Chopin's Locket (radio)

Chopin’s Locket is a radio program from the American radio anthology series "Radio Tales". The anthology series adapted classic works of American and world literature for the radio. The series was a recipient of numerous awards, including four Gracie Allen Awards from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television (in 2004, [ [ "AWRT Press Release"] Accessed March 21, 2008.] 2003, [ [ "NPR Productions Win Gracie Allen Awards"] Accessed March 21, 2008.] 2001, [ [ "2001 Gracie Allen Award Winners"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 21, 2008.] and 1998), a New York Festivals WorldMedal, [ [ "2004 Winners, Radio Programming and Promotion, New York Festivals"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 21, 2008.] and a Golden Reel Merit Award. [ [ "NFCB Announces 2001 Golden Reel Award Winners"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 21, 2008.] The “Chopin’s Locket" program from the Radio Tales series was an adaptation of the classic short story, “The Locket” by Kate Chopin.

Broadcast History

The Radio Tales production of “Chopin’s Locket” was first broadcast via NPR on August 29, 2000 [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition Summer 2000". NPR Marketing, July – Sept. 2000, Vol. VI, No. III] . The program encompassed one half-hour installment that was distributed to NPR member stations as part of the NPR Playhouse cultural series. Since November 28th, 2002, the entire Radio Tales series has aired in reruns on the Sonic Theater channel (163) of the XM Satellite Radio service [ [ "Sonic Theater"] Accessed May 22, 2008.] . The “Chopin’s Locket” program debuted on XM Satellite Radio on June 28, 2003.

Production Information

The program was produced and script edited by series producer Winnie Waldron, who also served as the on-air host [ [ "Winifred Phillips Official Site: Biography"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] . Composer Winifred Phillips created over twenty-eight minutes of music for the program, and also performed as the featured actress [ [ "NPR Playhouse - January - March, 2001"] Accessed March 21, 2008.] . “Chopin’s Locket” was part of the fifth year of Radio Tales on NPR Playhouse [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition Spring 2001". NPR Marketing, Vol. VII, No. II] .


The Radio Tales production of “Chopin’s Locket” has been available in numerous formats and venues, including burn-on-demand CDs manufactured and distributed by [ [ " Radio Tales"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed July 15, 2008.] and [ [ " Radio Tales"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed July 15, 2008.] . Beginning in 2005, programs from the series, including the “Chopin’s Locket” program, have been available for download via the web site [ [ "audioVille | Stor>>Fiction | Radio Tales | Download Audio Books, Podcasts and more in MP3. Comedy, Fiction, sport, news, science, drama."] Accessed September 27, 2008.] .

Opening narration

Plot Summary

Edmond is a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. One of his possessions, a locket on a chain, has excited some interest among the three other men gathered around a camp fire and awaiting orders to march. One man wonders if it is a sweet-heart’s picture, another conjectures it to be a magical charm that protects Edmond from danger. The third man says nothing. In truth, the locket is a parting gift from Edmond’s beloved Octavie, who had given it to him before he went off to war. But Edmond does not tell the other men this. He lies down to sleep, and has a surreal dream about Octavie, at the end of which he dreams of a serpent coiling around his throat and gliding away. Then he is harshly awakened by shouting and a confusion of activity as the men hurry towards the impending battle.

A black bird watches the activity on the plain below from a tall tree throughout the day, and ponders the meaning of all the noise and smoke. That night, a priest and his servant administer to the dead and dying who litter the field of battle. Around the neck of a dead young man they find the locket, and the priest removes it, then kneels to pray.

Months later, during a beautiful spring morning in Louisiana, Octavie sits in a carriage beside Edmond’s father, who has come to take her for a drive. She is dressed in black, and is wearing the locket which was returned to her with a letter from the priest who had found it. In mourning over Edmond’s death, Octavie contemplates her lonely future, and thinks of her Aunt Tavie, who had suffered a similar loss in her youth. Then, Edmond’s father asks Octavie to remove the dark veil of mourning she wears, and Octavie complies. The spring day is exceedingly beautiful, and Edmond’s father remarks that such beauty makes one think miracles might happen, and the dead might return from heaven. The carriage reaches the house, and to Octavie’s astonishment and joy, Edmond is there – alive and well. He sweeps her into his arms.

Later, Edmond explains to Octavie that the locket had been stolen from him the night before the battle. While Octavie thinks of the nameless stranger who had died on the battlefield, Edmond remembers the man who had listened to the campfire talk of Edmond’s ‘magical charm’ and hadn’t said a word.


External Links

* [ Chopin’s Locket Streaming Audio Excerpt on]

* [ The Official Radio Tales® Web Site]
* [ Radio Tales® Full Series - Streaming Audio Excerpts]
* [ XM Satellite Radio – Information on the Sonic Theater Channel]

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