February 20, 2018

Hagar’s Aria (1989)

Purchase Score (part of a compilation)
(Click on title for lyrics/audio)

Hagar’s Aria 3’30”
(Recording: Erie Mills, soprano; Henry Mollicone, piano)

Excerpt from the opera “Hotel Eden“, for soprano and piano
Level: medium, 3’30”

Program Notes:

This piece is sung by the biblical character Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, who was fathered by Abraham; it is about the conflict that develops between her and Abraham’s wife Sarah.

—Henry Mollicone


“Mollicone…is a well-bred eclectic. He can write simple love melodies. He can interpolate hard-pop…and sticky-rock diversions. He can toy with show-biz routines as well as old-fashioned operatic procedures. He scores nicely for a tiny chamber orchestra, deftly for the voice.”

LOS ANGELES TIMES – Martin Bernheimer

Hagar’s Aria

When they thought with despair that her womb would be bare,
Abraham came to visit me.
He just wept – I consoled.
If the truth must be told,
he then made love to me.
He was sad and contrite for what happened that night,
but from all that I hear, it was Sara’s idea.
the whole thing was Sara’s idea.
When Ishmael was born I looked into his eyes,
it was the greatest gift of all.
So proud to bear the only son of Abraham,
but from all that I heard Sara said not a word
and she treated me coldly,
like our act was a crime. Was our coupling a crime?
She treated me coldly.
I felt joy, not despair. I had born him an heir,
and from all that I hear it was Sara’s idea,
the whole thing was Sara’s idea.
When Ishmael was born, I held him in my arms,
it was the greatest joy of all!
So proud to bear the only son of Abraham.
So proud they honored me to bear their only son!
The only son of Abraham!
The only son.

Libretto by Judith Fein

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