THE ANASAZI ACT I.: INTRODUCTION AND OPENING SCENE
Uploaded on Mar 5, 2013
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(This opera was inspired in part by ancient Native legends of the American Southwest.)
Sometime in the Future, in the American Southwest, there were peoples living who had come from lands in the Pacific ocean. They had escaped in sailing vessels to the shores of North America, called Turtle Island, and many penetrated into the present day area of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. They were not alone, for there were Native Americans there who had grown in numbers and power since the great upheavals or disaster had occurred long ago. The Old Technology of our present world had been forgotten mostly, and even renounced and outlawed. Only a few wise kahunas and shamans remembered, having been taught in visions and traditions handed down. Some of the tales they knew spoke of a few enclaves of special people, highly evolved spiritually, already living in those parts of Turtle Island even before the Native Americans. They were called "The Anasazi", the Ancient Ones. There were chants in sacred rituals telling stories about this masterful race and how they lived in a few secluded places in the mountains and mesas. The poetry in the chants told how there were critical times when leaders of this mysterious people had even helped the newcomers when appealed to, as if they were in reality some sort of Angels. However, the shamans knew that later on after the help was given, the marvellous benefactors could not be seen again, nor could their temples be found again. The Chiefs and Kahunas spoke secretly among themselves of how the structures they had seen seemed to fade in and out of manifestation, as if they were not totally synchronized with the time/space that the Native/Pacific peoples lived in. Against this background, the opera is the story of Kochani, Anasazi Prince, and Leilani, a great Native Chief's daughter.
Selection: In this selection from Act I, Introduction and Scene 1, The orchestra plays a brief introduction ,setting the mood for the work, in which the "Anasazi Theme" is first presented by the Brass section. (This theme undergoes many transformations later on in the opera.) Then, as the curtain rises, Leilani, daughter of Chief Kalani of the Eagle Tribe enters on stage wildly, having been pursued through the Forbidden Zone by the evil Grand Duchess Zirancilla, a fallen Anasazi, ruler of the Forbidden Zone and cousin of Kochani, the Prince, whose high status she is jealous of . Leilani had fled from her home to seek help from Anasazi Prince Kochani for her beleaguered people. Her Shaman Kaimi, had trained her in the old legends and ways. But she had been forbidden to leave her home area by Kalani. (See Complete Synopsis of both acts below.)
OPERA IN TWO ACTS
MUSIC, BOOK, AND LIBRETTO BY DELTON LORENZO HUDSON
CHARACTERS OF THE TWO - ACT DRAMA
KOCHANI, Prince of the Anasazi. ………………………….Tenor
LEILANI, daughter of the Chief of the Eagle Tribes……...Soprano
LANCERAM, Chief Advisor and friend to Kochani……..Baritone
ZIRANCILLA, Grand Duchess of the Anasazi……………Soprano
JACIN, Hierophant of the Anasazi…………………………….Bass
KALANI, High Chief of the Eagle Tribes……………………..Bass
KAIMI, Shaman of the Eagle Tribes………………………Baritone
KEKIPI, Heir of Kalani, Suitor of Leilani……………………Tenor
WIKANYA, the tribal Heyokah (Clown)………………….Baritone
MEHE-WINYAN, wife of Kalani, mother of Leilani,..Mezzo-Sopr.
THREE GUARDIAN PRIESTESSES, Soprano 1,2, Alto. THREE ACOLYTES (BOYS) OF THE ORACLE, Soprano 1,2, Alto. TWO KACHINAS (SPIRITS), Tenor, Baritone. EAGLE TRIBE HIGH COUNCIL (SATB,Two voices on each part) and MEMBERS, (CHORUS SATB). ANASAZI COURT AND MEMBERS (CHORUS, SATB). WOMEN’S TEMPLE CHORUS, S1,2, Alto, (Divided into a Double Chorus ,S1,2, Alto at one point).
