The Evolution of Wuthering Heights

Carlisle Floyd discusses the evolution of his Wuthering Heights Opera with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“‘Phyllis Curtin, who later did Catherine in the original production and was in the 'Susannah' premiere as well, came to me and asked me to write an aria for her, a request I was happy to accept,’ Floyd said, explaining that this was in the mid-1950s and that she was working on a Town Hall recital program and wanted a new piece for that concert. ‘Well, I began to rack my brain as to what I might write for her,’ he said. He said a friend of his had told him that quite a few women auditioning for theater roles in those days were using Catherine's monologue from ‘Wuthering Heights,’ in which she tries to convince Isabella not to marry Heathcliff. An idea was born. ‘I set about setting the monologue for her and she performed it at Town Hall," he said. "It was very successful.’ It was so successful, he said, that the general directors of several opera companies came backstage after the performance and wanted to know about the rest of the opera. He had to tell them there was no ‘rest of the opera.’…”

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