• Virgil Thomson
  • The Mother of Us All (1947)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)
  • 1(pic)1(ca)2(bcl)1/2210/perc.hp/pf/str
  • tpt/perc/pf(cel).org[hmn]/vn.vc
  • SATB chorus
  • dramatic Soprano, Countertenor, 2 Basses, 3 Mezzo sopranos, lyric Tenor, 3 Tenors, 2 Baritones, lyric Soprano, 3 Bass Baritones, Alto, high Baritone, Soprano
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • Libretto by Gertrude Stein.
  • English

Programme Note

Reduced orchestration available:
tpt/perc/pf(cel).org[hmn]/vn.vc

Cast List:
SUSAN B. ANTHONY, a noble and consecrated woman, dressed in Act I, Scene 2, as a Quakeress, with cape and bonnet; elsewhere, in the style of 1870. As a statue she wears the garnet velvet gown with fichu of rose-point lace that Miss Anthony herself wore in her later years, a gift from the ladies of Washington, D. C.: Dramatic Soprano

ANNE, her confidant and devoted friend, wears richer costumes of 1870: Contralto

GERTRUDE S., a cheerful stocky woman of middle age wearing a full-cut but plain modern velvet gown of dark color and a brocaded waistcoat: Soprano

VIRGIL T., a pleasant and efficient master of ceremonies, in modern morning dress (top hat, cutaway coat, striped trousers, gardenia: Baritone

THE VIP (Very Important Persons):
   DANIEL WEBSTER, Bass
   ANDREW JOHNSON, Tenor
   THADDEUS STEVENS, Tenor
Dressed as political dignitaries of the 1850's. Andrew Johnson is sad, complaining and pathetic. Thaddeus Stevens, his political enemy, blustering man. Daniel Webster, dignified, almost pompous, has the gestures characteristic of 19th century orators.

JO THE LOITERER, Tenor; and CHRIS THE CITIZEN, Baritone
Recently discharged Civil War soldiers dressed in the civilian style of 1865, but still wearing some of their military clothing. Jo wears a black suit at his wedding.

INDIANA ELLIOT, young, pretty, provincial, dressed in the style of 1860. At her wedding she wears a white dress and a bridal veil: Contralto

ANGEL MORE, former sweetheart of Daniel Webster, now dead—part angel, part ghost and part ingénue—in a pale pink and blue dress of about 1845. She wears a small hat with a short white veil, and tiny wings spring from her shoulders: Light Lyric Soprano

HENRIETTA M., a feminist of 1890 in mannish clothes.

HENRY B., a somberly poetic gentleman of 1870 in formal dark clothes, Bass-Baritone

ANTHONY COMSTOCK, a forceful Victorian capitalist with sideburns, dressed in the style of 1890: Bass

JOHN ADAMS, romantic tenor, presumably John Quincy Adams. He wears an ornate costume of 1825 with a beaver stove-pipe hat: Romantic Tenor

CONSTANCE FLETCHER, a gracious and beautiful lady of 1905-10, charmingly tactful, a peace-maker. She has trouble with her eyes and in the last scene wears dark glasses: High Mezzo-Soprano

GLOSTER HEMING, Baritone; and ISABEL WENTWORTH, Mezzo-Soprano
Intellectuals of 1890-1900, he in knickerbockers, she in bicycling clothes.

ANNA HOPE, feminist of 1900: Contralto

LILLIAN RUSSELL, wears picture hats, long gloves and feather boas, with several changes of showy costume, all from the epoch of 1890-1910: Lyric Soprano

JENNY REEFER, a comical feminist, outspoken and opinionated, a close friend of Anne and Susan B.: Mezzo-Soprano

ULYSSES S. GRANT, also opinionated, in dress uniform: Bass-Baritone

HERMAN ATLAN, a French painter of 1860, young, attractive, elegant, poetic: High Baritone

DONALD GALLUP, a youngish college professor in the tweeds of 1920. As a vision in Act II, sc. 2, he wears academic gown and mortar-board cap: Baritone

A.A. and T.T., Page boys or postillions. They also constitute, if desired, a corps de ballet. There can be as many of them as needed.

NEGRO MAN and NEGRO WOMAN
Rural labor costumes. 1860-70

INDIANA ELLIOT'S BROTHER, A middle-western farmer of 1870, wearing farm boots, Sunday suit and a wide felt hat. He carries a riding crop: Bass Baritone


Synopsis:
A pageant centering around the life and political ideals of Susan B. Anthony, with real and imagined characters.



View Full Score - Act II

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The Mother of Us All, Act I: Scene I, "Yes, I was"
The Mother of Us All, Act II: Scene III, "The vote!"
The Mother of Us All Suite: Prelude
The Mother of Us All Suite: Cold Weather
The Mother of Us All, Act I: Scene V, "Will they remember?"
The Mother of Us All Suite: A Political Meeting
The Mother of Us All Suite: Hymns

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Full Score - Act II

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