The Wild (Forbidden) Zone, near the ramparts of the Anasazi. It is late evening. Leilani,having stolen away from home against the orders of her father to try to find the Anasazi and seek their help in her Eagle Tribe’s crises, staggers onto the scene , being chased by Zirancilla. Leilani falls in exhuastion as Zirancilla exults at finding her. Aria: “There you are, you foolish woman.” But Kochani and Lanceram, on an evening stroll along their gates, hear the commotion and confront Zirancilla, disputing her right to harm Leilani for being in the Forbidden area. Overcome by their mighty words of power, she leaves, but vows to deal with them later. Kneeling beside Leilani, Kochani is mesmerized by her beauty, in spite or her wild hair, bruises and scratches, and wants to help her. Leilani tells him her name and that she is from the tribes and lost . Lanceram reminds him they are not supposed to have any overt contact with the tribal peoples, but as the sound of a Native American flute is heard, Leilani exclaims, my Shiwanni, (Guides), take me home! To the sound of jingling bells, two Kachinas, (spiritual beings) enter. “Swiftly from our Holy Peaks we fly to you!” They dance and sing. Duet: “From the silent forest we will come to answer you.” Singing “Take our hands, come with us, back to your Lodge.”, they levitate and fly away, holding Leilani in their arms. Twilight is fading and Lanceram urges Kochani to return to the fortress, but the Prince is enchanted by the vision of Leilani and wants to linger awhile. He knows by his stars he is destined to meet her again. Aria: “Her eyes in sunset’s fading glow yet brightened me with inner light.”
Scene: The chief village of the Eagle Tribe. About one month later. It is the season of the rising of the Great White Buffalo stars, when the tribe celebrates the Great Migration to Turtle Island. Leilani, Kalani, Kaimi the Shaman, and Mehe-Winyan,Leilani’s mother, prepare to lead the people in this event. But Leilani complains that all is not well, that there is nothing to celebrate. “Our plight is dangerous! Enemies on all sides! Famine and fighting!” She reiterates that they must find the Anasazi for help. Her mother reminds her that she could have perished already in that attempt, Kalani forbids her again to seek the Anasazi., and they enjoin her to help lead the event. Reluctantly, she joins them. Quartet: “Rejoice in our passage! Thanks be to Him who helps us from on High.”Awaiting the arrival of Kalani’s High Council, they discuss the old legends of the Ancient Ones, so powerful to help if it were willed. But Mehe-Winyan, of mostly Native descent, scoffs at the idea, calling it hogwash and says her Native American ancestors helped the new people. Kaimi argues that the Ancient Ones from the Lost lands came even before the tribes, able to fly through the air, and building the mysterious ruins. She answers that even in bygone times, those ruins were just places for scorpions to live in. Finally, the High Council arrives. Kalani scolds them for being late. They explain that they were detained by hearing the complaints of the people--shortage of food, villages being attacked, horses stolen, people sick and dying. Things are bad, “The tribes of the Eagles have fallen from the sky.“ Kalani replies that they have faced such things before. “We your faithful Council await your commands.” A guard announces the arrival of Kekipi, the young heir. Kekipi says he has just come from the battle with the enemy tribe; accusing the Warchief of leading badly. He demands to be made Warchief (Commander) in his stead. Kalani refuses, saying he must still prove himself, that, though courageous, he is too headstrong, not experienced. Kekipi, defies the High Council and Kalani. Aria: “My name is Kekipi, all men will know it.” He again tells Kalani to make him Warchief and to announce his engagement to Leilani in front of the whole tribe. Mehe-Winyan says they must all get on with the preparations for tomorrow’s event. Change of Scene: A small glade or meadow in the mountain foothills. Leilani and Kekipi are enjoying a picnic, and Kekipi strums his guitar. They sing about their beautiful land and the idyllic scene. Duet: “I love this fine life, along the mesas.” Animals and birds shyly appear to listen. Then they converse. Leilani: “You’re not exactly modest, are you?” Kekipi retorts: Why should I put myself down when I am going to be the new leader?” Leilani replies she hates war and they must seek help from the Prince. What Prince? Kekipi asks. Leilani then recounts how she lay fallen in the Wild Zone, and how the kind Prince Kochani and his companion found her, that she has since seen him in visions at night, and she must see him again. She knows also that he is seeing her in his dreams, as he lies tossing in his bed at night. Kekipi angrily reminds her they are engaged,but then brags that he too has a vision, of a mysterious woman, named Zirancilla. “She is a Grand Duchess or something of a mighty nation. She wields strange powers.” Kekipi continues that she was wrongfully displaced as a ruler, living in the Wild Zone, and has told him she will help him lead the Eagles to victory if Kalani fails him. Leilani remonstrates that he CAN trust her father. “If you want to fall for a a line like that from some Dream Woman, I feel sorry for you!”.
