The Making of Americans
a radio opera after the novel by Gertrude Stein
music and libretto by Anthony Gatto
Rachel Calloway, Anna Dagmar, Elizabeth Munn, Pamela Stein, sopranos;
David Echelard, countertenor; Michael Mueller, tenor; Bradley Greenwald, baritone;
JACK String Quartet, Zeitgeist Ensemble, David Pinkard, conductor
Produced and edited by Anthony Gatto, based on 2019 revisions to the score
Mixed by Christopher Botta and Anthony Gatto
PART I. Stories of the Progress of American Families (Opening Montage)
1. What is a normal American? (Gertrude Stein)
Some men do wrong. (Julia Dehning and her mother)
I will throw the umbrella in the mud. (Martha Hersland as a child)
Repeating Is what I am loving. (Martha Hersland as an adolescent)
I like loving. Sometimes. (Julia Dehning, newlywed)
Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own
orchard. “Stop!” cried the groaning old man at last, “Stop! I did not drag
my father beyond this tree.” (Chorus)
2. Family living can be existing... (Gertrude Stein)
Repeating is the whole of living and by repeating comes understanding.
3. Ballet of Repetitions: In every one their being and their feeling and their
way of realizing everything and every one comes out of them in
repeating. (Gertrude Stein)
Every one who ever was or is or will be living sometime will be fully
realized by some one.
PART II. The Marriage and Divorce of Julia Dehning and Alfred Hersland
& Martha Hersland Episodes
4. David Hersland’s Song for Julia concerning her marriage to Alfred.
Julia and her Mother make wedding preparations; Gertrude Stein tells a
story about the groom.
Each kind of them has in them their own way of eating or drinking or
loving… (Alfred Hersland, groom)
Resisting is like attacking, often as I am saying. (Julia Dehning, bride)
5. Once an angry man dragged his father… (Choral reprise)
Repeating is what I am loving. (Martha Hersland, wife)
Every one is a brute…everyone has sensitiveness. She had no understanding in desiring. (Martha Hersland, divorcee)
6. I like loving, sometimes. (Julia Dehning, wife)
This is something that is happening: I am just seeing sitting, standing,
running… (Alfred Hersland, husband)
Is it vanity or the bitter feeling (Julia Dehning, wife)
Young being being no longer in them. (Alfred Hersland, divorced)
This is then one thing (Julia Dehning, divorced)
He was as he had always been (Julia Dehning, divorced)
PART III. The Funeral of David Hersland
7. If any one is sad enough (David Hersland, deceased)
This is a description of David Hersland: I, of being, and listening…
8. Sharp knives and sharp scissors (Old Man)
Not many are knowing angry feeling in them (David Hersland)
9. Some were very pleased (Relatives at the funeral)
Some did not believe (Alfred Hersland)
When he was a young one (Old Man)
10. Changing is existing. (David Hersland)
Being living every day. (Relatives at the funeral)
Eating one thing is a way of living for some. (David Hersland)
11. He was not one who had been one fighting. (David Hersland)
Some were not certain (Chorus)
PART IV. History of a Family’s Progress (Gertrude Stein and chorus)
12. Family living can go on existing.
13. Any one has come to be a dead one. (Chorus entry)
Any one has not come to be such a one to be a dead one.
Family living can go on existing. (Gertrude Stein)
14. Some are not believing... (Chorus)
No, not every one is doing something that any family living is needing.
Very many are remembering this thing that family living can go on
Any family living can be one being existing and some can remember s
something of some such thing.