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In Carlisle Floyd’s powerful opera Susannah, a beautiful and virtuous 18-year-old girl has inadvertently incited the lust of her church elders. The church leaders accuse her of being a seductress, and the entire town turns against her. When the new pastor, Reverend Blitch, urges her to repent her alleged sins, she refuses, inflaming the reverend’s own desires – with disastrous consequences. Based on the biblical story “Susannah and the Elders,” this 1954 opera is set in rural Tenessee and is rich with Appalachian folk melodies and connections to the McCarthy era in which it was written.