Volpone (The Fox) Baritone
Middle aged, well-off, conniving con man. Driven more by the pursuit of the game than the gold. His ruse is to feign fatal illness and collect gifts from his acquaintances. He has promised each of them will be the sole beneficiary in his will. In this aria, he has just been awakened by his servant Mosca and kneels for his morning prayers.
Erminella (The Ermine) Mezzo-soprano
Middle aged, elegant but formidable, Erminella runs a lucrative brothel in Paris. She has just arrived in Venice to find her long lost son (Mosca), whom she gave up nearly 30 years before.
Mosca (The Fly) Tenor
Nearly thirty, agile, quick-witted servant of Volpone. In this aria, Mosca gloats over outwitting his master and turning him out of his own house. His birthmark, in the shape of a boot, eventually identified him as Erminella’s son.
Mid-twenties, high-minded, slow-witted son of Corvina (the Raven).
from LATER THE SAME EVENING
Elaine O'Neill Soprano
Mid-twenties, always optimistic, married to Gus, an ad salesman. After a tense conversation, they are about to leave for the Broadway show Tell Me Tomorrow. In this aria she reveals for the first time (possibly to herself) that her marriage isn’t all that she had hoped it would be.
Elaine O'Neill Soprano
Gus has declined to accompany Elaine to the show, and she has given her ticket to Jimmy, A young man she met outside the theater. Jimmy tries to make small talk with her, but she has other things on her mind.
Ruth Baldwin Soprano
Early to mid-twenties, lithe, a ballet dancer. She is writing a letter to her boyfriend Joe, explaining why she is leaving New York. She is supposed to meet him at the theater for Broadway show Tell Me Tomorrow, where, unbeknownst to her, he is waiting to present her with an engagement ring.
Jimmy O'Keefe Tenor
A young gay man from Lynchburg, Virginia, visiting New York for the first time, thrilled to see THE Broadway show.
Estelle Oglethorpe Mezzo-soprano
Fifties, elegant, reserved. She has come in from Greenwich, Connecticut and is staying at a midtown hotel, about to go on her first date since the death of her husband, and awaiting the arrival of Mr. Cabral, a piano salesman.
Thelma Yablonski Mezzo-soprano
Mid-twenties, witty, a bit cynical, the quintessential New Yorker. She is the usher at the Broadway theater where Tell Me Tomorrow is playing. In this aria, the show has ended, she has just gotten off from work, and she stops in at the automat for a cup of coffee before getting on thetrain to go home to Bushwick. Her aria is interrupted by the entrance of Joe, whom she recognizes from the theater.
Valentina Scarcella Coloratura soprano
Mid-thirties, cultured, a northern Italian visiting New York. She has never seen a Broadway show before Tell Me Tomorrow. She finds the plot improbable, and the leading lady, Gloria Devere, quite unlistenable.
Bastianello the Younger tenor
Narrator, a student in his early 20s who has returned home from college for the summer. Energetic and engaging.
Lino the fisherman is casting his net into the water, trying to catch the reflection of the moon, which he has mistaken for his late wife. In another section of this aria, he explains that they had quarreled over some soup she had made, and she ran out of the house, fell into the lake and drowned.