Crosby, The Flower Queen
Fanny J. Crosby (1820–1915) and George F. Root (1820–1895).
The Flower Queen; or, the Coronation of the Rose.
A Cantata in Two Parts.
New York: Mason Brothers, 1852. (BRA2832)
Fanny J. Crosby’s The Flower Queen was America’s first secular cantata. Crosby wrote the libretto to music composed for female voices by George F. Root, an instructor at the New York Institution for the Blind who later attained fame for his Civil War songs. The plot of Crosby's highly romantic work involves a disillusioned man who seeks to live as a hermit in the wilderness. Enlisted by all of the wild flowers to choose which species should be crowned their queen, he decides upon the rose, who then implores him to discover God’s purpose for him in the world of mankind. The Flower Queen attained unexpected success, and helped to launch Crosby’s career as a songwriter and hymnist.