The Prioress's Tale

Event time: 
Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 2:00pm
Event description: 

New chamber opera explores the nature of bigotry

First Presbyterian Church, 704 Whitney Avenue, New Haven


The Yale Institute of Sacred Music and First Presbyterian Church of New Haven will present a free performance of Delvyn Case’s new chamber opera The Prioress’s Tale, based on the story of the same name from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. 

Written by the American composer Delvyn Case (Yale College, 1997) and librettist Christopher Hood, the opera radically transforms Geoffrey Chaucer’s infamous tale of religious violence into a parable about how bigotry can be overcome by the realization of the common human experiences that unite us all. A complex, powerful, and dramatic work, The Prioress’s Tale is a moving musical testament to the possibility of reconciliation between those whose differences seem insurmountable. The 75-minute, one-act work is scored for soprano, two baritones, boy soprano, piano, and electronic sound.  The opera is performed in contemporary English. Video and audio excerpts may be found at

Funded by a grant from the Masschusetts Cultural Council, an ecumenical

consortium of churches, and Jewish and Christian individuals, the opera

was premiered in January 2008 at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy,

Massachusetts, directed by Andrew Ryker. The premiere was previewed in a major article in the Boston Globe by music critic Jeremy Eichler.

The New Haven performance will take place at First Presbyterian Church (704 Whitney Avenue) at 7 pm on Sunday, March 1. The cast includes Turkish baritone Buelent Guneralp and British soprano Paula Downes.

More information is at (203) 562-5664.