The opera unfolds in the mind of a research geneticist battling addiction as he and his fiance attend a screening of the 1920 Paramount public domain movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore in a second-run movie house. He imagines that he is Dr. Jekyll, that his fiance is Millicent Carew, his dean is Sir George Carew, and so forth.
Duration: 1 act / 100 mins.
Each onstage singer is double cast as an onscreen character.
ON THE SCREEN
Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde
Sir George Carew
Millicent Carew, Sir George’s daughter
Dr. Richard Lanyon
Gina, an Italian exotic dancer
Music Hall Proprietor
IN THE THEATER
Dr. Allanson Lee, a research geneticist (tenor)
George Larue, his dean (bass)
Beatrice Larue, La Rue’s daughter (soprano)
Dr. William Rhoads (baritone)
Teddy Winfield, a graduate student (tenor)
Tina, a graduate student (mezzo-soprano)
Movie Theater Manager (baritone)
Large Version (44 players)
Chamber Version (34 players)
THE FILM SCORE
The instrumental score of The Passion of Jekyll and Hyde functions (when voices are removed) as a score to the 1920 Paramount film. Documentary filmmaker H. Paul Moon has created a superb film that captures the interpaly of film and live performance which can be viewed below.
For more information about the documentary, click here.
For more information about the original 1920 film click here.