The Yellow Wallpaper
A Chamber Opera in 2 Acts

Composer: Perera, Ronald

  • 80500620

Publication Type

Study Score


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The Yellow Wallpaper is based on a Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story that was first published in New England Magazine in 1892. Set in a New England summer house in 1899, it describes the fate of Charlotte, a young wife and mother suffering from postpartum depression whose treatment — strict bed rest and a total absence of mental stimulation — leads to her emotional and intellectual decline. A contemporary tonal score with folk inflections.


Nell, a young girl, Realtor’s daughter (Soprano)
Emily, a young girl, Realtor’s daughter (Soprano)
Ed, an older workman (Bass)
Len, a younger workman (Tenor)
Realtor, a widower, father of Nell and Emily (Tenor)
John, a doctor, married to Charlotte (Baritone)
Jennie, John’s sister (soprano)
Charlotte, married to John, has “neurasthenia” (Soprano)
Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, historical figure (Male voice)
Woman in the Wall (Soprano)
Mary, Ed’s wife, the baby’s nurse (contralto)
Women’s chorus (SSA, at least 6-9 singers)
Drunken clarinettist (male)

Instrumentation: 1(afl,picc), 1, 1(1), 1; 1100; perc, hp. pno/cel; stgs
Duration: 105’
Composed: 1989
Published by: Pear Tree Press Music Publishers

Performance materials available on rental: Subito Music Rental Library via Zinfonia
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