2001 Esther CDs

The Coronation of Esther

 

Audio Recordings

The opera opens in Shushan, in ancient Persia, to which King Ahashveros has just moved the seat of government of his vast empire. To celebrate, the King has held a six-month long party culminating in a week-long feast for the entire population of Shushan. The king entertains the rowdy male population, while his beautiful but modest Queen Vashti entertains the women.

     The Men's Party
     The Women's Party
          Nancy Johnston as Vashti
          Shoshana Feinstein as Vashti

In his wine-induced exuberance, the King boasts of Vashti's beauty to the crowd and orders her to disrobe before the men of Shushan, to the delight of the men and the horror of the women.

     The Men's Party, reprise
          Adam Weinreb as Bizzetha, Chace Nolen as Mehuman, Christian Nolen as King Ahashveros
          Indigo Dow as Bizzetha, Jennifer Dudley as Mehuman, David Sandberg as King Ahashveros
          Chad Green as Bizzetha, Evie Dill as Mehuman, David Sandberg as King Ahashveros
     The Best
          Christian Nolen as King Ahashveros
          David Sandberg as King Ahashveros
     The King's Command
          Christian Nolen as King Ahashveros, Chace Nolen as Mehuman
          David Sandberg as King Ahashveros, Jennifer Dudley as Mehuman
          David Sandberg as King Ahashveros, Evie Dill as Mehuman

Vashti refuses the King's command, and the enraged Ahashveros orders Memucan, his Grand Vizier, to devise a suitable punishment.

     If I Perish
          Nancy Johnston as Vashti
          Kate van Eck as Vashti
          Shoshana Feinstein as Vashti
     Ocean of Love
          Nancy Johnston as Vashti
          Kate van Eck as Vashti
          Shoshana Feinstein as Vashti
     The King's Rage
          Nancy Johnston as Vashti, Christian Nolen as King Ahashveros
          Kate van Eck as Vashti, David Sandberg as King Ahashveros
          Shoshana Feinstein as Vashti, David Sandberg as King Ahashveros

On Memucan's advice, the King orders Vashti to be irrevocably banished and all her possessions confiscated.

     Memucan's Wisdom
          Paul Raila as Memucan
          Joe Cesario as Memucan
          Jeff Moore as Memucan
     Banishment
          Nancy Johnston as Vashti, Christian Nolen as King Ahashveros
          Shoshana Feinstein as Vashti, David Sandberg as King Ahashveros

Some months later, Ahashveros regrets the banishment of his favorite wife and seeks to blame Memucan. Memucan suggests that a contest be held to find a replacement for Vashti. All the fairest maidens in the Persian empire would be collected and placed under the care of Hegai, the keeper of the King's women. Then each evening, Ahashveros would interview one of the candidates until dawn, until he has gone through them all or until he finds one to make his queen. The King says he will let Memucan live if the plan allows him to find a women who can replace Vashti.

     I Miss Her
          Christian Nolen as King Ahashveros
          David Sandberg as King Ahashveros
     Plan B
          Christian Nolen as King Ahashveros, Paul Raila as Memucan
          David Sandberg as King Ahashveros, Joe Cesario as Memucan
          David Sandberg as King Ahashveros, Jeff Moore as Memucan

Mordechai is a Jew in Shushan with political ambitions. He has raised his orphaned cousin Esther from infancy, and she is now a beautiful young woman. Although Esther has no interest in being queen, Mordechai gives her to Memucan anyway, in hopes of currying favor with the Grand Vizier and gaining access in the King's palace.

     The King's Gate
          Robert Bass as Mordechai
          Patrick O'Sullivan as Mordechai
     The King's Gate Chorus
          Robert Bass as Mordechai
          Patrick O'Sullivan as Mordechai
     Tryst
          Robert Bass as Mordechai, Lonnie Bass as Esther
          Robert Bass as Mordechai, Tamara Ivanovic as Esther
          Patrick O'Sullivan as Mordechai, Leilah Feinstein as Esther

Esther becomes Hegai's favorite, and when it's her turn to see the King, Hegai advises her to dress elaborately for him, as the other interviewees have done.

     Come Away
          Nina Krane as Hegai
          Ines Ivanovic as Hegai
          Miriam Beit-Aharon as Hegai
      What to Wear
          Nina Krane as Hegai
          Ines Ivanovic as Hegai
          Miriam Beit-Aharon as Hegai
      No Fury
          Shellie Leger as Monica
          Ann Marie King as Monica
          Christine Reif as Monica

However, Esther chooses to wear only a plain white dress. Esther's beauty and modest dress reminds the King of Vashti, and he selects her to be his new queen. Esther is crowned, and all the Persians celebrate.

      Plain White Dress
          Lonnie Bass as Esther, Nina Krane as Hegai, Christian Nolan as King Ahashveros
          Tamara Ivanovic as Esther, Ines Ivanovic as Hegai, David Sandberg as King Ahashveros
          Leilah Feinstein as Esther, Miriam Beit-Aharon as Hegai, David Sandberg as King Ahashveros
      The Coronation
          Christian Nolan as King Ahashveros, Paul Raila as Memucan, Nina Krane as Hegai, Shellie Leger as Monica, Robert Bass as Mordechai, Lonnie Bass as Esther, Frank Walker as the High Priest
          David Sandberg as King Ahashveros, Joe Cesario as Memucan, Ines Ivanovic as Hegai, Ann Marie King as Monica, Robert Bass as Mordechai, Tamara Ivanovic as Esther, Anne Dow as the High Priest
          David Sandberg as King Ahashveros, Jeff Moore as Memucan, Miriam Beit-Aharon as Hegai, Christine Reif as Monica, Patrick O'Sullivan as Mordechai, Leilah Feinstein as Esther, Kathy Lindsay as the High Priest