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Riders to the Sea by Vaughan Williams
Sung in English
Music Direction by Sandi Rabas
Stage Direction by Doug Nagel
Sandi Rabas pianist

Bartely-Chris Sheppard
Maurya-Mary Ryan
Cathleen-Christina Pezzarossi
Nora-Ashley Miller
A Woman-Jess Shultis
Off stage chorus-comprised of Festival females

Before the opera has begun, Maurya, an elderly Irishwoman, has lost her husband, father-in-law, and four of her six sons at sea. At the start of the opera, her daughters Nora and Cathleen receive word that a body that may be their brother Michael, Maurya's fifth son, has washed up on shore in Donegal, far to the north. The sixth and last son, Bartley, is planning to go to Galway fair to sell horses. Maurya is fearful of the sea winds and pleas with Bartley to stay. But Bartley insists on going and will ride "on the red mare with the gray pony behind him". Maurya predicts that by nightfall she will have no living sons, and her daughters chide her for sending Bartley off with an ill word. Maurya goes after Bartley to bless his voyage. Nora and Cathleen receive clothing from the drowned corpse that confirms it as their brother. Maurya returns home, claiming to have seen the ghost of Michael riding behind Bartley and begins lamenting the loss of the men in her family to the sea. Nora then sees villagers carrying a load, which turns out to be the corpse of Bartley, who has fallen off his horse into the sea and drowned. The opera closes with Maurya's lament: "They are all gone now, and there isn't anything more the sea can do to me."

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