• Stephen Oliver
  • A Stable Home (1977)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • pf .[gtr].[tuned perc]
  • chorus
  • 2 soloists
  • 15 min

Programme Note

A STABLE HOME (1977) 15’

Oliver’s dramatic cantata for Christmas (to be performed almost entirely by children) presents the Nativity story from the novel perspective of a group of animals, which are being mercilessly exploited by the farm workers. As the beasts return to the shelter of their Bethlehem stable, the angels appear, singing of the imminent birth of Christ. The beasts are dubious, having learned from their owners to expect nothing but pain and fear from humans, and even as Mary and Joseph enter the stable they object to the intrusion. Eventually the beasts are moved by the plight of the young couple and, as the child is born, they question the angels on the meaning of the birth. All join in a hymn of praise to the Redeemer. The score is deftly interwoven with well-known Christmas carols.