Improvement (Don Leaves Linda)

Robert Ashley

Gelsey Bell, Amirtha Kidambi, Brian McCorkle, Paul Pinto, Dave Ruder and Aliza Simons.
Music Director: Tom Hamilton.

Like John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) is an allegory for an individual’s self-realization. The opera takes its imagery from the history of the Jews – beginning with their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and ending 500 years later in the United States.

Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) was first conceived as a recording for Nonesuch Records (1991). Very quickly, Ashley followed with three other operas, making up a quartet or tetralogy under the name Now Eleanor’s Idea. The original ensemble/cast members were: Jacqueline Humbert (Linda), Thomas Buckner (Don, Mr. Payne, Linda’s Companion), Sam Ashley (Junior, Jr.), Joan La Barbara (Now Eleanor and Narrator II), Amy X Neuburg (Mr. Payne’s Mother), Adam Klein and Marghreta Cordero (The Doctor), and Robert Ashley (Narrator I).

The orchestra, composed in 1991 by Robert Ashley with Tom Hamilton, was reconstructed for this new production by Tom Hamilton.

Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) was presented by the Kitchen, February 7 through 16, 2019.
Live Sound and Processing: Tom Hamilton
Stage and Light Design: David Moodey
Stage Manager: Annie Arthur
Directorial Consultant: Rosemary Quinn
Producer: Mimi Johnson

Recorded by Eric Sherman and Tom Hamilton.
Mixed by Tom Hamilton.

Disc 1:

1. The Argument (Prelude)
2. Sunset at the Turnoff (Scene 1)
3. The Airline Ticket Counter (Scene 2)
4. The Correspondences Text (Scene 3)
5. The Ride to Town (Scene 4)
6. The Airline Ticket Counter (Scene 5)
7. The Indifference Text (Scene 6)
8. Back Home...(Scene 7)
9. Mr. George Payne (Scene 8)
10. The Contents of Her Purse (Scene 9)
11. Supper with Mr. Payne's Mother (Scene 10)
12. Golf Left-Handed (Scene 11)
13. A Moment (Very Late)...(Scene 12)

Total time: 44:11

Disc 2:

1. The Big City (Scene 13)
2. The Doctor (Scene 14)
3. The Good Life (Scene 15)
4. Trouble (Scene 16)
5. A Place In the Country (Scene 17)
6. Happiness, Prosperity and Forgetfulness (Scene 18)
7. The Bridge Game (Scene 19)
8. North (Berlin/A Tango) (Scene 20)
9. East (River Rouge) (Scene 21)
10. South (Campo Dei Fiori, Rome) (Scene 22)
11. West (Atlantis) (Scene 23)

Total Time: 44:19

CD 5002 (2 CDs)
Lovely Price: $30.00