Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


School of Music


Music Performance

First Advisor

E. Jacob Will


Carlisle Floyd's single grand opera, The Passion of Jonathan Wade, premiered in 1962 in New York City only to be placed on a shelf for the next twenty-eight years to collect dust. In 1990, David Gockley at Houston Grand Opera commissioned a revival of the work, prompting Floyd to write eighty percent new music and libretto. The two versions are similar in plot but are set very different musically.

This document examines the composer, a historical background of the American landscape at the time of each premiere, and a brief analytical examination of The Passion of Jonathan Wade in both published versions of 1962 and 1991. This comparison includes an analysis of the story, including the historical contexts in which the operas were written. Special attention is given to Act II, Scene 2, which serves as the turning point for the opera.


© 2014, Joshua R. Wentz

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