To my sister Miriam, whom I love.
You will always be my Faerie Queene.
A Ballet in Three Tableaux
Tableau III and Epilogue
And here is the score.
The action begins slightly before the first tableau, during the introductory music. It is a winter night. It is snowing. Katherine, a musician, walks through an urban park. There she meets a man, Johnathon, who escorts her through a gateway into the faerie realm.
Tableau I: The Faerie Queen's Ball
The couple enter a ball which has already begun during a pause in the dancing. The various members of the court are talking animatedly to one another. The dancing resumes as the musicians begin to play a minuet. The Faerie Queen's entrance interrupts the first dance. She directs the revelers to continue their dancing, and observes from an ornate throne at the side of the ballroom. The dancers dance an Allemande, upon which Katherine herself plays a variation. Johnathon begins dancing to Katherine's music. He dances a lively courante, which the entire court joins. At the Queen's direction Katherine dances. She chooses a foxtrot. After Katherine dances the action of the ball is suspended. The entire court is briefly transfixed as Katherine and Johnathon dance alone together, outside of even the time of the Faerie Realm. After the couple have danced the ball continues with a Sarabande and a Gigue, but the Gigue is interrupted by the arrival of invading goblins. Once again the revelers stand frozen as a host of sinister creatures streams into the hall. The Troll King, a creature of menacing size and terrifying demeanor, arrives with appropriate pyrotechnics. Johnathon rallies the Faerie Queen's court to repel the invaders and for a time it looks as though he might succeed, but the Troll King seizes him with the aid of powerful magic and vanishes into the night, taking Johnathon hostage. In the aftermath of the battle the Faerie Queen gives Katherine an enchanted flute and places upon her the quest of rescuing Johnathon.
Tableau II: The Journey
Katherine leaves the Faerie Realm and travels to the river, where she encounters three men playing poker while guarding the entrance to a salvage yard with a number of barges, and a small boat. They laugh at her request for passage to the Troll King's lair and promise to bar her way. She plays a fearsome lullaby on her flute lulling them into an enchanted sleep. As she searches about debating her course, the Riverman sees her and asks why she has come to his salvage yard. After some debate, she dances an alluring dance and convinces the Riverman to ferry her to the Troll King's lair.
Tableau III: The Troll King's Lair
The Troll King's minions are capering about gleefully in an odd sort of mad waltz. The Troll King enters with his servants dragging Johnathon along after him bound in heavy chains. Various of the goblins, dressed in mockery of the faeries, dance about in a jeering Allemande. They goad Johnathon into dancing. They jeer at him as he dances a variation. Some of the larger and more menacing creatures, who have been standing to the sides as the goblins danced, swirl into the middle of the dance and begin to spit upon Johnathon and beat him. Katherine enters in the middle of this abuse. She blows a paralyzing fanfare upon the flute. The creatures begin to attack her, but they can do her no harm as she dances freely among them. She gradually wears her opponents down and defeats them. The Troll King himself steps from his throne and begins to use his magic to subdue her, but his magic is to no avail, and with her flute she turns it back upon him, eventually subduing hem and forcing him to dance to her will. After she has drawn the Troll King about for a time she begins to play a dark and mysterious music on her flute. The scene once again moves outside even the time of the Faerie Realm as the Troll King dances a slow spinning dance with Katherine circling about him playing. The dance becomes faster and faster until at its climax the Troll King is transformed. He becomes a faerie like unto the members of the Faerie Queen's court. The Troll King's lair vanishes, replaced by the Faerie Queen's ballroom. He and his minions, also transformed, dance in celebration.
Katherine and Johnathon walk back out through the gateway, leaving Faerie. The snow continues to fall briefly as they exit the stage.