nothing to do with him, despite his assertions that he has changed. When Teague approaches, Ruby hides her father, but later orders him to stay away. Meanwhile, Inman starts an insurrection, but the guards shoot the entire chain gang and leave. A wounded Inman is the lone survivor.

He relives the day he bid Ada farewell, but the memory dissolves to the gruesome reality of the war: Inman, chained to six dead men, loses consciousness.

ACT II Lucinda, a runaway slave, is rifling through the pockets of the dead prisoners when Inman stirs and startles her. She frees him, and Inman continues his journey. Back at Black Cove Farm, Stobrod and his travelling companion Pangle are still relying upon Ruby and Ada for sustenance. Stobrod tries to convince Ruby that he is a new man, but she remains skeptical. Inman now happens upon Sara, a war widow, who is trying desperately to comfort her baby. Inman helps her, gains her trust, and is invited to spend the night. At Black Cove Farm, Teague appears. He has brought a copy of the newspaper that lists the names of the deserters. Ruby sees her father’s name, as Teague intended. The next morning, Inman and Sara must react quickly when Union soldiers appear. At a campfire deep in the woods, Teague and his men confront Stobrod and Pangle. Both men are shot and left for dead. Ada goes hunting deep in the woods where she and Inman finally reunite. Although both are deeply altered by the war, they manage to promise themselves to each other – but Teague is not done pursuing deserters. And the next morning when they awake, they are unaware that it will be the last morning they spend together…

The final moments of Cold Mountain’s Act II

Cold Mountain production photos © Ken Howard for The Santa Fe Opera, 2015


by Dr. Amy Spencer


Author Charles Frazier wrote his novel Cold Mountain in 1997. It quickly became a bestseller, winning the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. It was adapted into a screenplay by Anthony Minghella, and made into a major motion picture by Miramax Films in 2003. Librettist Gene Scheer then adapted the book into a new opera with the composer Jennifer Higdon. How does one transform a 356-page novel into an 82-page libretto? Inevitably scenes are truncated and storylines are streamlined to fortify the core themes of the piece; other scenes are augmented or highlighted to emphasize key moments or character transformations. In March 2015 at a special appearance called Works & Process at the Guggenheim at the famous museum in New York City, Higdon and Scheer gathered with Frazier and stage director Leonard Foglia to discuss the creative process of transforming the novel into a libretto and opera. Some highlights from their conversation follow ahead. There were a number of things that had to be considered when writing the opera’s libretto. The novel shifted back and forth between present day and various memories from the past memories, creating a sense of longing and urgency while also reinforcing an unsettled feeling of nearhallucination through the abruptness of the shifts. The Set and Costume Designers had to

David C. Woolard’s costumes help make the characters from the novel come to life onstage. Right: Chain gang Top: Teague Far Right: Inman


use costume and scene changes to help show the shifting times and locations clearly for the audience. The shock of shifting back and forth through time in the novel could be softened by an actor simply exiting a scene and walking across the stage into the past or future, or made more intense by an actor entering a scene as a flashback when the audience thinks that character has been killed. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, who sings the role of Ada Monroe, said that, “it’s incredibly clever the way they’ve put it all together.” Higdon and Scheer were both careful to explain that instead of cutting scenes, they went to great lengths to combine important scenes whenever possible. Where a detailed description of a landscape, gesture, sensation, or emotion was employed to great effect in the novel, Higdon and Scheer had more than just words at their disposal. A scene could be condensed and the story told with fewer words, yet equally rich in detail, with the use of evocative music and the theatrical set, lighting, and costume design, in addition to beautifully written and sung text. The character development and relationship building that happens over many chapters in the novel, as Ada and Ruby slowly learn more about one another, is distilled into a powerful spotlight moment in Act 1, Scene 6, in which Ruby defines herself and shares her survival story (see page 29 in this book for the text of Ruby’s aria). While the novel introduces Ruby through pockets of dialogue and subtle indications of her turbulent past, the longer monologue form of the aria in the opera allows for a moment of pause and deeper focus, giving the audience an intimate glimpse into Ruby’s world.

In other cases, scenes were combined and text was expanded to flesh out a key relationship or theme in greater detail. When considering the duet between Ada and Ruby in Act 1, Scene 9, Scheer knew from his first reading of the novel that the moment was vital and that it would become a significant scene in the libretto. “When you’re looking at source material, you are looking for lay-ups. You’re looking for these moments in the book that are sort of self-evidently singable, and this is a moment from the book that I just circled in red when I was reading it, saying this is just such a beautiful moment for a duet because of this notion of Ruby instructing Ada and expanding her view of the world.” In the novel, Frazier describes Ada and Ruby going about their daily chores, picking apples together, as Ruby questions Ada: “Then, out of the blue, she looked at Ada and said, Point north. She grinned at the long delay as Ada worked out the cardinal directions from her recollection of where the sun set. Such questions were a recent habit Ruby had developed. She seemed to delight in demonstrating how disoriented Ada was in the world. As they walked by the creek one day she had asked, What’s the course of that water? Where does it come from and what does it run to? Another day she had said, Name me four plants on the hillside that in a pinch you could eat. How many days to the next new moon? Name two things blooming now and two things fruiting.” (page 106) The duet marks the first moment in the opera when the two women sing together. They come together in song as they come together in friendship, listening to and gazing at their changing world (see page 39 in this book for the text of the duet shared by Ada and Ruby). While the text of the libretto is crucial in communicating plot and emotion, the music is equally important when one considers the extraordinary expressive power of the voice and orchestra. Scheer

