2009 Weaver's Wedding

Our 2009 Production was the
NCFO and North American premiere of

An opera based on a Bengali animal fable
by Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri
Translated and adapted by William Radice
Music by Bernard Hughes, Libretto by William Radice
Musical Direction by David Bass
Stage Direction by Kathy Lindsay and David Sandberg
Choreography by Deborah Mason

Performed by two intergenerational casts at:
The Peabody School  (Directions, map, parking)
70 Rindge Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140

Saturdays, March 28 and April 4, at 3:00pm and 7:00pm
Sundays, March 29 and April 5, at 2:00pm and 6:00pm

This work was commissioned by the W11 Opera for Young People and first performed by them in December 2006 at the Benjamin Britten Theater in London.

Special thanks to our sponsors Gravestar Inc., Leader Bank, and FilmNation Entertainment.

Below, read the synopsis, see photos from our performances, and listen to an audio recording of Show 7.  Audio from Show 8 and video of both shows will be posted at a future date. (All photos copyright © 2009 by Jon Chomitz).

        SHOW 7
Jeff Moore 
Tim Traversy 
Megan Wilson 
Nancy Chomitz 
James Liu 
Louise Ambler Osborn 
Anna Antoniadis 
Will Osborn 
Anisha Nakagawa 
Robyn Lindsay 
Nate Burket 
Norah Mulvaney-Day 
Rocky Tomascoff 
Molly Day 
  Reina Bass 
  Tess Carney 
  Maggie LaMaster 
  Katie Massie 
  Sarah Miller 
        SHOW 8 
Jeff Moore 
Nate Burket 
Kathy Lindsay 
Emilija Baksys 
Robert Rogers 
Phoebe Reuben 
Shoshi Stern-Robbins 
Alyssa Berkson 
Robyn Lindsay 
Eliza Klein 
Rosemary Lindsay 
Shaina Boyd 
Lilly Sandberg 
Sophia Thurau-Gray 
  Chloe Adler 
  Sara Hauf 
  Erica Jaquith 
  Joshua Nolan 
  Eli Saltzman
The Story-Teller 
Rajah, the Weaver 
The Jackal 
The Princess 
The King 
The Queen 
Lead Peacock 
Prime Minister 
Deputy Prime Minister 
Deputy2 Prime Minister
Deputy3 Prime Minister 
Deputy4 Prime Minister 
Deputy5 Prime Minister 
Deputy6 Prime Minister 
The Five Kids 


The Story Teller spins a tale to interest the Five Kids.

Show 7 - Scene 1  
Hear Scene 1 - Prologue sung by Story Teller, the Kids, and the chorus.


We meet Rajah the Weaver.  Rajah is no use at multi-tasking.  He knows he should weave his cloth, cut his crops and milk his cow, but gets confused and flustered.

Show 7 - Scene 2  
Hear Scene 2 - Rajah the Weaver at Home sung by Rajah, the Kids, Story Teller, and the chorus, with additional solos by Chris Edel, Dina Gorelik, Emma Coolidge, Jonathan Edel, Kiraleah Page Fendell and Norah Mulvaney-Day


When Rajah's scythe gets hot, a clever Jackal advises him: "Dip your scythe in the water". This advice works well, and Rajah returns to work.

Show 7 - Scene 3  
Hear Scene 3 - The Feverish Scythe sung by Rajah, Jackal, the Kids, and the chorus, with additional solos by Hanna Carney and Julien Gordon


Rajah's cow runs a fever, and he applies what the Jackal taught him and plunges her into the pond to cool her down. Rajah drowns the cow, to the mortification of his neighbors in the village.

Show 7 - Scene 4  
Hear Scene 4 - The Sickly Cow sung by Story Teller, Rajah, the Kids, and the chorus


To make amends, the Jackal promises to help Rajah find the ideal wife: a princess! The neighbors are doubtful but intrigued, as is Rajah. The Jackal tells Rajah to bathe, brush his hair and weave some beautiful clothes for himself.

Show 7 - Scene 5  
Hear Scene 5 - The Weaver Consoled sung by the Jackal, Rajah, the Kids, and the chorus, with additional solos by Grace Gershenfeld, Susan Fendell and Miriam Beit-Aharon 


While the Jackal goes off to meet with the King, Rajah makes his preparations with help from his friends the Weavers, Washerwomen, Milkmaids, Children, Village Elders and Peacocks.

