for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, chorus and orchestra
Commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Lee and Brenda Freeman Foundation
premeried June 6, 1986 at Cahn Auditorium
An opera in two acts based on the Bywater-Thompson murder trial in the 1920’s. The premiere production, premiered by the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Center for American Artists, was directed by Frank Galati who also served as librettist.
The world premiere of “The Guilt of Lillian Sloan,” the first product of the Lyric Opera’s composer-in-residence program, proved to be a powerful and effective piece of music and theater in its performance at Cahn Auditorum in Evanston Friday. Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Tribune.
If you take the view that a theatrical experience must be evaluated in its totality, the effect here was that of a tightly unified, fast moving and intensely dramatic story of a crime of passion based on an actual British murder case of some 60 years ago. The libretto, credited to the composer William Neil and Frank Galati,is a strong book. a sturdy foundation for the action. The score consistently illuminated and instensified the words, and the cumulative effect in this staging, directed by Galati, was one of the significant talents significantly employed. Robert C. Marsh, Chicago Sun Times
Audio from the premiere
Lillian and Owen Duet