Scene: The “Town square”, or circular open area of the settlement. Act 1 Finale. The celebration commences with the Tribal Chorus: “Lead us! Kaimi and Kalani! “ Kaimi raises his hands in supplication: “ Hear us ,Great Mystery!”, this plea then repeated by the High Council.Leilani, Mehe-Winyan, Kaimi and Kalani Quartet: “We will now lead you”, answered antiphonally by the High Council. The Tribal Chorus sings then of how they celebrate the Great Journey, braving the ocean’s perils, guided to this land of Turtle Island by Those Above. But as Kaimi is beginning the Sacred Dance, the Heyokah Wakinyan interrupts with a loud “No!” “Things aren’t going too well for us, are they? Why don’t we try the ceremonies backwards? Let’s hope the High Ones like it better!”Shocked, Kaimi and the Tribal Chorus protest this sacrilege, but Wakinyan reminds them that he was made Holy and Heyokah on the high mountains in a lightning strike. Suddenly a commotion, the Warchief enters, wounded and staggering. All is lost, he reports. The battle is lost! My brave warriors scattered! Kekipi then confronts Kalani, saying this is it! Either I am to be made Warchief and Leilani’s Bridegroom or nothing! Kalani retorts, then be nothing! I could have helped you, Kekipi says. I have a powerful ally, a magical woman who could hurl thunderbolts against our enemies if I asked her to. Leilani laughs scornfully, that witchy-woman, a sorceress? The High Council mocks him-- what nonsense! Kekipi renounces the tribe, says he is leaving for the Forbidden Zone to join Zirancilla. “You’ll all be sorry that Kekipi is gone!” He leaves. The High Council says they have no time to worry about him, that their only hope now is to find the Anasazi and beg them to help. What if they are just an old legend ? Kalani questions. They exist, Kaimi assures them, I trust my visions! Leilani exclaims, we must ask the kind Prince to help us! The High Council asks Kalani to send a delegation to the Anasazi. Kaimi pleads: “Say the word, Kalani! We could go down into destruction!” A long, quiet moment, and Kalani reluctantly agrees. “So be it! It is done!” The Tribal Chorus concludes Act 1: “On through the Wild Zone! Where phantoms and winds moan…to find the Anasazi, to walk in marble Halls of Light…weary, yet proud, beneath Great Spirit’s Eagle wings we go!…”
Scene: An oratory or adytum, belonging to the main Anasazi temple, with starry representations of the Zodiac on the ceiling and walls. Jacin, the Anasazi Hierophant, and Lanceram are on stage. Jacin sings a Canticle to the Pleiades: “Hail, you seven sisters! Mystery in stellar deeps.” He complains that Kochani was not present for the Cancticle, nor were the three Priestesses. Lanceram tells him he is so preoccupied with ceremonies that he hasn’t noticed how the Prince is distracted these days with thoughts of a Native Princess. The three Guardian Priestesses enter,telling Jacin that they were late by reason of consulting signs and portents at the Prince’s command. They tell him that in the Temple the lights in the Crystal are forming the cryptogram of the Age’s End. “The end of our mission?” Lanceram asks. “Impossible” Jacin ejaculates.
“ Let us ask the Oracle Acolyte boys,” say the Priestesses, as the Three Acolytes enter and sing. Trio: “From Time’s misty halls…Futures dawning in Time’s flow, by the Oracle we may know.” The Priestesses sense outsiders approaching the Gates and ask the boys if it is that “ barbarian princess who bewitched our Prince” and some of her people approaching. Trio: “Yes, they come to seek our help.” Lanceram says “we must free the Prince from this obsession!” The boys:“ Lanceram, you may not alter Destiny’s plans that never falter!” Everyone looks into a large metallic scrying disk. They see strangers approaching the gates. Lanceram recognizes Leilani among the Eagle delegation. Priestesses: (Trio) “We see them approaching our palaces of light…we may not let a mortal pass who has not our esteem!” Kochani enters, distraught. He looks into the mirror. They see the following scene in its depths. The scene changes to the Wild Zone, in front of the Anasazi portal and walls. The Tribal Delegation, led by Leilani, Kaimi, and Wakinyan, enter, struggling, exhausted. Zirancilla and Kekipi enter suddenly. Zirancilla threatens the delegation, but the two Kachinas enter from the shadows to thwart her. Kachina Duet: “From the silent Forest… Our power ends here but our love goes with you, you are our people.” The delegation kneels before them as they dance among them, giving a blessing, and command the delegation to go and knock upon the doors of the Anasazi. They disappear. The delegation members knock and cry “help us! open your gates!” The scene changes back to the Adytum. Kochani sees Leilani in the disc and cries out, it is she! He commands Lanceram to go and order the guards to open the gates and let them in.