explained that, “the task of course is to distill this beautiful novel into an operatic form. And of course what that really means is you’re trying to find a way to invite music in to tell the story. I always say that music is the marrow of the matter in opera. It’s really what communicates the story.” Higdon’s musical score was equally informed by her understanding of the characters and their distinct histories and journeys. After reading the novel many times in order to absorb the nuances of each character, she found that she “made decisions right off the bat” about the way Inman, in particular, would be expressed through music. She was fascinated by what made him feel “so damaged, that he feels hollowed out inside, that he doesn’t know if Ada is going to accept him...can he go back into the world and live even on Cold Mountain, even though that’s all he wants?” She knew she wanted to emphasize this hollowness in his character, and so she set out to write music that would sound and feel hollow to the listener, neither major nor minor, but unsettled. Through writing the opera and meeting Frazier, Higdon became deeply invested in the characters; she said at one point she embraced Frazier and vowed, “I promise I’ll take care of Inman, Ada, and Ruby. I promise.” The end result of the deep connection Scheer and Higdon forged with Frazier’s novel is a stunning masterpiece. Stage director Leonard Foglia said that “Charles’s book is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read...but the new thing that Jennifer and Gene are creating, it’s the same story, it’s the same emotions, it’s all the same guts of it, but it’s different.” Sources Cited: See the full video of Works & Process at the Guggenheim, an intimate conversation with creative artists, here: Works-Process See this interview on Opera Philadelphia’s website with a preview of Cold Mountain, here:


by Adam Pangburn


In the opera Cold Mountain, there are numerous mentions of the instruments from the Appalachian region. The instruments and music born out of the unique southeast region of the United States is something that is purely American; nowhere else in the world is this style of music found. This genre formed its roots through influences such as the English ballad, Irish and Scottish folk music, and African American blues. The isolation in the mountainous region and the cultural traits brought to this region by its inhabitants allowed this music to evolve into something truly distinctive. The people living in the region did not have access to outside instruments or recordings. The Appalachian community made their own unique instruments to accompany the instruments brought from their native countries. Folk music and Appalachian folk music was primarily used as a social activity. People from the community would gather on porches and in remote hollers (low land located between two hills where people lived) and play together. Because the inhabitants of the region did not have access to imported or traditional instruments, they had to use available materials to make instruments. Although some Appalachian instruments may seem strange at first, they were developed through the resourcefulness of the

Photos of a dulcimer (top) and fiddle (above)


inhabitants. Instruments such as the washboard, spoons, Appalachian dulcimer, washtub bass, and body percussion were all made out of items that Appalachian residents had lying around their homes. While some of the instruments used in Appalachian folk music were invented and made by the natives, there were some that were brought to the region by those who had immigrated from Ireland and Scotland. The fiddle (violin), mandolin, and banjo were all brought to the region in the mid-19th century. Europeans brought the fiddle and mandolin, and people from Africa brought the banjo to the Americas. The combination of influences from all over the world and the isolation in the mountains ultimately created this very unique American folk music genre. The music of Appalachia not only served as a social activity, but also as a medium for people to share and document stories from their lives. Storytelling was an important pastime for Appalachian communities. Without access to books, theater, or other forms of entertainment, people would gather and exchange stories from their own lives which would be passed down in their families. This storytelling found its way into their songs and became a defining element of Appalachian music.


I N T H E C I V I L WA R Here are two examples of the missing voices from the Civil War: 1. “Men of Color, to Arms” - a recruitment speech by former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass:

The men in this picture are from Company E, 4th United States Colored Infantry. Theirs was one of the detachments assigned to guard the nation’s capital during the American Civil War. Photo: Library of Congress

Cold Mountain is a historical fiction novel set during the Civil War. Despite its role as the war’s central catalyst, slavery is barely mentioned. Like the novel, all the soldiers who fight, live, and die in the opera are white. African American leaders and troops are entirely omitted, as is the slaughter of black troops during the Attack at Petersburg. Authors of fiction are storytellers who create characters, and include only those people that advance their plot. However, historic reconstructions should be held to a higher standard. They should include more than one person’s version of events. Nevertheless, history frequently becomes “his story” - an agreed upon account of an event or time by a subjective individual or group. In the past, the majority of authors consisted of educated white men. Frequently, these white male storytellers only portrayed themselves or their ancestors in heroic and leading roles. But what about the other people? What about the people of color? What about uneducated men and women? Can “his story” be accurate if a majority in society are treated as the minority? Some scholars today are using a more critical lens to reexamine our understanding of historical accounts. Acting as detectives, they uncover different information sources to reinterpret the past and offer a more-representative whole. The Civil War era is ripe for such a retelling. Technology and the internet now provide greater access to primary sources, first-person written accounts, letters, and speeches.

