Emmeline | 1996
Performance of composer Tobias Picker's first opera, "Emmeline," based on a true story and later a novel by Judith Rossner. In pre-Civil War Maine, the 13-year-old Emmeline Mosher is sent from her home on a farm in Fayette to earn sorely needed money for her family in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts. She is seduced, becomes pregnant, and flees in shame. Emmeline gives up her baby for adoption and, back in Fayette, lives alone for years. Eventually, she meets a younger man, Matthew Gurney, whom she marries, only later to find out that he is her son. Disgusted, he abandons her, and she lives on in profound disgrace, shunned and more alone than ever.