Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
Highly praised American composer Carlisle Floyd (b. 1925), well known for his musical dramas Susannah (1955) and Of Mice and Men (1970), wrote Willie Stark (1981), commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and later Houston Grand Opera. Floyd’s libretto and musical score was based upon Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel All The King’s Men. Despite the vast amount of publicity it received at the premiere, this opera has only occasionally been performed in the last 35 years. Chapter One discusses Carlisle Floyd’s creation of Willie Stark. Chapter Two discusses the workshop performance of the piece. Chapter Three discusses the show’s director, Harold Prince. Chapter Four covers the reviews of the Houston Grand Opera Premiere, the Kennedy Center Premiere, and the filmed version for Public Broadcasting Service’s “Great Performances.” Chapter Five addresses the revivals of Willie Stark after the premiere productions. Chapter Six concludes with assessments of critical reviews to offer possible explanations for the show’s limited revivals.
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Uschkrat, Betsy Marie, "Tracing the Development of Willie Stark and Its Place in American Opera" (2016). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 781.