Miss Havisham's Fire is an opera in 2 acts by composer Dominick Argento with an English language libretto by John Olon-Scrymgeour. The work is loosely based on Charles Dickens' 1861 novel Great Expectations , and centers on an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Aurelia Havisham. Commissioned by the New York City Opera, the work premiered on March 22, 1979, at the David H. Koch Theater at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan. 
Miss Havisham's Fire was initially intended to be a farewell vehicle for soprano Beverly Sills, but she pulled out of the project due to illness and was replaced by Rita Shane. The opera received negative to mixed reviews in the press at its premiere and was not mounted again for more than 20 years. Argento revised it into a one-act monodrama entitled Miss Havisham's Wedding Night which Minnesota Opera premiered on May 1, 1981, at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, conducted by Philip Brunelle.  It was performed under the baton of Gil Rose at Carnegie Hall on November 9, 2017, in a concert by New York City Opera celebrating the composer's 90th birthday. 
In 2001 the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis revived the work in a new version by Argento that shortened the opera by more than an hour and made improvements to the work's dramatic structure. This production received a much more positive response from the press.  
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast, 22 March 1979  |
(Conductor: Julius Rudel)
|Aurelia Havisham, an elderly recluse||soprano||Rita Shane|
|Estella Drummle, as a woman of 1859–60||mezzo-soprano||Susanne Marsee|
|Phillip Pirrip, as a man of 1859–60||baritone||Alan Titus|
|Grace-Helen Broome, as the former governess to Miss Havisham||mezzo-soprano||Elaine Bonazzi|
|Old Orlick, caretaker at Satis House||bass||Paul Ukena|
|Young Aurelia Havisham||soprano||Gianna Rolandi|
|Young Estella Drummle, adopted daughter of Miss Havisham||treble||Lorna Wallach|
|Young Phillip Pirrip (Pip), as a poor boy of 1846–8||boy soprano||Robert Sapolsky|
|Young Grace-Helen Broome, governess to Miss Havisham||soprano||Martha Sheil|
|Young Orlick||bass||James Brewer|
|Jaggers, Miss Havisham's solicitor||bass||Richard Cross|
|Bentley Drummle, man about town||tenor||John Lankston|
|The Examiner, officiating at the inquest||bass-baritone||Ralph Bassett|
|Sarah Pocket, relative of Miss Havisham||contralto||RoseMarie Freni|
|Camilla Pocket, relative of Miss Havisham||soprano||Martha Thigpen|
|Raymond Pocket, relative of Miss Havisham||tenor||Jonathan Green|
|Pumblechook, Uncle to Pip||spoken role||William Ledbetter|
|First maid||silent role||Gwenlynn Little|
|Second maid||silent role||Eunice Hill|
|Chorus: guests at the Assembly Ball and servants|
Carlisle Sessions Floyd was an American composer primarily known for his operas. These stage works, for which he wrote the librettos, typically engage with themes from the American South, particularly the Post-civil war South, the Great Depression and rural life. His best known opera, Susannah, is based on a story from the Biblical Apocrypha, transferred to contemporary rural Tennessee, and written for a Southern dialect. It was premiered at Florida State University in 1955, with Phyllis Curtin in the title role. When it was staged at the New York City Opera the following year, the reception was initially mixed; some considered it a masterpiece, while others degraded it as a 'folk opera'. Subsequent performances led to an increase in Susannah's reputation and the opera quickly became among the most performed of American operas.
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