• Philip Glass
  • Appomattox (2007)

  • Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc (World)

Commissioned by San Francisco Opera

Libretto (English) by Christopher Hampton.

Commissioned by San Francisco Opera.

  • 2(pic).2(ca).2(Ebcl)+bcl.2(cbn)/4.3(E Flat Trumpet).2+btbn.1/2perc/hp.pf(cel)/str
  • SATB
  • Principals - 4 Sopranos, 2 Mezzo Sopranos,3 Tenors, 4 Baritones, Bass-Baritone, 2 Bass
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • Libretto by Christopher Hampton
  • English

Programme Note


Soprano Julia Dent Grant/Viola Liuzzo
Soprano Mary Custis Lee
Soprano Julia Agnes Lee
Soprano Mary Todd Lincoln/Lady Bird Johnson
Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Keckley/Coretta Scott King
Mezzo-soprano Mrs. Dorsey/Viola Jackson
Tenor T. Morris Chester/Cager Lee
Tenor Edward Alexander/Cartha DeLoach
Tenor Ely S. Parker
Baritone Gen. Ulysses S. Grant/Nicholas Katzenbach
Baritone Gen. Robert E. Lee/Edgar Ray Killen
Baritone John Rawlins/George Wallace
Baritone Wilmer McLean/J. Edgar Hoover
Bass-baritone Abraham Lincoln/Lyndon B. Johnson
Bass Gen. Howell Cobb/James Bonard Fowler
Bass Douglass/Martin Luther King

Chorus of union and conf. soldiers; citizens of Richmond & Appomattox; slaves and women

Roles from the chorus:

Tenor A young man
Tenor & Bass Two freed slaves,
Tenor A brigadier
Bass A naval officer
Baritone Voice of a confederate soldier
Bass A captain
Bass Old Man in Richmond
SATB Four civil rights marchers

The brutal American Civil War is drawing to a close. Three scenes unfold simultaneously as Julia (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant), Mary Custis (Mrs. Robert E. Lee) with her daughter Agnes, and Mary Todd Lincoln with her seamstress Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave, separately express their anxieties, then jointly voice their foreboding about the suffering that is imminent.


Act II