Moore's "soap opera" combines a sharp parody of a soap opera, complete with commercial interruptions, with seriously good music by Moore; a highly recommended one-act from one of America's foremost twentieth-century opera composers.
Cast of Characters
The opera begins with the Announcer presenting a commercial for Lochinvar Soap, sponsor of the 'soap opera' Gallantry. The opera begins in a hospital hallway, where eminent surgeon Doctor Gregg declares his love for anesthetist Lola Markham. Lola, although she admires Doctor Gregg as a physician, is already engaged to Donald Hopewell. When Doctor Gregg tries to kiss her, she slaps him. As they prepare for an operation, the Announcer interrupts with a commercial for Billy Boy Wax, "the waxy wax that spells relax."
In the operating room, Lola realizes that the patient is her fiancee, Donald. A chance remark by Donald reveals that Doctor Gregg is married; after she anesthetizes Donald, Lola confronts the doctor and threatens to expose him; she prevents him from stabbing the helpless Donald with his scalpel, and he chases her out. Donald awakes alone; as Lola returns and warns him about the doctor, the Announcer comes out with a closing commercial for Lochinvar; as Lola and Donald sing of their love for each other, Doctor Gregg and the Announcer extoll the virtues of Lochinvar Soap and Billy Boy Wax.