…by every aspiration which you cherish for the freedom and equality of yourselves and your children; by all the ties of blood and identity which make us one with the brave black men now fighting our battles in Louisiana and in South Carolina, I urge you to fly to arms, and smite with death the power that would bury the government and your liberty in the same hopeless grave… We can get at the throat of treason and slavery through the state of Massachusetts. She was the first…to break the chains of her slaves; first to make the black man equal before the law; first to admit colored children to her common schools, and she was the first to answer with her blood the alarm cry of the nation, when its capital was menaced by rebels…Go quickly and help fill up the first colored regiment from the North… 2. Excerpt from a letter to Frederick Douglass from his enlisted son, Lewis Douglass: I have been in two fights, and am unhurt… Should I fall in the next fight killed or wounded, I hope I fall with my face to the foe. This regiment has established its reputation as a fighting regiment, not a man flinched, though it was a trying time. Men fell all around me… By becoming history detectives, we can honor the approximately 200,000 ‘forgotten’ black men who served in the Civil War. We can find evidence to extinguish inaccurate representations, like blacks being ‘passive recipients’ of freedom. And, we can identify subjective viewpoints or hidden agendas in drawing conclusions from popular historical texts and fiction.


by Larissa Pahomov


When Charles Frazier wrote the novel Cold Mountain, he used Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey to guide several of his decisions about the storyline. At the center of both tales are two journeys that revolve around each other—Inman and Odysseus trying to get home to their loved ones, and Ada and Telemachus growing into adults in the absence of those loved ones. The comparisons below all stem from these journeys. The Journey Home

In Cold Mountain, Inman must make a long and dangerous trip away from the Civil War and towards his home and his true love, Ada Monroe, although he knows that there are bounty hunters seeking to capture soldiers who have deserted their regiments. INMAN After their retreat…I lay there…others riffled

through pockets, and pulled boots off corpses… All I could think about was a woman I knew. Ada Monroe...what are you doing now?

Inman’s journey mirrors that of Odysseus (also called Ulysses), who fought in the Trojan War and was condemned by the gods to suffer and be held back as he made the trip home. So now all who escaped death in battle or by shipSo now all who escaped death in battle or by shipwreck wreck returned safely home except Ulysses, and returned safely home except Ulysses, and he, though he he, though he was longing to return to his wife and was longing to return to his wife and country, was detained country, was detained by the goddess Calypso, who by the goddess Calypso, who trapped him into a large trapped him in a large cave and wanted to marry cave and wanted to marry him. But as years went by, there him. But as years went by, there came a time when the came a time when the gods settled that he should go back gods settled that he should go back to Ithaca; even to Ithaca; even then, however, when he was among his own then, however, when he was among his own people, people, his troubles were not yet over…(Book 1) his troubles were not yet over…(Book 1)

Defending Home Territory

In Cold Mountain, Ada Monroe must learn to protect and sustain her home, Black Cove Farm, after her father dies and leaves her alone. At first, she has no idea how to take on this task, convinced that somebody else will have to do it for her. 25

ADA I believe I need a man-hand for the job. RUBY Number two, every man worth hiring is off and

gone. It’s a harsh truth but it’s the way of things. (She sees the egg that Ada has found.) Whatcha’ doing walkin’ around a graveyard with an egg? ADA Found it under that bush. Had to shoo a rooster

to get near it. He scratched me pretty bad. I was hungry. (Ruby shakes her head in disbelief.)

In The Odyssey, Telemachus must also grow into an adult without the guidance of his father Odysseus. Instead of simply protecting their house, he is also charged with keeping his mother safe and out of reach from her many suitors who assume that Ulysses (Odysseus) is dead and seek her hand in marriage. In Book 1, when Telemachus believes that his father is dead, he begins to assert himself in the home: “Antinous, do not chide with me, but, god willing, I will be chief, too, if I can. Is this the worst fate you can think of for me? It is no bad thing to be a chief, for it brings both riches and honor. Still, now that Ulysses is dead there are many great men in Ithaca both old and young, and some other may take the lead among them; nevertheless I will be chief in my own house, and will rule those whom Ulysses has won for me.”

A Journey to the Underworld

In Scene 8 of Cold Mountain, Inman is distracted from his journey home when he ends up at Junior and Lila’s house. Lila tries her best to seduce him. INMAN My head is spinning. LILA Blown by the four winds…Oh, mister… Oh,

mister… Come on… INMAN I can’t… LILA Look at me… INMAN I’m dizzy.

LILA Look at me… East, West, North, South…It’ll be

like sitting in a cloud…Take me, take me, take me where you will…

In Book 9 of The Odyssey, Odysseus and his men are blown into the land of the Lotus Eaters, where eating the lotus plant makes Odysseus’s crew members lose their sense of purpose: The Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eater without thinking further of their return…

The Power of the Gods

In Act II, Scene 2 of Cold Mountain, both Ada and Inman find themselves looking at the constellation Orion and feeling mystically moved by its presence. ADA Orion… Orion…Four Novembers have come

and gone…Everything has changed, I’m a mystery to myself…So much time has passed and I have changed. I don’t know myself. But I still believe… in the invisible…in something more…Hidden in the shadows, in the sky above, a secret realm…a mystical spark… INMAN Oh, Ada! ADA Oh, Inman! Are you still out there in the dark?

This parallels The Odyssey when the gods are openly conspiring to help or hurt Odysseus’s path back to his home and reclaiming his family. Before Odysseus battles to regain control of his house, Minerva appears to him to pledge her support:

“For shame,” replied Minerva, “why, anyone else would trust a worse ally than myself, even though that ally were only a mortal and less wise than I am. Am I not a goddess, and have I not protected you throughout in all your troubles? I tell you plainly that even though there were fifty bands of men surrounding us and eager to kill us, you should take all their sheep and cattle, and drive them away with you.”

The Reunion

In the opera, after overcoming many barriers and dangers, Inman finally makes his way back to Cold Mountain — at a moment of intense danger for Ada and her makeshift family, as Teague is in pursuit of Stobrod and other deserters in the area. When Inman finally finds Ada, his appearance is so wretched that she does not recognize him at first. INMAN I know you. Ada… Ada Monroe?

