The prioress’s tale     A Chamber opera in one act


Above (l-r):

Brenna Wells as the Christian Woman; Bulent Guneralp as the Jewish Man; Graham Wright as the Abbott. From the staged premiere, January 2008, directed by Andrew Ryker. Costumes by Margie Ballard. Photography by LK Case.


A Jewish man,  a Christian woman, and a medieval priest are brought together by the tragic murder of a little boy -

but his miraculous song proves the ultimate power of forgiveness to heal the wounds of religious intolerance.


Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, 3 pm

Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy, Massachusetts

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, 7:30 pm

Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts

NOTE: For the 2011 tour, the part of the Christian Woman will be performed by Emily Burr.


The Prioress’s Tale is a new opera by the American composer Delvyn Case and librettist Christopher Hood.   The opera radically transforms Geoffrey Chaucer’s infamous tale of religious violence into a parable about how bigotry can be overcome by the realization of the common human experiences that unite us all.  A complex, powerful, and dramatic work, The Prioress’s Tale is a moving musical testament to the possibility of reconciliation between all those whose differences seem insurmountable.

The opera was premiered in January 2008 at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, directed by Andrew Ryker.  The 75-minute, one-act work is scored for four singers (treble, soprano, and two bass-baritones), piano, and electronic sound.  The premiere performances were followed by panel discussions about the issues raised in the piece featuring Jewish and Christian clergy and scholars, the composer, and the librettist.


Click on the link above for an interactive tour of the opera featuring video, audio, and excerpts from the libretto. 


Read the preview articles about the opera in The Boston Globe and the

South Shore Patriot-Ledger.


The touring company of The Prioress’s Tale is currently booking performances at schools, churches, synagogues, libraries, and other community spaces for the 2010-2011 season.  The fully-staged , “portable” production is followed by a discussion session about the issues raised by the opera, tailored to the particular age-range and background of the audience.  Click the above link for more information.


You can help bring the powerful message of The Prioress’ Tale to audiences throughout New England by making a tax-deductible donation to the project.  Click on the above link for information.



March 14, 2010, 3 pm:

First Church Congregational, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass.

March 21, 2010, 3 pm:

Christ Church Performing Arts Series, Brockton, Mass.


Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University

Performance location: First Presbyterian Church of New Haven

Andover-Newton Theological School, Newton, Massachusetts.

Performance jointly sponsored by Hebrew College and Andover-Newton Theological School.

Hope Church, Roslindale, Mass

2008: (staged premiere)

Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, Mass.