MainStreet Award

Directors' Choice Award Winner

| script | breakdown | synopsis |


Music, Lyrics and Book by Robert Lindsay Nassif
Based on the Childhood Diary of Opal Whiteley (aka Françoise D’Orleans)


Winner of the Richard Rodgers Award & the AT&T Music Theater Award

(The Richard Rodgers Award was given by a committee chaired by Stephen Sondheim and including Milton Babbitt, Morton Gould and John Guare.)


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Musical Selections

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OPAL tells the story of a seven-year old aristocratic girl who is orphaned in a shipwreck and placed in an Oregon lumber-camp in 1904. She longs to return to her parents and her former life. To survive, she creates a world of fantasy and enchantment that transforms the lives of those around her -- the shy lumberjack, the blind girl, her cold, embittered foster mother. Finally, in the ashes of a devastating forest fire, Opal discovers hope and home.

Cast (10 or more)

THE PRINCIPALS (The principals remain in character throughout the show, while the Narrators assume various roles.)

OPAL (FRANÇOISE). An eight-year-old aristocratic girl; enchanting but with spunk. Speaks in a cultured manner, perhaps with a slight British accent. Should be cast as young and small as possible. A girl who is actually eight-years-old is ideal. Legitimate head voice, not a belt voice. Low soprano. (Bb to E)

THE MAMMA (MRS. POTTER). A rugged, work-worn woman, with humor and warmth buried inside. 20s to 30s. Mixed voice with some chest tones. Mezzo-soprano. (G to C and octave above middle C)

THE MAN THAT WEARS GRAY NECKTIES (ANDREW GIVENS). A shy lumberjack. Very likable. 30s. Legitimate voice. Baritone/tenor. (Bb to E)

SADIE McKIBBEN. A scrub woman; an earth mother. A sage. Speaks with a Scottish brogue. 50s to 70s. Legit mezzo-soprano with some mixed tones. (G to Eb with an optional high G)

THE GIRL THAT HAS NO SEEING (SELENA). A young woman who is blind. Waifish. Early 20s. Mixed voice. Mezzo-soprano. (G to C and octave above middle C)

THE THOUGHT-GIRL WITH THE FAR-A WAY LOOK IN HER EYES. The daughter of the lumber mill owner. Lovely, modest. 20s to 30s. Legitimate

THE NARRATORS 2 or 3 men. 2 women. (Or more.)

(OPAL can be performed with 4 Narrators, but the show also accommodates a larger ensemble.)

The Narrators tell the story to the audience, bring on scenery and props, and assume various roles. Their basic costume is lumber camp garb. They don coats, hats, scarves, etc. to portray other characters.

20s to 40s. Strong legitimate voices. Soprano, alto, tenor, baritone/bass.

The Narrators portray the following characters:
Ship Passengers
Angel Mother and Father (in a small cast, they may be portrayed by the actors who play Neckties and the thought-girl)
Felix Mendelssohn and Peter Paul Rubens (mouse and pig sounds)
Lumberjacks and lumber camp women
The Gossip Sisters
The General Store Owner
Selena’s Father
School Children
Square Dance Caller
Michael Angelo the Fir Tree
Man 1 & 2 (who take away the pig)
Rough Lumberjack
Elsie’s Husband

Time: Autumn 1904 to Summer 1905
Place: An Oregon Lumber Camp

OPAL is performed without an intermission.


“A splendid musical. It is a rare achievement. Mr. Lindsey-Nassif’s lovely music draws one into a place of magical transformations.” - The New York Times

“OPAL is a resounding success. An extraordinary achievement. A gem of a musical. It is an irresistible and utterly universal story of a girl trying to fit into a world foreign to her. A musical that deserves to be produced by theaters across the country.” - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“A mesmerizing musical gem. OPAL is brimming with ideas and overflowing with heart.” 
- Forbes' Weekend Plus

“Bravo! A musical gem!" - New York Voice

“The show is a charmer and a wonderful production for adults, children, and grandchildren.”
- The Jewish Forward

"An enchanting musical. A show that will beguile kids and grown-ups alike and -- even more important -- keep them coming back for more.” - Orlando Sentinel

“OPAL treads the boards unforgettably.” - Dallas Morning News

“A fascinating story of the triumph of the spirit. There is much magic to OPAL. It’s a show worth savoring.” - News Tribune and The Bergen Record

“A charming musical adventure. Luminous.” - Newhouse Newspapers

“Won over even this adult.”  - Backstage


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