A young law clerk resists all instructions and requests with the words, “I would prefer not to.”

A collaborative effort with lyrics by Albee and James Hinton Jr., and with music by William Flanagan.

Originally, Bartleby acted as a companion piece to Albee’s The American Dream. After an unsuccessful fourteen performances, it was withdrawn and replaced by one of Albee’s short plays, The Death Of Bessie Smith. The revised program, presenting for the first time a full evening of Albee’s work, was enthusiastically received, running for eighteen months.

Dircks, Phyllis T. Edward Albee: A Literary Companion. Jefferson: McFarland, 2010.

Type: Opera

First Performance: 24 January 1961, York Playhouse, New York

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