(Ada is slightly confused and lets the barrel of her gun drop from Inman’s face to his chest. She looks at him but is unable to recognize him.) ADA I don’t know you. I don’t want any trouble. But if

it comes, I’m ready.

When Odysseus returns to his home, he is also disguised and blends in with the other suitors in the house. In Book 23, even after Odysseus has successfully killed them and regained control of his house, his wife Penelope does not believe he has returned when her servant reports the news: “My good nurse,” answered Penelope, “you must be mad. The gods sometimes send some very sensible people out of their minds, and make foolish people become sensible. This is what they must have been doing to you; for you always used to be a reasonable person. Why should you thus mock me when I have trouble enough already?”

Sources Cited Frazier, Charles. “Cold Mountain.” Grove Press, 2006. Homer. “The Odyssey.” Trans. Samuel Butler. edu/Homer/odyssey.html Left: Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein’s oil painting Odysseus and Penelope Photo:


by Deborah Bambino


Who are the heroes of Cold Mountain? Are all soldiers heroes? Are all deserters cowards, or antiheroes? What about the people left behind by war, the women and families, who maintain the home front? Can women who stay home from the war become tragic, or accidental heroes? Who decides?

expected to win in just a few months, has now been fought for almost four years. The first men we see are the Home Guard, led by Teague, and they are, “ lookin’ for outliers.” The outliers are the men who have deserted the war, and returned to hide in their homes or the nearby hills.

You have read enough books and seen enough news stories and movies to know that the heroes are the ones with the courage, the ones who stand up and help others. A hero may be the one person who is willing to stand up and speak out about injustice, or bullying. The hero may be the person who is willing to change. Whoever the hero, whatever the action, heroism usually takes place as part of a journey or quest.

The second scene opens in a Confederate hospital where Inman is recovering from the wounds he received in the battle of Petersburg, Virginia, a siege that lasted 11 months. Inman, an enlisted man, has lost his taste for war, having seen much bloodshed and death. He sings that, “ …We shot them and loaded… For five hours, thousands and thousands of men…And there in the middle of it…A drummer boy crying, bleeding, dying…” Inman offered, “Let me help you boy. Let me help…,” But the boy responded, “Afraid, even of kindness…He shot me in the neck.”

During times of war, armies are on a quest, or journey, to win battles and defeat the enemy. Individuals during war make journeys as well. Boys must become men. Ordinary men must become leaders. Let’s examine the journeys of some of the main characters from Cold Mountain as we look for the heroes of this tale. When the opera begins, the war has already claimed all of the young, able-bodied men of Cold Mountain. Many of these young men enlisted, but when more troops were needed, the rest of the young men were drafted, or forced into service. The Civil War, which the South

Photograph taken by Official War Photographer at an Australian Advanced Dressing Station near Ypres in 1917. The wounded soldier has the “thousand yard stare” indicative of shell-shock. PD-BRITISHGOV.

Inman is profoundly damaged after being shot by a young boy and watching his friend, Balis, die in the hospital. His injuries are emotional as well as physical. He has suffered what Dr. Jonathan Shay describes as a “moral injury,” an injury commonly described today as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This moral injury acts as a psychological “tipping point” for Inman, and he decides to desert and return home to Ada, the woman he loves. Inman’s journey home, his quest to return to Ada, is long and dangerous. He must avoid the Home Guard and travel on foot for hundreds of miles. Along the way, he stops a preacher from killing a woman to hide his shame. The unmarried woman is carrying the preacher’s child. Inman also saves the baby of a woman who is being attacked by Union soldiers looking for food and the spoils of war. Finally, when he meets a runaway slave, he tells her where she can find food and a gun for her journey. Do Inman’s efforts to help others make him a hero? Does his desertion from the army he pledged to support make him an anti-hero? Can Confederate soldiers be heroes?


Teague, the leader of the Home Guard, is in charge of guarding the home front and capturing deserters. Teague also makes regular unwanted stops at Ada’s farm because he hopes to claim her, and her property, for himself after the war. He makes his intentions clear in Act 1, Scene 9 when he sings, “…Some come here to fiddle and dance. Some come here to marry. Some come here to find romance. I come here to marry…” Later in the opera, Teague, Ruby, Ada and Ruby’s father, the hidden deserter, Stobrod, sing together that, “Some borders can’t be crossed. Some wounds will never heal…Who you are the war reveals…” What does the war reveal about Teague? Is he a hero, an anti-hero, a villain? What are the wounds that will never heal? Ada is also on a journey. Although she never leaves her home on Cold Mountain, she travels far physically and emotionally from the young, helpless lady we meet through flashbacks, to the self-sufficient mother who gazes at the stars with her daughter in the epilogue. The pre-war and post-war versions of Ada, as seen through the eyes of two men, are compared in the opera’s second scene. First, we have Inman, who sings from his memory, “Ada Monroe…what are you doing now? Brushing your hair…sketching a bouquet of lilacs.” Inman’s outdated view is followed by Teague’s current comments, after he finds a disheveled Ada on the ground, desperately trying to find an egg. “Miss Monroe, what are you doing now? Why are you on the ground? But you’ ll clean up all right…” Ada’s own view of herself is revealed when she imagines a conversation with her dead father, where he sings, “God will feed the soul…” to which Ada replies, “It’s my stomach that needs feeding now. I should have married a man in Charleston.” These three descriptions define Ada and her position in society, reflecting the times in which she lived, a time when the daughter of a well-todo minister could draw, play music, host parties, and look pretty until she married a man. The war and the death of Ada’s father, her male protector and benefactor, have turned her life and her world upside down. Ada’s quest, her journey to become her own woman, must begin now.

