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Write Your Own Opera!!

2013 Write Your Own Opera! Contest winning story

The Magic of the Golden Hair by Sarah Livingston
Sarah is now a fifth grader at Sedgefield Elementary School. Congratulations, Sarah!

The Magic of the Golden Hair
By Sarah Livingston
Fourth Grader at Sedgefield Elementary School
Beth McSorley, Teacher of the Academically Gifted, Sedgefield Elementary School
Stephanie Bartis, Music Specialist, Sedgefield Elementary

Adapted into the opera, The Magic of the Golden Hair by the following:
Libretto by: David Holley, Artistic Director, Greensboro Opera and UNCG Director of Opera
Music by: Alejandro Rutty, Associate Professor of Music, UNCG

Long ago, there were two best friends, Melathena and Parison. Melathena was a mortal who was kind to everyone she met and who was always singing in the most entrancing voice anyone, mortal or immortal, had ever heard! She had three younger sisters who would constantly beg her to sing to them! As she sang, the sisters danced and laughed with happiness as their parents watched with pride and joy. Even though they lived in a dumpy old cottage and wore ragged clothing, their hearts were filled with love and contentment. Parison was the goddess of beauty, but Melathena never knew it because Parison wanted Melathena to think she was just another human. To hide her secret, Parison would disguise herself when she came down to Earth so that she would look plain and ordinary with no special features of the gods to give her away. She loved visiting Melathena on Earth, even though she actually lived in an elaborate castle with her father, Zillon, in a kingdom up in the sky called "Bello", where all the gods and goddesses lived. There, she had everything she could ever want, except that she had no one but her father to keep her company.

When Melathena's 16th birthday came, Parison wanted to give her friend something extra special. After all, it wasn't fair that the gods and goddesses lived with tremendous beauty while all of the humans were plain and ordinary. Melathena was always complaining about how ugly she thought the humans' painfully short, dull - colored hair was and that she wanted long golden hair like the goddesses! So that night, Parison disobeyed her father's rules and snuck down to Earth! She crept into Melathena's bedroom and transformed Melathena's hair into long, golden locks while she slept! Parison gasped as she saw it glimmering in the moonlight! Even though she had also broken one of the many rules of the gods, that it is forbidden to give gifts to mortals, she was delighted with what she'd done and she flew home to Bello. But when she arrived, she was met with a furious glare from her father! He had seen what she had done and he punished her by forbidding her to ever see Melathena again!

In her despair, poor Parison watched Melathena from the clouds every day. She listened as Melathena's once joyful harmonies gradually became dark and full of discord. Even though Melathena had the hair of her dreams, she was terribly lonely and broken-hearted without her dear friend. She couldn't understand why she had abandoned her! Seeing her friend like this also caused Parison to become sad and depressed. Even her busy father noticed the change in her.

Several weeks went by and on one particularly sunny day, Melathena didn't come outside. Parison thought that was strange, but decided to check again the next day. The next day came, and then the next and the next, but there was no sign of Melathena! Parison became very worried! What could have happened to her? So despite the consequences she would have to face, Parison decided to sneak down to Melathena's cottage once again. When she arrived, she heard through the window the sound of people crying! She quickly discovered it was Melathena's family! She knocked on the door to ask what was wrong. When one of the sisters answered it she screamed, "It's Parison! She's here!"

The family jumped up and gathered around her. "Where have you been? Why did you stop coming to see Melathena?" they all exclaimed. "She left home days ago to search for you and she never came back! Something terrible must have happened!"

Parison knew this was all her fault, so she set out to find her. When she went to the village, the townspeople said that Melathena had been kidnapped by the evil sorcerous, Prunella, because she was jealous of Melathena's beautiful, golden hair and wanted it for her own! But even worse, she was also going to kill her after cutting off her locks so that she would be the only human with the hair of a goddess!

Frantically, Parison raced through the forest where Prunella was known to dwell, but she had no idea which direction to go! She stumbled around aimlessly until she heard a sound. She strained her ears to listen until she heard the faint melody of Melathena's songs! What luck! She raced in the direction the voice came from and it became louder and clearer! Finally, she could see Melathena's beautiful new hair gleaming in the sunlight! She raced up behind her and threw her arms around her! But to her horror, it wasn't Melathena! It was Prunella! Prunella grasped Parison by the neck and shrieked, "Foolish girl! I knew you'd come after Melathena! I've got you now and you will transform me into the most beautiful woman on Earth and Bello!"

"I will never do that! You are far too wicked and even I couldn't make you beautiful!"

Before Parison knew what had happened, she was stuffed into the same cage where Melathena sat, hunched up, nearly bald, and singing!

"I've found you, thanks to your beautiful voice! I knew it was you singing because no one else could sound so lovely!" Parison exclaimed.

Melathena cried, "Parison, I'm so happy that you found me! But how are we going to get away?"

"I have to confess to you. I am a goddess! I gave you the hair that has caused you so much grief! I wanted to make you happy! Now I can't even get us out of here because my powers aren't fully developed and I'm no match for Prunella!" Together, the girls began to wail in misery!

By now, Zillon had set out to find his daughter and being a god, he could hear her cries as soon as he reached Earth. No sooner had he landed, than he arrived at Prunella's campsite in the woods.

"Release my daughter and her friend!" Zillon commanded. Prunella shrank with fear. Before she could even fight back, Zillon used his powers to unlock the cell and banish Prunella to the Underworld! "See how the Lord of the Dead likes your beautiful hair!"

"Oh thank you!" Melathena exclaimed. "Please take this cursed hair from me! I don't want it if it's going to keep me from my friends and family!"

"Child, dear friend of my precious Parison, please keep it as a symbol of my gratitude for you making my daughter so happy that she cannot stay away from Earth. And so that it never causes you trouble again, I decree that mortals can have any type of hair they desire, as long as they act kindly toward one another!"

And so it was. From that day on, mortals were allowed to choose their hair and Earth became a more beautiful place because it was filled with people with different colors, lengths, and textures of hair. Parison spent many happy hours with Melathena and her sisters making up crazy hairstyles and colors for their lovely locks!

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