Abigail! for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble of Flute, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/ Bassoon, Harp, Violin, Viola and Cello
I. Miss Adorable
II. Lady Adams
III. Remember the Ladies
IV. My Heart is Light
Abigail Smith Adams inherited New England’s strongest traditions, and what she lacked in formal education her keen intelligence and curiosity molded her into a formidable woman: farm manager, financial manager, letter writer, political advisor, diplomatic wife and First Lady. Her letters to John Adams, pungent, colorful and witty detail her life in times of the American Revolution. As an intellectually open-minded woman of her day, Abigail’s ideas on women’s rights, education, equal rights, and the government would eventually play a role in the founding of the United States. Her marriage to John was a marriage of the mind and of the heart, lasting more than half a century, deeply enriched by time.
I. Miss Adorable – The lyrics for Abigail are taken from the letters that Abigail and John wrote to each other in 1762. John Adams called his Abigail, Miss Adorable, and the first movement tries to capture the effervescence and the dreams and hopes of young love.
II. Lady Adams – In 1776, Abigail wrote to John, “But if we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.” Lady Adams tells Abigail’s views on education.
III. Remember the Ladies – In Remember the Ladies, Abigail expresses her hope for equal treatment of women. In letters to John in 1776, she writes him, “For, if man is Lord, woman is Lordess.”
My Heart is Light – In My Heart is Light at the end of her life, Abigail tells John that she is sorry that she must leave her “dearest friend” and “please remember me with tenderest affection.”