Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC
www.chancelopera.com • www.chancelopera.org

Greetings and Welcome.
In a nutshell . . .

. . . our Company sells the musical scores of composer
Susan Hulsman Bingham,
2017 winner of the National Opera Association's
Lifetime Achievement Award.
These include church operas (also known as
"chancel operas™" or "liturgical operas"), church music, children's operas, chamber operas, and operas for children
and adults, as well as ballets.

The Company headquarters has moved from
Connecticut to Pennsylvania.
Our tour schedule is less demanding, as we are focusing mainly on the sale of the musical scores.

 

Left photo: The Worthington Hooker School Children's Chorus
Photo: Margaret Spillane, NEW HAVEN ADVOCATE

Right photo: A Children's and Liturgical Opera Company production of THE AWAKENING
Left to right: Carol Marsh, mezzo soprano and Judith Caldwell, soprano
Photo: NEW HAVEN REGISTER

 

SOME CRITICAL COMMENTS


Special Commendation for outstanding work:
Vienna Masterworks 2003 Nancy Van DeVate International Opera Competition for the operas RABBI NACHMAN'S CHAIR and OLD BEFANA.

  Vienna, AUSTRIA


Special Commendation for outstanding work:
Vienna Masterworks 2004 Nancy Van DeVate International Opera Competition Commendation for the children's opera THE WILD SWANS.

  Vienna, AUSTRIA


"[This] American troupe presented . . . effective operas of biblical scenes [that were] simple, brilliant, and moving."

  Newspaper review
Sindelfingen, GERMANY

 

 
 

"Susan Bingham's music . . . enhances the scriptural stories she wishes to bring to life. . . The (Children's and Liturgical Opera) Company is a first-rate troupe. Because of the nature of their work, their performances belong most effectively in a worship setting. Lively, compelling and faithful portrayals of Biblical characters and stories greatly enliven any devotional service."

The late Joseph Papp
New York Shakespeare Festival Theater (Public Theater)
New York City

 

"The music (for the chancel opera PIECE TOGETHER) was splendid, the drama moving. The work is an extraordinarily effective interpretation of Mark 5:21-43 . . . Your attentiveness to the socio-historical setting, the literary context, and the dramatic structure of the passage . . . made the text come alive in a compelling way. . . Your opera embodies precisely the sort of retrospective narration out of which the gospel traditions grew . . . In short, the opera was an exemplary piece of exegesis . . "

Richard B. Hays
former Professor of New Testament
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

 

I cannot tell you how moved I was by your presentation of ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS. Everything about it was superb in its feeling and beauty. I found myself welling up with inexplicable tears as I sat so close to the supper table at Emmaus ."

The late Bradford Hastings
Bishop Suffragan of Connecticut

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"(Your) contribution was truly wonderful . . . a very moving experience. So many expressed appreciation . . . and the whole sense of involvement and meaning was strong and good."

The Rev'd Pat Underwood
The Episcopal Church at Yale
New Haven, Connecticut

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"With simple props and costumes, and glorious voices, (the Chancel Opera Company of Connecticut) tells familiar Bible stories in the form that best engages eyes, ears and imagination."

Patricia Nakamura
THE LIVING CHURCH


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"I had the delightful surprise and privilege of hearing Susan Bingham's A CONVERSATION BETWEEN MARY AND THE ANGEL GABRIEL (at St. Peter's Church, Citicorp Center, New York). It is a beautiful piece of music . . . The congregation burst into prolonged applause at the conclusion . . (and this is) highly unusual and was much merited."

Philip A. Johnson
President, Council on Religion and International Affairs
New York, New York

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"How fortunate for the church that you use your gift in this way. (You have a) standing invitation to come to The Connecticut Hospice anytime that you are able to do so . . ."

The Rev'd Sally Bailey
The Connecticut Hospice
Branford, Connecticut

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"People are still talking about how moved they were at the performance (of THE SACRIFICE OF ISAAC). Please convey my deepest appreciation to the members of your Company."