When she and Inman are reunited, Ruby tells her, “We can do without him. You might think we can’t, but we can…You don’t need him.” To which Ada replies, “I know I don’t need him. But I think I want him.” What does the war reveal about Ada? How does she change? Does Ada become a tragic hero, or an accidental one, or does she continue to simply be defined by the men around her? Ruby enters the opera describing Ada’s desperate situation, “Old lady Swanger told me you’re all alone and need help on the farm…Help? You need a miracle. That’s a fact.” She questions Ada’s sanity, her possibility of changing, singing, “Who ya’ talking to? Have you gone crazy? ‘Cause if you’re crazy, I don’t see how…this’ ll ever work!” Ruby’s journey began as a toddler, left to fend for herself. Both Ruby and Ada lost their mothers as babies, but their similarity ends there. Ada was protected and educated; Ruby was neglected and had to work for her own survival. Ruby’s journey lies in her efforts to establish herself as an equal partner on Ada’s farm. She will stay and work hard. She will keep Ada from starving, but she demands, “I want to be your partner…” and goes on to state “…Just don’t ask me to empty your nightjar.” Another difference between the women is that Ada loves her father dearly, while Ruby, when the Home Guard find her neglectful father, Stobrod, trapped in the barn, sings, “…dead or alive he’s of little matter to me.” Ada questions, “Do people change?” Stobrod sings, “War changes everyone into somebody else.” Ruby responds angrily, “People might change, but not you… Can I forgive? No one really changes.” What does the war reveal about Ruby? Does she change? Does she become a classic hero, who rescues a maiden in distress? Can she be a hero if she refuses to forgive others? Is her quest for equality successful? You decide. Who are the heroes, or “sheroes,” in this tale? What can you learn from their journeys?


by Joann Neufeld


You probably overcome obstacles everyday, whether small issues (What should I wear today?) or large and important challenges that could affect your future (What do I need to do to pass this difficult class in order to graduate?). Every day, you have to deal with problems that require solutions. In the opera Cold Mountain, issues of everyday survival challenge all of the main characters: Ada, Inman, Ruby, and Teague. One obstacle after another arises, determining day-to-day existence and changing the very nature of their own personality. How are you different after you solve a problem? Do you feel more confident that you can handle the next problem as successfully? Can you think of real life situations whereby actual people demonstrated this ability to overcome adversity?

What do you know about Stephen Hawking? Misty Copeland? Helen Keller? Research these heroes who have overcome obstacles and think about how you can learn from their solutions. How would an artist express this endless struggle to overcome obstacles? Taking the title of the story literally, you can use the idea of a mountain to visually climb one obstacle at a time, get to the next problem to traverse, and strengthen your resolve and your confidence as you pass each test of your fortitude. Create a tunnel book that layers images, one on top of another, using simple card stock or 5” x 8” cards. If your landscape is more urban, use the silhouette of a city to create the layers of difficulty that must be surpassed. If you think in terms of language more than images, use words as your hurdles, and leap over each with skill and confidence! AC T I V E L E A R N I N G Concept: Using the tunnel book process of foreground, middle ground, background, draw, cut, and shade the layers to traverse both literally and figuratively in the opera. Objective: Using the actual or symbolic concept of obstacles to overcome, create artwork that expresses the theme of the opera. Materials: Unlined 5” X 8” cards, scissors, colored pencils, tape Sequence: 1- Sketch your idea for horizontal layers before drawing onto each 5” X 8” card. 2- Color, shade, and cut out the silhouette landscape of each layer 3- Fold two cards in equal zig zags as shown 4- Tape each layer to the zig zag sides. Photos: Joann Neufeld


SIMILE S I T UAT I O N In their first scene together on page 28, Ada and Inman talk about what a simile is. Do you know what a simile is? It’s a figure of speech in which two unlike things are compared to make the description more vivid. For example, we might say that someone who never forgets anything has a “memory like an elephant,” as elephants are well known for having incredible long-term memory. In this exercise, we’ll try to create new similes using words which have two meanings. Take the word “bright,” which can mean smart or glaring to the eye, like a light or the sun. We can use both meanings to make interesting and creative similes: His daughter is as bright as day. These similes are interesting because we use the second definition (bright=shiny) to say someone is clever (bright=clever). Try to make some similes using adjectives that have two meanings like the example above.

(1) CLEAR (a) easy to understand

(b) easy to see through

(2) COLD (a) cruel and uncaring

(b) opposite of hot

(3) BLUE (a) sad

(b) a color

(4) SHARP (a) smart

(b) pointy

(5) NUTTY (a) crazy

(b) tastes like nuts

(6) HARD (a) difficult to understand

(b) a firm surface

(7) SWEET (a) kind and friendly

(b) a taste like sugar

(8) FLAT (a) dull and lifeless

(b) smooth and even

(9) MEAN (a) unkind or rude

(b) to convey or indicated

(10) KIND (a) type of thing

(b) nice or thoughtful


C H A R A C T E R A N A LY S I S PYRAMID Using the character descriptions from the Cold Mountain teacher guide, fill out this graphic organizer for one of the opera’s characters, either individually or in groups. After filling out the form, take 10 minutes to discuss the characters and how they would interact.


Physical Appearance

Character’s Role

Character’s Problems/Challenges

Major Accomplishments


PLOT THE ACTION IN C O L D M O U N TA I N Directions: Fill in the required information for each section below in numerical order. Use the information that appears with each section to help you proceed.

