A “Narcissa” opera?

mary carr moore

(Image credit: Calisphere)

We’ve read about one opera — well, actually, a lighter operetta — that’s largely in Chinook Jargon…

..now I’m wondering if there’s another.

While living in Seattle, Mary Carr Moore (1873-1957), a respected composer in her time, wrote “Narcissa“, a.k.a. “The Cost of Empire” (1912), about Narcissa Whitman and the Indian killing of her missionary family. The Whitmans and the local Native people spoke the Jargon, so you have to wonder…

I haven’t yet managed a research trip to a local university library where the microfilmed score of this four-act grand opera tragedy resides.

Could it be that Chinuk Wawa and classical music were a match just waiting to happen?

Stay tuned.

What do you think?

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