The Rev'd William A. Davidson
Christ Church
Riverdale, New York

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more about the
Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC

Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC, began in 1974 as the "Trinity Players" -- named after its indulgent host parish, Trinity Church-on-the-Green in New Haven, Connecticut. We were a young, bedraggled, enthusiastic lot, and thanks to Trinity's Rector, the Rev'd Andrew Fiddler, the Company built up a repertory of short devotional operas for use in worship services. When these caught the attention of other churches and we began to tour, we incorporated and renamed ourselves The Chancel Opera Company of Connecticut. In 2005, we took the name Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC, which more closely describes what we do.

While we continue touring, we have discovered that the musical scores themselves are in demand . It has been wonderful to have others join in the fun of putting on these and our other pieces, and we invite you to do so, too. This is the main reason for creating this web page.

To its many liturgical ("chancel") operas, the Company has since added children's operas based on fairy tales, folktales, and fables. (Some of these are for children of ALL ages.) We also have chamber operas, three ballets and a number of anthems, psalm settings and motets.

The Company has toured to churches, schools and theaters throughout northeastern United States, including on NBC Television, New York’s Lincoln Center and the Shubert Center for Performing Arts in New Haven, Connecticut. In Pennsylvania, we are resuming our work under the auspices of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Allentown, PA.

The works in the Children's and Liturgical Opera Company are by composer Susan Hulsman Bingham.

More details and bios of some of our artists can be accessed by clicking here.

 
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Below is a nearly complete chronological list of the liturgical and children's operas in the Company's library, including commissions, grants awarded, and dates and places of performances. Works with links (colored lettering) are finished and published. Works in plain print are not yet listed elsewhere in this web page, as publication is not complete. If you are interested in one of these works, contact us.

Recommended: that you return to the home page and approach these pieces through their respective indexes: The Church (Chancel) Operas, Children's and Other Operas & Ballets, and Music for Worship & Miscellaneous Pieces. The list below is not much fun.

A chronological list of
our
CHILDREN'S and LITURGICAL OPERAS

PSALM SETTINGS, ANTHEMS and Miscellaneous Pieces (1976-present.)

MOD DONNA (1970) Full length musical directed by Joseph Papp at the
New York Shakespeare Festival Theater (Public Theater)
. One season.

A MUSICAL SETTING OF THE RITE II COMMUNION SERVICE (1976) Full length choral mass setting. Trinity Church on-the-Green. Three seasons from 1976-1979.

BIRTH ELEGY (1977) Song cycle set to poems by Natalie Robins.
Forty-five minutes. Not performed.

A CONVERSATION BETWEEN MARY AND THE ANGEL GABRIEL (1978)
Ten-minute chancel opera. Ongoing seasonal tour.

WOMAN AT JACOB'S WELL (1979) Twenty-five minute chancel opera.
Toured 1979-1982.

THE RAISING OF LAZARUS (1979) Twenty-five minute chancel opera.
Toured 1979-1980.

SIMEON (1980) Twenty-five minute chancel opera.

THE AWAKENING (1980) (Libretto by Neil Olsen) Twenty-minute chancel opera.

THE SACRIFICE OF ISAAC (1980) Twenty-minute chancel opera.

ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS (1981) Twenty-minute chancel opera.

THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALE (1982) 1.5 hour-long opera for children and adults. Sprague Hall, 1982, 1985; Christ Episcopal Church 1993.

RUTH (1983) Twenty-minute chancel opera. Toured 1983.

TINY OPERAS (1983) One-hour trilogy of chamber operas based on O. Henry. Trinity Church on the Green, 1983. Three performances at Bruno Walter Hall, Lincoln Center, under the auspices of MEET THE COMPOSER;
Christ Church Parish, New Haven
, 1992.

ELI W (1984). Full-length opera, cast of children and adults, chamber orchestra. Shubert Center for the Performing Arts, 1984.