2. As the story continues, the Rising Actions introduce complications and problems for the main characters. These difficulties create suspense!

3. The Climax of the story is when the reader is most interested in how the story will end. The suspense is at its peak, but the outcome is not yet known.

3. Climax

2. Rising Actions

1. The Exposition

1. The Exposition appears at the beginning of the story. It introduces us to the setting, characters and background information.

4. Falling Action

4. Falling Action appears at the ending of the story. Suspense has been eliminated and these events show characters’ lives returning to normal.

5. Resolution

5. The Resolution is the final solution to the problem or conflict. In stories with happy endings it’s called the denouement. Tragic endings are called catastrophe. Graphic organizer from


SING OUT WITH OPERA PHILADELPHIA Do you love to sing? Write Poems? Perform for others? Then join us this spring for the launch of T-VOCE, an exciting new program by Art Sanctuary, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and Opera Philadelphia. Over the past several years, Opera Philadelphia has partnered with Art Sanctuary, an arts organization dedicated to bringing Philadelphians together through the unique community-building power of black art by celebrating diversity and embracing cultural differences. This season the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts joins us to launch Teen Voices of the City Ensemble, or T-VOCE, an all-city youth choir for teens in grades 8-12.

South Philadelphia High School student Sakiema Wood performs an original poem, “Emergency Broadcast System,” at the Annenberg Center, accompanied on the piano by Tim Ribchester. Photo: Phillip Todd

Below: a prompt-inspired poem by a student from Mastery Charter School, Lenfest Campus.

When I Look in the Mirror When I look in the mirror I see a complete stranger looking back at me Unfamiliar eyes staring into my mind And this horrible vision makes me want to resign Into the safe place in the back of my mind My imagination As it seems to be the place of fallen dreams And the dreams are the heroes That keep my looking into mirrors When people look at me, they see A black man who’s 6’3” And instantaneously have to believe I have a murderous intent I must achieve But there’s one thing I don’t understand How’s my being darker than you Make me any less of a man? ~ Jalen, Mastery Charter School, Lenfest Campus


We call it T-VOCE (tee-VOH-chay) for the Italian word for voice, voce. It’s about your voice. We believe in the power and authenticity of your voice. We want to hear what you have to say through song. We will celebrate you. In T-VOCE you’ll write poetry, sing songs, learn about music and singing, and engage in the arts. On top of that, you’ll perform for each other, the community, and watch your talents grow. Join us. Not just to sing, but to meet new friends, share

your passion for the arts with others, and meet young people who share your interests. We’re looking for the most enthusiastic and talented young men and women to share their talents with the city. rehearsals will be on Saturday mornings from February through May at the Annenberg Center. Performances will be in May as part of Art Sanctuary’s Celebration of Black Writing and in June as part of the Annenberg Center’s 2016 International Children’s Festival. T-VOCE

How much does it cost to join T-VOCE? Nothing. We want to make it easy for you to participate and even provide SEPTA tokens to help you get to and from rehearsals. Interested? Email to join our mailing list. We’ll send you updates and let you know how to get involved. We look forward to hearing your voice!

GLOSSARY OF TERMS A C C U M U L AT E (UH-KYOO-MYUH-LEY T) V. to gather or collect,

of persons brought together for common religious worship.

A C T (AK T) N . one of the main divisions of a play or opera.

storage of unhusked corn.

often in gradual degrees; heap up.

A L L E G R O (UH-LEG-ROH) A D V. musical term for fast and lively. A M P L I T U D E (AM-PLI-TOOD) N. large or full measure; abundance;


A N D A N T E (AHN-DAHN-TEY) ADV. a musical term meaning in

moderate slow time.

A N TA G O N I S T (AN-TAG-O-NIST) N. an adversary or opponent of

the main character or protagonist in an opera, play, or other drama. A R I A (AHR-EE-UH) N. an operatic song for one voice.

B A R (BAHR) N. a division of music, marked by two bar lines, containing a set number of beats. B A R I T O N E (BAR-I-TOHN) N. the range of the male voice be-

tween tenor and bass.

B A R T E R (BAHR-TER) V. to exchange in trade, as one commodity

for another; trade.

B A S S (BEYS) N. the lowest male singing voice.

C O R N C R I B (KAWRN-KRIB) N. a ventilated structure for the C O N T R A LT O (KUH N-TRAL-TOH) N. the lowest female sing-

ing voice.

C O R P S E (KAWRPS) N. a dead body, usually of a human being. C R O C K S (KROKS) N. an earthenware pot, jar, or other container. D A G U E R R E O T Y P E (DUH-GAIR-UH-TAHYP) N . an obsolete photographic process in which a picture made on a silver surface sensitized with iodine was developed by exposure to mercury vapor. D E A C O N (DEE-KUHN) N. (in hierarchical churches) a member of the clerical order next below that of a priest. D I S H E V E L E D (DIH-SHEV-UHLD) ADJ. hanging loosely or in

disorder; unkempt.

D I S S E N S I O N (DIH-SEN-SHEHN) N. strong disagreement; a

contention or quarrel; discord.

E AV E S (EEV) N. the overhanging lower edge of a roof. E L A P S E (IH-LAPS) V. (of time) to slip or pass by.

B E AT (BEET) N. the basic pulse of a piece of music.

E L E G Y (EL-I-JEE) N. a mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.

B E T R O T H E D (BIH-TROHTHD) ADJ. engaged to be married.

E T H E R E A L (IH-THEER-EE-UHL) ADJ. light, airy, or tenuous.

