18-year-old Susannah Polk is a typical teenager entering womanhood in the quiet mountain town of New Hope, Tennessee, when she finds herself bereft of hope as she becomes the target of ruthless and malicious gossip.
In his seminal opera, Carlisle Floyd revisits the Apocryphal tale of Susanna and the Elders, but transports the story to his own familiar universe — the American South of the 1950s during a time of profound social change. The nation was gripped by intense fear during the McCarthy era, when making accusations without evidence was common practice, while the the feminist and civil rights movements were also gaining momentum. More than six decades since its premiere, Floyd’s Susannah now stands as the second most beloved American opera, after Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Join us for a stunning production of this uniquely American tale of innocence, lust, and social consequence.
Mark Foehringer, Director
Bryan Nies, Conductor
Shana Blake Hill as Susannah Polk
Alex Boyer as Sam Polk
Philip Skinner as Reverend Olin Blitch
Robert Norman as Little Bat McLean
Eugene Brancoveanu as Elder McLean
Michael Orlinsky as Elder Gleaton
Joseph Meyers as Elder Hayes
Malte Roesner as Elder Ott
Erin Neff as Mrs. McLean
Diana Tash as Mrs. Gleaton
Kristen Campbell as Mrs. Hayes
Danielle Marcelle Bond as Mrs. Ott
Festival Opera Orchestra & Chorus