Scene Change: The Throne Room of the Anasazi. Lanceram argues against helping the tribe, telling the Prince that he is just infatuated with Leilani, but Kochani remains firm that they ,the Anasazi, are meant to be caretakers of the Earth and Agents of the High Ones, and that the tribesmen deserve their help. Jacin and the Priestesses enter, as Lanceram escorts the Tribal delegation into the room, as the theme of the Lament of the Eagles plays.”Behold the Eagles!” he announces to Kochani upon his throne. The Delegation Chorus then sings the Lament: “Prince of Legend, raise your starred scepter…help us in our plight…” Kochani steps down taking the kneeling Leilani’s hand in his and raising her up. He sings , “You need not kneel, my fair Leilani..” The Aria becomes a brief duet as she joins him near the end. But Jacin, Lanceram, and the Priestesses, in a Quintet , protest:” They must not enter our Temples of Light…” The Acolytes enter. They sing that the Oracle says help must be given, a new Cycle is starting. “Share the divine gifts.” The Court agrees that all should pay attention to what the boys say; Kochani says we will discuss helping later, but now wishes to meet some of the Delegation members. Kochani introduces him to Kaimi and the High Council. Kochani notices the Heyokah, saying “And who might you be, friend?” Wakinyan replies, “It not who I might be, Prince. I am--well, I’ll tell you--” Heyokah’s Song: “I am Heyokah…I do everything backwards…” The whole Court applauds. Jacin announces that if help were given, Leilani must be presented and accepted by the Great Energy in a Ceremony to be done tomorrow in the Temple. The Priestesses and Kochani agree.The Scene changes to a cave, the lair of Zirancilla ,high on a peak overlooking the Wild Zone. Zirancilla tells Kekipi she is worried; Leilani’s love for Kochani will add to his powers. Kekipi counters that she has nothing to worry about, but she tells him “You do not know what forces we’re dealing with!” Aria : “Behold my wild domain of pinyon, rock and rain!” Yet she vows that she and Kekipi will rule the Anasazi.
Time: The next day. Scene: The Anasazi Temple of the All, or Great Energy. Temple Chorus: “Enter our Temple, O brave Leilani!” She is advised to guard her feelings and thoughts; Jacin cautions her that the Power moves in a circle and that the Great Energy cannot be trifled with. The Chorus warns her to be true to her Soul, while the Priestesses also warn her that “Many before you came to us unprepared and perished!” Yet, “Help can be given to those who have striven, but first, a test must be given!…The Power you must valiantly win!” Yet they sing also, joined by Jacin and Kochani, of the joy of the One who lives in the dolphins, the sun, the meadowlark: the mystic splendor of the All-In-All. But Lanceram warns that the Ceremony is a dangerous business. All exeunt except Kochani and Leilani, who now must be alone to contemplate the gravity of what they are about to do, until the Acolytes enter to bless them. Leilani : “Hold me, Kochani! I have braved much, but now I’m trembling!” Embracing her, Kochani reassures her, that her intentions and heart have been purified by her trials, that she will be accepted. The Acolytes enter, singing to them a welcome to the Temple, and that no harm can befall her here, unless her thoughts are dark and loveless. “We pray the Light protect you…Our magic music keep you, power through its tones we send you!”. (Curtain) The orchestra plays a few bars of introduction, the curtain rises. Jacin, Kochani, Lanceram, Leilani and the Temple Attendants (Women’s Chorus) are onstage. Jacin invokes the “Portals of Power;”
The Chorus presents her, and Leilani vows to the All to keep the promises she has been charged with. The Double Chorus continues with instruction for her about Anasazi tradition: “When Earth Was Younger”.
