Paul Bunyan


by Benjamin Britten

Operetta in 2 acts, based on the story of the American folkhero Paul Bunyan
2(II=picc).1.2(II=asax).bcl.1 - 2221 - timp(=susp.cym)- perc(1): susp.cym/tgl/SD/TD/glsp/gong/BD+cym/cyms/wdbl/xyl/tamb/vib - pno(=cel) - harp - strings on stage vln.gtr.db
Singer Text
Voice of Paul Bunyan(spoken),Johnny Inkslinger(T),HotBiscuit Slim(T),Sam Sharkey(T),Ben Benny(B),Hel Helson(Bar)
English, German
First Performance
5.5.41, Brander Matthews Hall, New York. First performance (revised edition): 4.6.76, Aldeburgh Festival, The Maltings, Snape:English Music Theatre/Steuart Bedford
Full score 50680 1, vocal score (eng) 50538 4, chorus part 50610 0, libretto 51938 5 on sale, parts for hire. Material for alternative version scored for two pianos and percussion (David Matthews) for hire.

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News & Reviews

‘Paul Bunyan’ receives due recognition...

Paul Bunyan is probably the closest Britten ever came to writing a musical. Musically charming and dreamlike, this remarkable collaboration with the poet W.H. Auden recreates the great myth of the American frontier – peopled by a giant, an accountant, singing geese and lumberjacks. Read more

'Paul Bunyan' reviews

‘It is a marvelous libretto … and his brilliance was matched by Britten’s music, which absorbed the idioms of Gershwin, Cole Porter, Western country music and of Kurt Weill. The resulting score is dazzling in its imaginativeness and invention, touching and prophetic of Peter Grimes … A work that has genius written all over it.’ Opera Magazine,(Michael Kennedy) Read more

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