TALES OF A MAGIC MONASTERY (1985) Twenty-minute long chancel opera based on libretto by Theophane the Monk. Toured 1985. Premiered at Spuyten Duyvil Church, Bronx, New York, 1985.

BY THE POOL OF SILOAM (1986) Twenty-minute chancel opera. Not performed.

ISIS AND OSIRIS (1986) Songs and incidental music. Fifty minutes.
Worthington Hooker School
, 1986.

PIECE TOGETHER (1987) Twenty-two minute chancel opera.

MAGDALENE (1987) Twenty-five minute chancel opera. Not performed.

AS YOU LIKE IT Songs and Incidental music (1986) Two hours 20 minutes. For high school and adult soloists. Hamden High School.

PRAYERS OF THE ROSARY (1987) One hour. Plainchant settings of the rosary prayers.

THE WILD SWANS (1987) Hour-long opera for trebles, adult soloists and puppets. 1987 and 1989 performances at Sprague Hall, Yale University and at O.A.K.E. Conference, Boston. Tour, February and March, 1996, benefit the
Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen
.

THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE (1987) Thirty-minute fairy tale opera for three adults. Bruno Walter Hall, Lincoln Center, under the auspices of MEET THE COMPOSER. 1991.

A PINCH HITTER'S CHORUS MAKES ITS DEBUT (1988) Twenty-minute opera for children in the Shubert Center for the Performing Arts Children's Theater.

ALICE MEETS MOCK TURTLE (1988) Thirty minute chamber opera for three adult singers. Three performances at Bruno Walter Hall, Lincoln Center, under the auspices of MEET THE COMPOSER. 1988 and 1991.

A SPOOK OPERA (1989) Twenty-minute opera vignette performed at the Shubert Center for the Performing Arts Children's Theater.

PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN (1989) Thirty minutes. For treble chorus. Worthington Hooker School.

A MUSICAL SETTING OF THE RITE 1 EUCHARIST (1989) For cantor and congregation. In use at Christ Episcopal Church, 1989-present.

OLD BEFANA (1989) One hour-long opera for adults and children. Christ Episcopal Church, New Haven, CT. 1990. Piano accompaniment.

THE GOOSE GIRL (1990) One hour. For adult soloists, treble chorus and dancers. Worthington Hooker School, 1990; Cheshire Public Library, 1991.

THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD (1990) Twenty-minute chancel opera. Touring.

DANIEL'S GIFT (1991) Thirty-minute opera for adults and children. Christ Episcopal Church, New Haven, CT. 1991.

FOLKTALE OPERAS (1992) One hour. Tiny operas, stories written by and for children. Sprague Hall, Yale University.

FABLE OPERAS (1992-3) Forty-five minutes. Ten operas based on Aesop and La Fontaine. For adult and children. Thornton Wilder Hall and Artspace, 1993.

ELISHA (1993) Twenty-minute chancel opera. Touring. Performed on October 2, 1994 to open a series of interfaith concerts under the auspices of St. Mark's Chapel, Storrs, Connecticut.

A SINGING TOUR OF THE PEABODY (1993) One hour. For treble chorus. Peabody Museum, 1993. Full score available; we just haven't gotten this opera's web page set up.

SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF DAVID AND JONATHAN (1993) 25 minute chancel opera. Tour beginning March, 1994.

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL (1993) One hour. For treble chorus, treble soloists, two adult soloists, ballet troupe (optional). Piano accompaniment. Performed early 1994 at Christ Church Parish, New Haven, as a Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen benefit.

THE TRANSFIGURATION (1993, revised 2013). 15 minutes. For four tenors or four baritones with piano accompaniment. Premiered at the Episcopal Church of the Mediator, Allentown, PA, March 2, 2014.

RABBI NACHMAN'S CHAIR (1994) a musical setting of Jewish mystical tales for violin soloist and mime as Rabbi Nathan, adult and child soloists, men's and children's choruses, and piano. Performed the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven and The Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. James, New Haven, in February of 1995. Benefit The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen.

