Santa’s Tale, with libretto by Ronald Kidd, is a new opera which has not yet been premiered. It is the story of how an ambitious elf tries to take over the North Pole, and Santa, with the help of his reindeer sidekick Blitzen and a little girl named Molly, rallies to restore the spirit of Christmas.
As the opera begins, we find Santa Claus in his North Pole workshop, practicing his ho-ho-ho’s.
Santa: Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho, etc.
Floyd: Okay, lose the beard.
Santa: Pardon me?
Floyd: The beard. It goes.
Santa: Who are you?
Floyd: The suit? Get serious.
Santa: You don’t like it?
Floyd: I mean, come on. Red? Excuse me.
Santa: I like red. I like red. I am red!
Floyd: You are so mauve. Yes, mauve, that’s it. Cooler, hipper, happening.
Santa: Do I know you?
Floyd: You will. My name is Floyd. I’m the new head elf.
Santa: What happened to Dinky?
Meanwhile, we meet Molly, an eleven-year-old girl writing a letter to Santa. Reporting that her family is too poor to afford Christmas presents, she asks if he will be her pen pal, and she requests one simple gift, a teddy bear.
Molly: Dear Santa, I did not hear from you, so I thought I would write again. Did you get my letter? I know you’re busy, but please write back. You don’t have to be my pen pal. Maybe we could just be friends. I was thinking some more about presents. I said that I would not send you a Christmas list, but there is one present I would like. It’s not a video game or a fancy toy. It’s not much at all. I wish I could have a teddy bear. My friends would laugh if they heard that. They’d say that I was being a baby.
Floyd announces that Santa, to be a player in the competitive holiday sector, needs a makeover, and that Christmas presents, instead of being delivered on Christmas eve, will be ordered at a website, Ho-ho-ho.com. Floyd has decided to run a beta test with a little girl named Molly.
Floyd: I’ve got it!
Floyd: I’ve got it! It’s perfect! It’s brilliant! Wake up, old man. I’ve got the answer to your prayers.
Santa: Sugar plums? You have sugar plums? Sorry, I was dreaming. It’s these long winter days.
The opera ends as Santa and Blitzen sing the closing lines of “The Night Before Christmas” and move out into the night, accompanied by the sound of sleigh bells.
Santa: Come on Blitzen. It’s time to go home.
Blitzen: Uh, Santa, aren’t you forgetting something?
Santa: What do you mean?
Blitzen: You know.
Blitzen: You know: The thing.
Santa: Oh yeah. The thing. Let’s see now. How did it go?
Blitzen: He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle.
Santa: And they all flew away like the down of a thistle.
Blitzen: But I heard him exclaim, ’ere he drove out of sight:
Santa: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.