A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella now available at Albany Records

Friday, July 3, 2020

Going online due to COVID

A company in Singapore, L'arietta Productions, was scheduled to do Speed Dating Tonight! this spring. They were one of several productions that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They pivoted and commissioned a series of eight pieces that were an exploration of the dating characters as they were stuck at home. The pieces run a gamut of emotions--cheerful/depressed, resigned/resolved. Here's the first one, Shirt!, sung by Leslie Tay.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Video of RSBE Premiere

Here is the video of the premiere of RSBE at the end of February at University of Alabama. The opera theatre there did a spectacular job. It was so nice to have a premiere where everyone was pulling in the same direction 100%. It is now almost May, and the end of February seems like two years ago. Not that the days in quarantine have been dull or boring, just that the way we live has changed so drastically. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

RSBE premiere at University of Alabama

Been having a great time at University of Alabama where their opera program will premiere my new opera, RSBE (Remove Shoes Before Entering). In RSBE a group of students and their teacher are on a field trip. They stop at a strange building. Inside they realize things about themselves.

RSBE is put together like SPEED DATING TONIGHT!  with the order of the selection of pieces, their order, and their assignment is up to the producer. I've christened the genre the New Numbers Opera. Premiere is tomorrow night, February 7, 2020.

This clip is from dress rehearsal and about impostor syndrome. The idea was suggested by Dr. Paul Houghtaling, their producer.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Neat Freaks (#59-#60) from Speed Dating Tonight

Here's a clip from last month's production of SPEED DATING TONIGHT! at Converse College. This piece is relatively new and hasn't been done a lot, so it's fun for me to see!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Verity Arden as Talkative Girl (#9)

I got to go to Converse College last week for a three day residency. The production is in the able hands of Susan Lyle and Keith Jones. One of the best in the cast--and there were several--was Verity Arden. A senior, She's a singer and a composer and did such a terrific job with her selection, I asked her permission to record it and include it in my demos. Talkative Girl is one of the harder pieces in SpDT! and I was impressed. The Converse production is January 24-26, 2020.

I got to stay at a lovely place, the Inn on Main, a B&B I heartily recommend. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

New Dates for Speed Dating Tonight!

With 2020 coming on, it's time to update the perusal score for Speed Dating Tonight! You can download it by clicking on the link in the right column of this blog. New dates include:

#63 Sometimes I feel like I'll never love again. Starts out sad, but ends up being a happy duet.

#64 Disparity, an introduction. An unusual piece, it's really a pre-date conversation. One of the daters is very attractive and the other suspects they might be a shill. Written for Eastern Michigan University.

#65 The Love of My Life. A transgender, non-binary ballad. Written for SUNY-Potsdam

#66-#67 Social Media Celebrity. A weird and lively duet. The social media celebrity takes pictures of themselves with their pet hamster. The other date recognizes them. This date's part is very rap like.

#68 Shedding. The dater shows up with some things to give away to other daters. Decluttering comes to Speed Dating.

#69-#70 Soul Mates. A duet written for Austin College. The dater is reminded of their parents, who are a perfect couple and have advice for what to look for in a partner. This piece is for two older singers and their offspring, who is the dater.

#71-#72 Roger, I have news. For Fargo-Moorhead Opera. The dater, who is adopted, tells a funny story about finding their birth parents. Mentions Fargo, but certainly changeable for other locations.

#73 I'd like to meet a girl/guy from Fargo. A laid back, folkie number that is very location specific. For Fargo-Moorhead Opera which is doing Speed Dating Tonight! for the third time in March 2020.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Birthday Clown, a new mini for Savannah Voice Festival

 On August 21, 23 and 25, Savannah Voice Festival gave the premiere of BIRTHDAY CLOWN, a little "Pixar short" opera they commissioned to go before I PAGLIACCI. Marco is a performer who is stuck in a rut playing kids birthday parties. Marie, a teen violinist, is a guest at the party, but a "pity invite" and out of place. They end up performing for each other when all the party guests go off to fly a drone that the birthday boy got from his uninvited dad. Marie has two alter egos "D-Do" and "D-Don't" who advise her.

If you are professionally curious, you can download the piano vocal score via the link on the right column of the blog.

You can see a little rehearsal video of the scene pictured above here. Pictured Jessica Fishenfeld, Emily Yocum Black, and Joanna Pope.

This picture includes the Birthday Clown, Marco Nisticò. The opera was conducted by Jorge Parodi and directed by Grant Preisser. I'm looking forward to writing another, longer opera for SVF next season!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Birthday Clown at Savannah Voice Festival

One of the summer's projects has been a mini opera, BIRTHDAY CLOWN, for Savannah Voice Festival. It's a curtain raiser before our production of I PAGLIACCI. The birthday clown isn't happy doing birthday parties and he ends up at one where there's been a miscommunication--"teens" not "ten" year olds.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Utah Opera's Golden Spike 150 operas

In May, Utah Opera premiered four minioperas, part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. I was fortunate to have been selected to write one of them, COMPLETING THE PICTURE, with my very old friend, Victoria Panella Bourns. Everything went smoothly at the first performance in Brigham City, but the next night in Ogden, the power went off midway through the show. My opera had already been done, but they completed the program outside as the sun went down. 

COMPLETING THE PICTURE is a short S/A/T/B piano opera about the contribution made by Chinese workers who built the railroad from the west over the Sierra Nevada mountains. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Spring Speed Dating Tonight! productions

This spring has seen a nice new group of Speed Dating Tonight! productions, including productions at Columbus State, Eastern Michigan, and Opera Roanoke. A production up at SUNY-Potsdam (pictured) had over thirty five singers. Several of these productions included premieres of new dates.

One of those pieces "The Love of My Life" is a gender non-binary song that begins: 

The love of my life will be the love of my life
I don't care what it has been its legs.

You can hear a rehearsal of it with the original singer, Kaylee Tasber.