Death and the Maiden: Opera in Three Scenes

Death and the Maiden: Opera in Three Scenes2017-03-08T20:36:01+00:00

Project Description

60 min.

The sheet music is currently unpublished, please contact us if you would like to perform this work.

Listen Now

No recording yet. Let us know if you’ve performed the work and we’ll feature your recording here.

Preview Score


Fl-2 Ob-2 BbCl-2 | Hn-2 Tpt Tbn | Hp Hpsd/Pno | Vln-2 Vla VC DB | Perc-2

  • Flute (2)
  • Oboe (2)
  • Clarinet in B♭ (2)
  • Horn in F (2)
  • Trumpet in B♭
  • Trombone
  • Harp
  • Harpsichord/Piano
  • Violin (2)
  • Viola
  • Violoncello
  • Double Bass
  • Required Percussion (2 players)
    • Triangle (sm.)
    • Temple Blocks
    • Cow Bell (1 sm., 1 med., 1 lg.)
    • Whizz Whistle
    • Suspended Cymbal (1 sm., 1 lg.)
    • Bass Drum
    • Wood Block
    • Slap Stick
    • Police Whistle
For wind ensembles and concertos, please use one player per part. For symphonies and concert pieces, more players may be used as desired. David’s full statement.


  • Old Mam/Clarinda
  • Death/Willy
  • Scissor Grinder
  • Grocery Clerk
  • Children: 
    • 2 girls
    • 1 boy
  • Chorus


11 June, 1975 NYC

Composed at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH on a grant from the State University of NY Research Foundation

Program Note

Music by David Maslanka
Short Story by Ray Bradbury
Libretto by John A. Wiles, Jr.

The theme of transformation, which runs through the entire course of my music, begins with this small opera. “Old Mam” has reached her 90th birthday, terrified of death, alone and friendless. Death, appearing in the form of her years-ago boyfriend, lures her out of her solitude with the offer of reliving her 18th birthday. Her dream day complete, she is ready to release her life.

Further Reading

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 35, Damon Talley’s Interview of David

27 August 2020|0 Comments

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature one of David's very last interviews. In April of 2017, Damon Talley - Director of Bands at LSU - had the opportunity to sit down with David and discuss Symphony No. 4 during a residency with the LSU Wind Ensemble.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 59, Music For David

5 August 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three works by composers who have dedicated music to David and his memory: "After Maslanka" from Tribute Trio by Russell Peterson, Funeral Song for David Maslanka by Andrew Bockman, and Montis - Tribute to David Maslanka by Elliott Sorenson.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 35, David Maslanka – The Composition Teacher

18 February 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we take a look at three of the many pupils David worked with over the years as well as one of their compositions: Symphony No. 3, "For David" by Kimberly K. Archer, This is Our Joyful Hour by Kevin Krumenauer, and Heroes from the Sea by Onsby C. Rose.

8 Questions for David Maslanka

2 January 2016|0 Comments

The following is from an email exchange with Natasha Rotondaro, a grade 12 student from Emily Carr Secondary School in Vaughn, Ontario Natasha Rotondaro: What is your musical background? David Maslanka: I began clarinet studies [...]

Thoughts on Composing

6 April 1998|0 Comments

Excerpts from letters to young composers You ask about the soul nature of music, and are music and soul the same thing. Music is one of the expressions of soul. A person does not have [...]

Interview with Russell Peterson

2 April 1998|2 Comments

Russell Peterson, professor of saxophone at Lawrence University in Appleton WI, interviewed David Maslanka on 30 November 1998 after premieres of Mountain Roads for saxophone quartet, commissioned and performed by the Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet and [...]