Scene Synopsis:

  BENJAMIN  FRANKLIN

 Opera  in  Four  Acts

 Music by John Holland

 Libretto by John Holland and Ron Wallace

 (Based on Writings of Benjamin Franklin)

 

 Characters

 

Benjamin Franklin                                                                              Bass-baritone

Deborah Read Franklin, his wife                                                        Mezzo-soprano

William Franklin, his illegitimate son                                                 Tenor

Catherine Ray, friend and confidant; Marie Antoinette                       Soprano

Madame Brillon, 1stApprentice                                                         Soprano

Madame Helvetius, 2nd Apprentice                                                    Mezzo-soprano

Cotton Mather, King Louis XVI, George Washington                        Bass

President of the Royal Academy                                                          SpeakingVoice

The Attorney General of the English Court                                         SpeakingVoice

Young Benjamin Franklin                                                                   Chorus member

 

Chorus

 

12 Members of the Junto, Red Coats, Patriots,                                   Male Chorus

  Royal Academy of Science, House of Lords

Tavern Guests, Kite Experiment, Versailles Palace,                           Mixed Chorus

  Celebration, Benediction

 

(Nearly all of the text of the libretto is taken from Benjamin Franklin's writings. In the few examples where the text is not authored by Franklin, it appears in brackets. Original spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been preserved throughout. An ellipsis(...) has been used where the text has been broken up. Cotton Mather, Louis XVI, and George Washington can be sung by the same person. M. Brillon and 1st Apprentice may be sung by the same person, and M. Helvetius and 2nd Apprentice; same for Catherine Ray and Marie Antoinette.)

 
Scene Synopsis

Prologue:  (Colonial America) 

    Meeting of the Junto Society


Act I:  (Colonial America)

    Scene 1. Franklin's Study
    Scene 2. Printer's Shop
    Scene 3. The Countryside (Kite Experiment)


Act II:  (England)

    Scene 1. English Tavern
    Scene 2. Royal Academy of Science
    Scene 3. House of Lords


(Intermission)


Act III:  (Colonial America)

    Scene 1. Franklin's Study
    Scene 2. The Countryside (A Skirmish)


Act IV:  (France)

    Scene 1. Palace of the French Court
    Scene 2. Madame Brillon's Sitting Room
    Scene 3. Signing of the Peace Treaty Between America
                      and Great Britain


Epilogue:  (The United States of America)

    Celebration, Benediction and Epitaph, The Junto Society