Paperback / softback
October 9, 2009
n/a unless you wish an author photo bw photos, n/a color photos, n/a line drawings, n/a maps, n/a tables
8.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.4 Pounds (US)
$20.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
August 14, 2015
8.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.68 Pounds (US)
$95.00 USD
v2.1 Reference


The Libretto

In the new opera Amelia, a first time mother-to-be, whose psyche has been scarred by the loss of her pilot father in Vietnam, must break free from anxiety to embrace healing and renewal for the sake of her husband and child. Set against a thirty-year period from the 1960s to the 1990s, the story interweaves one woman’s emotional journey, the American experience in Vietnam, and elements of myth and history to explore our fascination with flight and the dilemmas that arise when vehicles of flight are used for exploration, adventure, and war. This is an intensely personal libretto by American poet Gardner McFall, whose father was a Navy pilot who served in Vietnam and was lost in the Pacific. It moves from loss to recuperation, paralysis to flight, as the protagonist, Amelia, ultimately embraces her life and the creative force of love and family.

Watch the book trailer:

About the Author

Librettist Gardner McFall is the author of two volumes of poetry, The Pilot’s Daughter and Russian Tortoise, as well as two children’s books. She lives in New York and teaches at Hunter College.


"The characters quote literature and repeatedly quote each other in a libretto rich in allusion, metaphors, dreams and magical realism. These extra dimensions give poetry and depth to a story that, stripped of them, might have been just another sentimental tear-jerker centered on a fragile woman. The complexity is potentially confusing, but McFall and Wadsworth achieved admirable clarity…."—Opera News

"It is a credit to Ms. McFall's poetic yet direct language and Mr. Hagen's expressive, basically tonal music that this psychological, metaphorical and theatrical layering works so well…. Everything about 'Amelia' seems to have been tailored exactly for it, thus powerfully communicating its message and its modernity in an engaging theatrical event."—Wall Street Journal

"This is an opera of riveting dramatic and musical strength, proudly American yet rising above jingoism, profoundly personal yet universal in context…. Whether this in the masterly new American opera we have long been waiting for is a question best left to the future. For now, it stands as an achievement at once profound and hugely enjoyable."—Seattle Times


"By treating the plight of one woman who underwent a great loss as a little girl and who, now pregnant, is determined to break what she feels is a cycle of destruction, Gardner McFall taps into elemental feelings. . . . In 2010, when Amelia receives its premiere at Seattle Opera, the full meaning of Gardner McFall’s extraordinary words will become clear."—Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera, from the foreword
University of Washington Press

9780295989396 : amelia-mcfall
Paperback / softback
128 Pages
$20.00 USD
9780295996790 : amelia-mcfall
112 Pages
$95.00 USD

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