Show 7 - Scene 6  
Hear Scene 6 - The Weaver Prepares sung by Rajah, the Kids, Lead Peacock, Story Teller, and the chorus, with an additional solo by Zedal Berhane


Meanwhile, at the palace the Jackal impresses the court with his confident appearance. Now while 'rajah' means king, our Rajah is a mere weaver. Without telling any actual lies, the Jackal makes Rajah sound so impressive that the King and Queen are won over.

Show 7 - Scene 7  
Hear Scene 7 - The Jackal Meets the King sung by Story Teller, Jackal, King, Queen, the Kids, and the chorus with an additional solo by Mattie Glenhaber


The King's advisors, from the Prime Minister all the way down to the Deputy Deputy Deputy Deputy Deputy Deputy Prime Minister are also impressed.  Besides, the King needs a male heir, and the Princess is becoming rather expensive.  The Jackal is given a purse of gold with which to greet his master and begins to arrange the marriage.

Show 7 - Scene 8  
Hear Scene 8 - The King and Queen's Pleasure sung by the Prime Ministers, King, Queen, Story Teller, and the chorus


The Story Teller passes the magical ability to weave the story to the Jackal

Show 7 - Scene 8a  
Hear Interlude performed by the Jackal and Story Teller


The Peacocks, Myna Birds, Koel Birds, Brain-Fever Birds, Doves, Frogs, Jackals and Mosquitoes are under orders from the Jackal to make as much noise as possible just outside the palace.

Show 7 - Show 9  
Hear Scene 9 - The Wedding Procession sung by the Jackal, Lead Peacock, Story Teller and the chorus, with additional solos by Molly Day, Kailash Nakagawa, Maggie LaMaster, Reina Bass, Tess Carney, Nicole McElhoe and Laura Gill


The King is understandably alarmed. The Jackal explains that this is his master's wedding procession. It takes another bag of gold to buy some peace so the the King can get dressed without being deafened.

Show 7 - Scene 10  
Hear Scene 10 - The King's Alarm sung by the King, Queen, Jackal, and the chorus


Rajah arrives, magnificently attired. Knowing that his rustic tones would give him away, the Jackal instructs Rajah not to say a single word. Sure enough, the Weaver's dignified silence impresses the court deeply.

Show 7 - Scene 11  
Hear Scene 11 - Before the Wedding sung by the Jackal, Rajah, the King, Queen and Prime Ministers


A feast is prepared, and the Jackal shares some of the gold with the Birds and the Beasts. Rajah and the Princess arrive, Rajah smiling broadly but the Princess looking cross.

Show 7 - Scene 12  
Hear Scene 12 - The Feast sung by the Jackal and the chorus, with additional solos by Sarah Miller, Nina Katz-Christy, Katie Massie, and Kiraleah Page Fendell


After the wedding, it becomes clear that the Princess is very angry to have been married to a man who refuses to speak. Rajah, meanwhile, cannot work out how to get into the marriage bed - literally! He wrecks the mosquito net, and as the dreaded insects invade, Rajah forgets his vow of silence and reveals his true identity.

Show 7 - Scene 13  
Hear Scene 13 - The Wedding Night sung by Rajah, the Princess and the Mosquitoes


The Princess is furious, but even in her rage, she comes up with a plan to get rid of the Mosquitoes. Rajah falls in love with her for being so clever and vows to obey her. Meanwhile, she decides to make the best of things by organizing a liberal education for him. The results are stunning!

Show 7 - Scene 14  
Hear/Watch Scene 14 - The Weaver's Training sung by Rajah, the Princess, and the chorus, with additional solos by Robbie Kelley, Cooper Kelley and Rob Carney


The Prime Ministers are astounded by Rajah's many talents and abilities.

Show 7 - Scene 15  
Hear Scene 15 - The Cabinet Meets sung by the Prime Ministers and Jackal


So popular is Rajah that the King is persuaded to declare him his heir-apparent. Chincha-chancha Cooroo!

Show 7 - Scene 16  
Hear Scene 16 - The Investiture sung by the King, Prime Ministers, Story Teller, Jackal, Princess, Queen, Rajah, the Kids and the chorus


     Watch the curtain calls, encore and credits