An Examination of Robert Beadell’s (1925 - 1994) Four Major Works for the Lyric Stage

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Robert M. Beadell (1925-1994) modestly referred to himself as a “neoclassic eclectic composer” and an “obscure regional composer”, yet these appellations do not begin to describe the importance of his contribution to twentieth century American music. The four music drams which are the subject of this study are each very different in their size and scope, yet all bear the unmistakable stamp of Beadell’s unique blend of music and drama. This book intends to show that the four music dramas are unique examples of American opera and should have the opportunity to be examined for their musicological and dramatic worth so that American opera directors and impresarios can decide if they should be included as definitive examples of American opera.


“The primary focus of this book [is] a succinct analysis of Beadell’s four operas….Dr. Root presents here a learned yet clear picture of Beadell’s compositional traits and defends his work as truly American and worthy of a place among the great American composers of the 20th century… of the most helpful and impressive aspects of this book is Dr. Root’s use of over 100 music examples to show Beadell’s style and acquaint the reader intimately with his operas…..[an] articulate, readable, and learned contribution, providing useful and practical insights into the music of Robert Beadell, a truly worthy American composer.” – Dr. Carl Gerbrandt, Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Theatre, University of Northern Colorado

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
List of Tables and Music Examples
1. Introduction
2. Biographical Data and Source Review
3. The Sweetwater Affair
4. Napoleon
5. The Number of Fools
6. Out to the Wind
7. Stylistic Analysis of The Number of Fools
8. Conclusions

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