August 8, 2016

The Little Garden

Live performance by Joy Jan Jones with pianist Chris Berg, Barbes, Brooklyn, NY August 5, 2016.

Based on an excerpt from the The Diary of a Lost Girl (1905) by Margarete Böhme, The Little Garden tells the story of a prostitute who finds herself in an unusual position — negotiating with an old, worn out aristocrat who lacks the financial means to afford her companionship. With a libretto by Elizabeth Byrne, this quirky opera features dancing, displays of male bravura, and ends with an unexpected acquisition by our clever and enterprising leading lady, all in about ten-minutes.

In its time, The Diary of a Lost Girl was a literary sensation, and a bestseller. The book was translated into 14 languages; turned into a play, silent movies; then banned and destroyed by the Nazis. When first published, many believed it to be a genuine diary, and the true-life story of Thymian, a young lady forced into a life of prostitution, and Böhme only its editor.

The Little Garden is the first of three unique opera shorts drawn from Böhme’s tale.

  • for mezzo soprano & baritone, piano
  • duration 15-minutes