B I L E (BAHYL) N. a bitter, yellow or greenish liquid, secreted by the

F L AT (FL AT) ADJ. a half-step lower than the corresponding note or key of natural pitch.

B O A S T F U L (BOHST-FUHL) ADJ. speaking with exaggeration and excessive pride, especially about oneself.

F L O G (FLOG) V. to beat with a whip, stick, especially as punishment.

liver, that aids in absorption and digestion, especially of fats.

B R I T C H E S (BRICH-IZ) N. knee-length trousers commonly worn

by men and boys in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.

B R I T T L E (BRIT-L) ADJ. having hardness and rigidity but little

tensile strength.

B R O O C H (BROHCH) N. a clasped ornamental accessory with a pin at the rear to attach to a blouse, jacket, etc. B U R R (BUR) N. a rough or irregular buldge on an object, as on a tree. C A D E N C E (KEYD-NS) N. the beat, rate, or measure of any rhyth-

mic movement.

C H O R D (KAWRD) N. a group of notes played at the same time in

F O R L O R N (FAWR-LAWRN) ADJ. desolate or dreary; unhappy or miserable, as in feeling, condition, or appearance. F O R T E (FAWR-TEY) ADV. a musical term meaning loudly. F O R T I F Y (FAWR-TUH-FAHY) V. to protect or strengthen against attack; surround or provide with defensive military works. F O R T I S S I M O (FOR-TEE-SEE-MOH) ADV. very loudly. F U R L O U G H (FUR-LOH) N. a vacation or leave of absence

granted to an enlisted person.

G A I T (GEY T) N. a manner of walking, stepping, or running. G A R B (GAHRB) N. a mode of distinctive dress.


G R A Z E (GREYZ) V. to scrape the skin from; abrade.

C H O R U S (KAWR-UH S) N. 1. a group of singers. 2. a piece of

G R O V E (GROHV) N. a small wood or forested area.

C H R O N O L O G I C A L (KRON-LOJ-I-KUHL) ADJ. a method of ar-

G U T (GUHT) V. to destroy the interior of

music for these.

rangement that puts events in order of occurrence.

C O H O R T (KOH-HAWRT) N. a group or company. C O M E LY (KUHM-LEE) ADJ. a pleasing appearance; attractive; fair. C O N F E D E R AT E (KUHN-FED-ER-IT) N. of or relating to the Confederate States of America (the South in the Civil War). C O N G R E G AT I O N (KONG-GRI-GEY-SHUHN) N. an assembly

G R U F F (GRUHF) ADJ. rough, brusque, or surly. H O M E G U A R D (HOHM GAHRD) N. a group of soldiers tasked with both the defense of the Confederate home front during the Civil War and with capturing Confederate Army deserters. H Y M N A L (HIM-NL) N. a book of music for a religious service. I L L U M I N AT E (IH-LOO-MUH-NEY T) V. to supply or brighten

with light.


I N C L I N AT I O N (IN-KLUH-NEY-SHUHN) N. a disposition or

dignity, importance, merit, or superiority.

I N D I S C E R N I B L E (IN-DIS-SUR-NUH-BUH) ADJ. that cannot

that separates a stage from the auditorium.

bent, especially of the mind or will. be seen or perceived clearly.

K E Y (KEE) N. the basic note of the main scale used in a musical piece. L A R G O (LAHR-GOH) ADV. & ADJ. a musical term meaning in

slow time and dignified style.

L I B R E T T O (LI-BRET-OH) N. the words of an opera or musical. L I N G E R (LING-GER) V. to remain or stay on in a place longer than is usual or expected, as if from reluctance to leave. LY N C H (LINCH) V. to put to death, especially by hanging, by

mob action and without legal authority.

M A J O R (MEY-JER) ADJ. music in a major key uses a major scale,

in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then another tone (for example, C, D, E). It often has a cheerful, strong sound. M I N O R (MAHY-NER) ADJ. music in a minor key uses a minor

scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then a semitone ( for example A, B, C). It often has a sad, melancholic sound.

P R O S C E N I U M (PROH-SEE-NEE-UHM) N. the arch or frame R E C E D E (RI-SEED) V. to go or move away; retreat; withdraw.

R E N D E Z V O U S (RAHN-DEY-VOO) N. an agreement between two or more persons to meet at a certain time and place. R E V E I L L E (REV-UH-LEE) N. a signal sounded early in the morning to awaken military personnel and to alert them for assembly. R I F F L E (RIF-UHL) V. to flutter and shift: to riffle through a book. S A M S O N (SAM-SUHN) N. a judge of Israel famous for his great

strength. Judges 13-16.

S C A L E (SKEYL) N. a series of notes arranged in descending or ascending order of pitch. S E M I T O N E (SEM-EE-TOHN) N. a half step or half tone, an

interval midway between two whole tones.

S H A R P (#) (SHAHRP) N. any note a semitone higher than another note. Also, slightly too high in pitch. S H I N G L E (SHING-GUHL) N. a thin piece of wood, slate, or the like, laid in overlapping rows to cover a building’s roof and walls.

M U F F L E D (MUHF-UHLD) N. deadened sound.

S H O R N (SHAWRN) V. to cut something with a sharp instrument.

N AT U R A L (NACH-ER-UHL) ADJ. a note that is neither flattened

S I M I L E (SIM-UH-LEE) N. a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.”

nor sharpened.

N I G H T J A R (NAHYT-JAHR) N. bedpan. N O V E LT Y (NOV-UHL-TEE) N. quality of being new or unique.

