A Hand of Bridge

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Samuel Barber


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About the opera A Hand of Bridge

A Hand of Bridge, opus 35, is an opera composed by Samuel Barber with libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti, is possibly the shortest opera that is regularly performed - it lasts about ten minutes. It consists of two couples playing a hand of bridge, during which each character has a short arietta in which he or she sings a monologue. The first performance took place at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto on June 17, 1959.
The contract is 5♥ played by Bill, after the opponents competed in ♣. Sally, who is frustrated as a result of being dummy, "Once again I'm dummy, forever dummy!" recalls a hat of peacock feathers she saw in a shop window that morning and how much she desires to buy it, which is stated repeatedly within her internal monologue. "I want to buy that hat of peacock feathers!" Her husband Bill, the lawyer, is worried by her "dummy" outburst and worries if she has discovered his affair with another woman named Cymbaline. His monologue features his thoughts about Cymbaline's whereabouts, who she could be with and how much he wishes he was married to her instead of Sally. Geraldine laments not loving her now-dying mother while she was still well. Finally, David fantasizes about what he would do if he were as rich as his boss "Mr. Pritchett."
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Roles in A Hand of Bridge

David Baritone
Geraldine Soprano
Bill Tenor
Sally Contralto

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Arias from A Hand of Bridge

Nr.Title scenePopularityOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1And this will be my epitaph Popularity:

Opera: A Hand of BridgeComposer: BarberAct:

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: English

2Who is there to love me? Popularity:

Opera: A Hand of BridgeComposer: BarberAct:

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English