Al and George an American Opera by Noah Chriss

"Al and George" is a two hour and fifteen minute opera about the year 2000 presidential election. It comprises 45 separate songs, of which there are no spoken parts. You can hear a 33 minute long concert of all ten songs on the demo by clicking here (33mb) or you can click on each individual song below (Be sure not to miss #7 and #9).

1. An American Family- It's the beginning of the campaign and the first thing the candidates need to do is introduce themselves and declare what it is they stand for. Take it away Al....

2. CNN: "Millions and millions"- During campaign season the media watches candidate's campaign contributions as if it was a sport, and at this point in time George Bush Jr. seems to be leaving the others behind in his dust.

3. Love Me I'm A Liberal- Al Gore and Bill Bradley, the two main democratic contenders, have agreed to a series of debates. There's nothing quite like watching two compassionate liberals rip each other to shreds. How can you criticize a person who says that he only wants to help the underserved? You'll have to accuse him of being a closet conservative is how.

4. Hate- McCain's a decorated war veteran with charisma. He's an accomplished Senator. He's got legions of young enthusiastic followers. He's also got...a big mouth, which is probably going to get him into trouble. As he himself said: "You'd better watch me, I'm probably going to say something stupid"

After Supertuesday it's clear that the final matchup will be between Al Gore and George Bush. Now comes the exhilerating run-up to the conventions and the final push to sway voters before the election. It can also be stressful and lonely time for campaign wives, as Tipper Gore confides in "Tipper's Aria".

5. Tipper's Aria


On that fateful day, November 7th, it becomes clear that this will be one of the closest elections in U.S. history. After the polls close and the evening stretches on, the media focuses on the unresolved count in Florida. At first CNN Calls It for Gore. Then they call it for Bush. Then they can't make up their mind. Then they start to talk about the election irregularities, more of which will be heard about later. Much more.

6. Wolf Blitzer Explains the Electoral College- What is the source of all this chaos? Al Gore won the popular vote but the electoral vote, the one that matters, is still undecided. And what was the real reason for the founding fathers creating the electoral college? Some say it was so that the smaller states would get a heavier weighting. Others say it is because the founding fathers didn't trust the electorate to choose wise men over demagogues. Wolf Blitzer will set the record straight.

7. Lament of the Hebrews- It is the day after the election and the sounds of anguish can be heard. It is the senior citizens of Palm Beach County and they are mourning the results of a ballot snafu that led them to accidentally vote for George Bush. They want the world to hear their message.

Reports are surfacing of lost ballots, confusing ballots, illegal voters, old machines that obscure votes, and other kinks in the democratic process. Legal teams from the Democrats and Republicans are waging skirmishes as they prepare for the final showdown. Chaos reigns in Florida. As democracy itself seems to be breaking down, the music takes a turn towards dissonance.

8. CNN- Things Are Breaking Down

9. Twilight of the Politicians- Is this the end of democracy?

Al Gore and George Bush come to the Supreme Court to present their case in the Finale. The Justices debate amongst themselves and then vote to halt the hand recount, thus leaving a final tally that gives Florida's electoral votes, and the election, to Bush.

10. I Will Keep Working- Gore is defeated, yet still indomitable. He has spent so much effort and come so close to claiming the presidency. Now the Supreme Court has spoken, what else is there to do? The clock has run out, the rope is at it's end, and a political era is over. There's nothing left to do but give a gracious concession speech.