Below are several audio excerpts from the revised version of Sun Dance, recorded September/October 2010 by Jason Loffredo in his studio in New York City. We are very grateful to the performers for volunteering their time to learn and record these parts and to Jason for his contributions. Click on the links in the titles to listen and download the score.
Soprano: Shaina Murphy
Mezzo-Soprano: Melissa Collom
Tenor: Matt Walton
Baritone/Bass: Evan Harrington
Producer/Audio Engineer: Jason Loffredo
Excerpt 1 from Act 1 Scene 2: Wounded Knee
Parts: Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone/Bass
Description: We hear how the Native Americans reacted as the soldiers began shooting at Wounded Knee. They describe their own actions, the responses of the soldiers, and the carnage around them at what would become known as the Wounded Knee Massacre.
Listen now - Excerpt 1.
Download the score for Excerpt 1.
Excerpt 2 from Act 1 Scene 3: Alcatraz
Parts: Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone
Description: This excerpt begins with the last verse of a poem written by an Alcatraz resident, which introduces the scene. The scene transitions to the Native Americans residents on the island who make a forceful statement of the purposes and goals of their occupation.
Listen now - Excerpt 2.
Download the score for Excerpt 2.
Excerpt 3 from Act 1 Scene 3: Alcatraz
Type: Aria - "Why is it so Hard?"
Description: After an initial period of excitement and progress, the island's residents encounter difficulties. Conflicts emerge over how to govern and we begin to see that all the residents are not united in their purpose on the island. This aria touches on the residents' aspirations, fears, and frustrations.
Listen now - Excerpt 3.
Download the score for Excerpt 3.
Excerpt 4 from Act 1 Scene 3: Alcatraz
Type: Dialogue and Aria - "We Have Not Asked"
Parts: Soprano, Tenor, Baritone/Bass
Description: The residents are frustrated by the conflict on the island, the increasingly negative news coverage, and a lack of support from the mainland, both Native Americans and whites. The first singer reads from a newspaper article that disparages the occupation and is met with defiant statements of hope from others. The bass aria denounces the hypocrisy of white treatment of Native Americans.
Listen now - Excerpt 4.
Download the score for Excerpt 4.
Excerpt 5 from Act 1 Scene 3: Alcatraz
Type: Aria - "Sometimes"
Description: The occupation of Alcatraz is drawing to a close, with only a few residents left. The singer reflects on the different ways to view the event as a "success," arguing that, even if the occupation didn't happen as they had hoped, it still accomplished some of the goals set out by the residents.
Listen now - Excerpt 5.
Download the score for Excerpt 5.
Excerpt 6 from Act 2 Scene 1: The Trials
Type: Trial Dialogue
Parts: Tenor, Mezzo-Soprano
Description: This is a brief excerpt from one of the trial scenes. A lawyer for the defense examines Myrtle Poor Bear, a Native American woman. The FBI initially used her falsified testimony to extradite Leonard from Canada to the US, then convinced the US judge not to allow her testimony in Leonard's US trial because she was "mentally unstable."<br>Download the score for this excerpt here.
Listen now - Excerpt 6.
Download the score for Excerpt 6.
Excerpt 7 from Act 2 Scene 2: The Verdict
Type: Aria - "Why Aren't You Still Fighting?"
Description: This aria follows the trial scene in which Leonard is sentenced to two consecutive life terms. He responds to his conviction with a forceful denunciation of not only the US justice system, but all of white America. The scene shifts back to the three Native American women at a Leonard Peltier rally, present day. The two older women, both veterans of the activism of the 1970s, recall how they were stunned at the verdict and felt completely defeated, with no idea of what to do next. The younger woman responds with this furious aria.
Listen now - Excerpt 7.
Download the score for Excerpt 7.