The Gospel of the Red-Hot Stars (2006)
Chamber Opera for soprano, baritone, chorus, clarinet, trombone, percussion, violin, guitar, contrabass.
Premiere: April 2006, The Hugo House, Seattle, WA, Seattle EXperimental Opera (SExO)
During the frenzy of the witch hunts in 17th century Massachusetts, Mary Webster was accused and
convicted of witchcraft. According to several historical
accounts, she was hung from a tree and left all
night to die. When she was cut down the following
morning, the townspeople were shocked to find that
she had survived the hanging and was still alive.
The Gospel of the Red-Hot Stars recounts the story of
Mary’s fateful night on the tree.
Mary Webster – Maria Mannisto
Paul Karaitis – Cotton Mather
Julia Tai, conductor
Tom Swafford, violin
Jesse Canterbury, clarinet
Chris Stover, trombone
Tom Baker, guitar
Brian Cobb, bass
Greg Campbell, percussion
The poem “Half-Hanged Mary” is from the poetry collection Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood © 1995 Margaret Atwood, published in the U.S. by Houghton Mifflin. Adapted with permission of the author.