Mrs. President Act I: Predators

Mrs. President Act I, Scent 1: Trio of Men

Audio Excerpts

from New York City Opera VOX workshop performance in 2001


Don Frazure, tenor, Kristen Plumley, soprano and Matthew Burns, baritone
New York City Opera orchestra conducted by Victoria Bond
We meet Henry Ward Beecher, celebrity preacher, giving a sermon, during which he ‘auctions’ the freedom of a slave. Beecher is famous for his abolitionist stance. He is a charismatic speaker and an influential public figure. His beloved sister Isabella happens to be Victoria Woodhull’s strongest supporter.


Don Frazure, tenor and Cheryl Hickman, soprano
New York City Opera orchestra conducted by Victoria Bond
Henry Ward Beecher barges into the office of Victoria Woodhull’s newspaper, “Woodhull’s Weekly”. He demands to speak with Victoria and the two are left alone. The more he tries to bully her into submission, the more she teases him. In a rage, he threatens to strike her dead, but she calmly informs him that she is aware of his sexual liaisons and has the story ready to print. His anger turns to panic as he sees the possibility of his career crumbling in such a scandal. He begs for mercy, but she tells him that far from condemning his activity, she agrees with his passionate nature and suggests that he support her platform of free love. Stunned by this endorsement of what he has most feared, he agrees to reveal himself for the hedonist that he is and to support her campaign. They abandon themselves to their passion and as strip off their clothes, Joseph Treat, a young man in love with Victoria, bursts in with a bouquet of roses for her. He freezes. Victoria and Henry are oblivious. Treat hurls the roses to the floor and slams the door.

I’m Told I’m a Citizen

Cheryl Hickman, soprano
New York City Opera orchestra conducted by Victoria Bond
Victoria delivers a controversial speech announcing her intention to run for president.


Cheryl Hickman, Kristen Plumley, Don Frazure and Matthew Burns
New York City Opera orchestra conducted by Victoria Bond
In the ransacked office of Woodhull’s Weekly, Victoria sleeps in her husband’s arms. He sings of his shattered dreams of a peaceful life together. As she wakes, she can think only of her own aborted dreams of a world where all are free. In his study, Henry and Isabella are arguing over Victoria. Isabella claims that Henry is murdering a saint but he calls her as a fiend from Hell. The four join together, each locked within his disappointment. Finally, Henry threatens to commit Isabella to a deviates asylum for her Aunnatural affection for Victoria if she does not abandon her friend.