SQUANTO AND LOVE (1995) a musical about the Pilgrims. Book by June Bingham. Two versions: one 50 minutes, one 90 minutes. Performed at Minor Latham Playhouse, New York, New York, and The Priscilla Beach Theatre, Schuyler Hill Performing Arts Center, Plymouth, Massachusetts. For adults and children. Piano and percussion accompaniment.

THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES performed in the spring of 1995 with the Worthington Hooker School third and fourth grades.

THE LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET (1996) commissioned by MEET THE COMPOSER'S New Music for Schools Grant. Performed at Sprague Hall, Yale University, in May of 1996 with Worthington Hooker School children. Chancel Opera Company Children's Chorus tour of the opera in Greater New Haven Area Public Schools as part of the New Haven Comprehensive Arts Program and the Urban/Suburban Exchange Program.

THE SNOW QUEEN, A full-length ballet based on the Andersen tale, performed springs of 1997 and 1998 with the New Haven Ballet and Orchestra New England and with Vladimir Shpitalnik, set design, and William B. Warfel, lighting design. Performance of ballet planned for spring, 2001.

THE OTHER WISE MAN, a Christmas or Epiphany oratorio for treble choir, narrator, piano, synthesizer and percussion, based on the book by Henry Van Dyke. Premiered at Christ Church, New Haven, CT, January, 2000 and toured thereafter.

ANNIVERSARY TALES - children's folktale operas. Libretti by students of Worthington Hooker Elementary School ; music by Susan Bingham. Performed at New Haven's Long Wharf Theater in June, 2000, in celebration of the school's 100th anniversary. GERMANY TOUR: The Chancel Opera Company toured five liturgical operas and four children's operas for ten days in Germany in February, 2001.

THE TALKING STONES OF MACHU PICCHU - children's opera based on an original Inca tale by Michèle Miller Sigg, with music by Susan Hulsman Bingham. Premiered at Worthington Hooker Elementary School in the spring of 2004. Duration (flexible): 45-60 minutes.

AND CHRIST CAME INTO THE WORLD, an Epiphany play by Michèle Miller Sigg based on Christmas Bible tales and traditional legends, including the legend about the talking animals. 20 minutes. roughly. 2005

HOW THE DRAGON LOST HIS DARK: AN INKRAGABLE TALE, a musical play based on the fairy tale by Michèle Miller Sigg. Premiered at Worthington Hooker Elementary School, May 26, 2005. Music by Susan Bingham. Duration: 50 minutes.

LEARNING TO PRAY - a liturgical piece for narrator, two mimes (optional), violin and piano. Based on the Hasidic tale as retold by Howard Schwartz. 15 minutes. 2004. Premiered at Episcopal Church of the Mediator, Allentown, PA, January, 2008. Second performance scheduled for May 2, 2008 Friday night service at Congregation Keneseth Israel, Allentown, PA.

THE BRAVE KNIGHT - chancel opera for children using Orff instruments. Based on story by James Russell Lowell. 15 minutes. Performed at Episcopal Church of the Mediator, Allentown, PA, March 30, 2008.

NAAMAN THE LEPER - an oratorio in costume for adults and children based on 2 Kings
5:1-19. 20 minutes. Premiered at
Episcopal Church of the Mediator, Allentown, PA, February 12, 2012.


The following operas and musical plays were written for the Foote School Summer Theater Program from 1988-1992. All are approximately one hour in length except where otherwise noted.

THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES The original version based on the Grimm tale, for smaller cast. Similar to the opera of the same name listed above.

THE MUSICIANS OF BREMEN - Available in two versions - a shorter version for smaller cast and a longer version, adapted from the original by Ellen Greist.

BEARSKIN

MIDSUMMER DREAM STUFF

BARRINGTON BUNNY (30 minutes)

KING TYPHOON TRUNK (score being put on computer; call if interested)

THE LIGHT PRINCESS

HANNAH (chancel opera (20 minutes) 2015

THE DEPARTURE OF ELIJAH (chancel opera (14 minutes) 2016

 

 



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