“David and BatSheva” is an opera in two acts written by David Loden. The opera presents the human struggles of King David and BatSheva as they come to grips with the consequences of their willful acts. The major themes dealt with are the results of the couple’s disregard for the commands of God, and their process of repentance which led to restoration. In the course of the action we see David and BatSheva - both fiercely independent, drawn into a forbidden liaison and struggling with the conflicts that follow. The situation is made more difficult by the death of the child conceived intheir sinful relationship, but the mercy of God prevails at the end.
More than half the text is taken directly from the Tenach: Psalm 51, Psalm 128 and the first 5 verses of Psalm 25. The expository text (the story of the events) is found in Second Samuel, chapters 11 and 12. The rest of the words are by the composer. Continuity is provided by focusing on the texts of Second Samuel 12 and Psalm 51, which are - respectively - the body of the drama and a description of the spiritual (and moral?) conclusions drawn from the events by King David. The opera begins with a modern day scene of a boy of bar mitzvah age learning the cantillation ofScripture. Heis learning the 11th chapter of Second Samuel, in which the story of the clandestine meeting of David and BatSheva is recounted. The context of the play is thus set. As the boy begins to read the section which describes the prophet Nathan’s mission to David, the scene changes, the overture begins and we enter the body of the opera proper.