Kochani tells Leilani the Old Land of M. lies beneath the waves now; the Chorus sings: “The sacred knowledge we bear, we pass to you!” Jacin and Kochani further instruct her about the Ceremony. Lanceram warns again about the risk, but Jacin retorts “ Everything we do always has its risks!” Members of the Court now enter, joining the Temple chorus to form the full Anasazi Chorus. The Acceptance begins; Leilani concentrates on letting the Power flow through her and seeing visions: “Symbols strange I see”. Chorus: Their message is meant for you.” Leilani sees “Marble cities shining in azure skies, in that ancient Elysium.” Lanceram exclaims to her “I warn you! You don’t know what Evil was there! I beg you, stop the ritual!” The Chorus rebukes him: “O Lanceram, shame Lanceram!” An aureole from the All begins to form in the Temple East, but lurid lights begin to flash, and rumbling sounds like distant thunder are heard. Priestesses: “We sense the Grand Duchess may be attempting to degrade the Crystal!” In Kochani’s hand, his sacred wand (scepter) feels icy cold, he exclaims. Leilani questions, “What is happening, I feel so strange!” The lights in the Temple dim; Jacin says ,“We must act quickly to protect the fading Energy!” An ominous quiet descends over the Temple. The Contrabasses play a fragment of a Zirancilla motif pianissimo, three foreboding Tympani notes, then the Horns (cuivre) blare out the motive and strings and winds rush upward in a long scale, the strange lights flare up as Zirancilla, with Kekipi, enters: (Zirancilla):“So, we meet again, Kochani!-- and sweet Leilani!” Kochani commands her to begone, but she replies that she will command him. Kekipi says “I am Kekipi. everyone knows me!”(An echo of his Aria in Act 1.) Zirancilla points her hands at Kochani; he staggers and drops the scepter , then lies prostrate as Leilani approaches him and kneels over him, saying, “Speak to me!” “He will not answer, foolish woman,” Zirancilla gloats, and orders everyone to kneel to her, that she is now their ruler, “The power of the Crystal is mine!” Chorus: “The Prince is silent…” Zirancilla attempts to seize the scepter, but Leilani warns her away, as Kekipi says “Let her have it, Leilani, don’t try to defy her!” The Chorus also warns her not to touch it--it could be death for her. But Leilani now holds the Scepter up high and stands facing Zirancilla and Kekipi.
“Begone! Begone!” she commands them, “ In the name of Kochani and with the power of our Love!” They stagger back from her. Leilani, protected by her power circle, again kneels by Kochani, fast reviving in her arms, but Zirancilla and Kekipi regain strength and advance toward Leilani . Kochani, with suddenly restored strength, stands and joins Leilani in placing his hands upon the Wand/Scepter: “Let both our hands wield the Power together, Leilani!” They advance toward Zirancilla and Kekipi, who retreat cringingly before them as they intone: “We send you, we send you--to the Nether regions!” Zirancilla and Kekipi vanish into a fiery cloud, with smoke and thunder. As the flames and thunder die away, the Orchestra plays softly a motive of Zirancilla and one of Kekipi, then forte ma lachrymose chords, in a minor key, derived from the Anasazi theme from the Opera’s introduction. (An expression of two fallen beings.) The Priestesses sing joyously that Darkness has been put to flight, The Prince is freed from evil and around Leilani the aureole has descended; she has been accepted by the Power. Jacin announces to” Leilani: “By our transcendent means we have a surprise!” Her father and mother appear for a happy reunion with her and the Tribal Delegation. Kochani promises that the Eagles and the Anasazi will work to heal the Earth and harmonize Nature’s kingdoms. Jacin joins Leilani and Kochani with a chain wound around their wrists:“ With this chain of pure gold I bind you.” Kaimi then waves a sacred eagle-feathers fan around and over them: “With the eagle’s feather I bless you.” Then Jacin, Kaimi, and even a convinced Lanceram sing together: “ May the All keep you forever!” Leilani and Kochani: “May the All keep us forever!” Jacin announces to the whole assembly: “Come, let us sing a New Song, let the Universe hear!” The Anasazi Chorus and all onstage join in a triumphant chorale:“Happy together, lead our way, Kochani and Leilalani!"
|Part names||Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn(2), Trumpet, Trombone(2), Timpani, Voice, Strings(5)|
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