Emmeline – Pittsburgh Opera
Music by Tobias Picker; Libretto by J.D. McClatchy • January 23, 26, 29, 31, 2021
Inspired by a heart-wrenching true story, Emmeline is the tale of a young Maine teenager sent to work in a Massachusetts textile mill in the 1820s to provide for her family. The mill owner’s son-in-law, who is also the factory supervisor, seduces and impregnates her. Emmeline is fired, and forced to give her illegitimate child up for adoption before she even sees it or learns whether it’s a boy or a girl.
Twenty years later, while caring for her elderly parents back in Maine, Emmeline falls in love with and marries a mysterious young stranger, Matthew Gurney. They realize too late that Matthew is Emmeline’s long-lost son. Matthew abandons Emmeline and skips town. Emmeline, though completely ostracized, steadfastly refuses to leave her home town, and lives as an outcast the rest of her life.
A powerful story of betrayal and perseverance, Emmeline evokes both empathy and admiration.
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