S O P R A N O (SUH-PRAN-OH) N. the highest female or boy’s

singing voice.

S P E C U L AT I O N (SPEK-YUH-LEY-SHUHN) N. the contempla-

O C TAV E (OK-TIV) N. a tone on the eighth degree from a given tone.

tion or consideration of some subject.

musical accompaniment.

O P E R A (OP-ER-UH) N. a play in which the words are sung to

S TA G E (STEYJ) N. a platform on which an opera, play, etc. are performed for an audience.

O P U S (OH-PUHS) N. a musical compostion numbered as one of a composer’s works (usually in order of publication).

S TA G I N G (STEY-JING) N. the presentation on the stage.

O R C H E S T R A (AWR-KUH-STRUH) N. a large body of people

cess of air; strangle.

playing various musical instruments.

O R D E R LY (AWR-DER-LEE) N. an enlisted soldier assigned to

S U F F O C AT E (SUHF-UH-KEY T) V. to kill by preventing the acS U R E T Y (SHOO R-I-TEE) N. certainty.

perform various chores for a commanding officer or group of officers; a hospital attendant having general, nonmedical duties.

S Y M P H O N Y (SIM-FUH-NEE) N. a long elaborate musical composition (usually in several parts) for a full orchestra.

O S T I N AT O (OS-TI-NAH-TOH) N. a constantly recurring musi-

S Y N O P S I S (SI-NOP-SIS) N. a summary, a brief general survey.

cal fragment.

O U T L I E R (OUT-L AHY-ER) N. something that lies outside the

main body or group that it is a part of.

O V E R T U R E (OH-VER-CHER) N. an orchestral composition

forming a prelude to an opera or ballet.

T E N O R (TEN-ER) N. the highest male singing voice. T O N E (TOHN) N. 1. an interval equal to two semitones. 2. the

sound quality of an instrument or voice.

T R E N C H (TRENCH) N. a long, narrow excavation in the ground,

P L A I N T I V E (PLEYN-TIV) ADJ. expressing sorrow or melancholy.

the earth from which is thrown up in front to serve as a shelter from enemy fire or attack.

P I A N I S S I M O (PEE-UH-NEES-EE-MOH) ADV. a musical term

T R I B U TA R Y (TRIB-YUH-TER-EE) N. a stream that flows to a

P I A N O (PEE-AN-OH) ADV. a musical term meaning softly.

T W I N E (T WAHYN) N. a strong thread or string composed of two or more strands twisted together.

meaning very softly.

P L O T (PLOT) N. sequence of events in an opera, story, novel, etc.

larger stream or other body of water.

P O N E (POHN) N. a baked or fried bread usually made of cornmeal.

U N C T U O U S (UHNGK-CHOO-UHS) ADJ. excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, especially in an affected manner.

P O P L A R S (POP-LER) N. any of the rapidly growing trees of the genus Populus, characterized by the columnar growth of its branches.

gible; not capable of being understood.

P O U LT I C E (POHL-TIS) N. a soft, moist mass of cloth, bread, meal, herbs applied hot as a medicament to the body. P R E S T O (PRES-TOH) ADV. a musical term meaning very fast. P R I D E (PRAHYD) N. a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own


U N I N T E L L I G I B L E (UHN-IN-TEL-I-JUH-BUHL) ADJ. not intelli-

V E R I S M O (VUH-RIZ-MOH) N. realism in opera. V I G O R (VIG-ER) N. active strength or force. YA N K E E (YANG-KEE) N. a federal or northern soldier in the

American Civil War.

THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL REFORM COM MISSION William J. Green, member Feather Houston, member Farah Jimenez member Marjorie Neff, chair

Sylvia P. Simms, member

William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D Superintendent of Schools

Sounds of Learning™ was established by a

generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation. Dedicated funding for the Sounds of Learning™ program has been provided by:


Hamilton Family Foundation Universal Health Services

Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund Eugene Garfield Foundation

The Hirsig Family Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation

Morgan Stanley Foundation OPERA PHILADELPHIA David B. Devan General Director & President

Corrado Rovaris John P. Mulroney Music Director

Victory Foundation

The McLean Contributionship Louis N. Cassett Foundation

Annie Burridge Managing Director

Jeremiah Marks Chief Financial Officer

David Levy Senior Vice President, Artistic Operations

Michael Bolton Vice President of Community Programs

Written and produced by: Opera Philadelphia Community Programs Department ©2015 1420 Locust Street, Suite 210 Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. 19102 Tel: 215.893.5927 Fax: 215.893.7801 Michael Bolton Vice President of Community Programs Adrienne Bishop Education Coordinator Special thanks to: Dr. Dennis W. Creedon Creator, Sounds of Learning™ Frank Machos Director of Music Education, School District of Philadelphia The Office of Strategic Partnerships School District of Philadelphia Deborah Bambino Dr. Karl Janowitz Joann Neufeld Larissa Pahomov Adam Pangburn Vincent Renou Dr. Amy Spencer Curriculum Consultants Dr. Bettie Joyner Kleckley Dr. Nanci Ritter Program Evaluators

Opera Philadelphia is supported by major grants from The William Penn Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and The Lenfest Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Independence Foundation and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. Opera Philadelphia receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Maureen Lynch Cornell Wood Academy of Music Karma Agency Design Concept and Cover Design Kalnin Graphics Printing Opera Philadelphia production photos by Kelly & Massa Photography Cold Mountain production photos © Ken Howard for The Santa Fe Opera, 2015