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A Chamber Opera in two acts

Music by Joseph Turrin / Libretto by Bernard Stambler

Based on a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne


Opera America Magazine cover (Winter 2007) The Scarecrow - production photo

"I listened to The Scarecrow and it is really gorgeous. The libretto is concise and well-structured
and your music follows the story's emotional landscape perfectly.
Congratulations and many bravos on a splendid work!"
Librettist Mark Campbell

A Short Synopsis:

The Scarecrow is an operatic adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Feathertop:
A Moralized Legend. The story follows a living scarecrow who was fabricated by his mother
and animated by the devil to take revenge against a hypocritical, well-to-do neighbor.
The scarecrow beguiles the neighbor's innocent niece, but becoming more human
than his mother had intended, he falls in love with the girl. As the scarecrow
discovers what it means to be human, he must determine his own fate.
On one level, it's a thoughtful piece about the redemptive power of love - on another level;
it's an existential examination of the theory that existence precedes essence.

The mood is set by a powerful overture that is classically structured,
seamlessly flowing through its hypnotic sequences, the mystical beginning,
dramatic middle and poignant end, which heighten the audience's anticipation
for masterful storytelling. A unique artistic adventure, suitable for all ages.

The Scarecrow was selected as one of three operas by the National Opera Association's
chamber opera competition in 2006 and 2017 and was a selected finalist by the American Academy of Arts
and Letters Richard Rodgers Award in 2007.

The Scarecrow is a chamber opera in two acts, without intermission, and approximately 70 minutes in duration.
There are six principal roles and six secondary roles with no chorus.

The work is scored for:

2 flutes (2nd fl.- piccolo), oboe, 2 clarinets (2nd cl.- bass clarinet),
2 bassoons (2nd bsn. contrabassoon), 2 horns,
2 trumpets, 2 trombones, piano (celesta & harpsichord double),
harp, 2 cello, bass, and 2 percussion.

(score and parts available through Edition Peters)

To view the piano/vocal pdf score click below
To download - right click the link and download to your computer
Piano/Vocal Score
To view the complete pdf libretto click below
To download - right click the link and download to your computer
MP3 recordings of the Overture, Act 1, Interlude, and Act 2

mp3-The Scarecrow_overture_2.6 MB

mp3-The Scarecrow_act1_14.2 MB

mp3-The Scarecrow_interlude_1 MB

mp3-The Scarecrow_act2_25.3 MB

University of Texas at Austin - Live Performance
Conducted by Joseph Turrin - Directed by Robert DeSimone
For best quality use a good set of speakers or headphones

Commercial CD available (Longhorn Records) at Amazon. com, iTunes and other distributors and streaming services

scarecrow_image1.jpg scarecrow_image2.jpg



Piano/Vocal score, full score and parts are available through Edition Peters

For further information contact Joseph Turrin at
or (973) 768-6146

Copyright © 2004 by Joseph Turrin Music