Death Penalty Opera To Premiere in Indianapolis

"Small Box", an opera about the death penalty, will play for one night only on Nov. 7th in Indianapolis.

The opera has a cast of eight -- six men and two women. Two of the men are prison officers assigned to the death row visiting room. The officer in charge is an older man, whose assistant is a new officer, still learning the ropes after two weeks on the job.

One inmate is a multiple murderer who, because of a judge's error, had his death sentence reduced to life in prison. He works as the unit's janitor.


Among the other inmates is a mentally retarded man who is visited by his attorney, a young woman. Another is a mentally deranged youth who heard voices telling him to go to a schoolyard and shoot the children there. Finally, there is a young man who was involved in a murder for which his partner has already been executed. He has now received an execution date and receives a visit from his wife and infant son.

Written by Bruce L. Pearson, a former professor, the opera is one act and lasts an hour. Every incident portrayed has taken place in real life. While it does not take sides, it is sponsored by the Bloomington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the statewide Indiana Information Center to Abolish Capital Punishment.

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    Thanks for the highlight (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by NealB on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 10:39:10 PM EST
    I'll keep the title "Small Box" in mind. Not much yet googling it; impossible to know from what I found whether it's good. The premise is worthwhile.

    INteresting. I wonder what the next (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 04:05:17 PM EST
    two operas in the series will be about.

    Note:  Jake Heggie wrote the music and Terrance McNally the libretto for the opera "Dead Man Walking."  Excellent.