Our Eden Here is Love — Hester and Arthur Dimmesdale’s love duet

2008 , Revised 2016 | soprano/tenor/piano.

From The Scarlet Letter. Libretto by David Mason (b.1954).

In Act Two, Scene One of The Scarlet Letter, Hester wanders into the forest outside Boston, knowing she might run into her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale. For years the two have kept their love secret, allowing Arthur to remain a Minister in their community, and Hester has borne the guilt for their adultery alone. Now that their guilt secret is in danger of being revealed, neither of them seems willing to live any more with the lie. Meeting in the forest, far from the laws and strictures of their society, they feel a sudden release, as if freedom from guilt were possible and they might actually live as they choose. This is the soaring climax of all hope in the opera, later to be crushed and realities and doubts come crashing down on them both. — David Mason.

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