Rahab is scored for mezzo-soprano in costume and symphonic winds or orchestra. The story of Rahab is found in the Old Testament in Joshua 2: 1-21 and Joshua 6: 25. On the eve of the destruction of Jericho (when the “walls came tumbling down”), Rahab, a harlot whose house is on the great, impregnable city wall, encounters two Israelite spies sent by Joshua to spy out the land. She hides them from the King’s men, saving their lives, and in exchange, she is spared when the city is destroyed. Her story is fascinating, but does not end with her exodus from the doomed city. Her name surfaces not once, but three times in the New Testament: Matthew 1: 5; Hebrews 11: 31; and James 2: 25.
Rahab was begun September 2010 at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, continued at a lakeside cottage in rural Maine, and completed in December 2010 at the composer’s home in Canton, Ohio. The composer considers this work a companion piece to his 2005 composition Jericho for surround-sound wind orchestra, narrator, with unorthodox audience participation. Jericho tell the story from outside the wall, Rahab from inside.
The composer is most appreciative of the generous support for this project by Malone University, the MacDowell Colony, and Barb Drennan. He also wishes to thank Alexandra Gomez-Robbins, Justin Sherrin, and William Vollinger for their valuable suggestions about the libretto.
© Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Jesse Ayers