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

Friday, June 17, 2022

Per la gloria arrangement

Several years ago I did some arrangements of the old Italian songs. They were premiered by the artists in residence at Opera Memphis. One of them was Per la gloria d'adorarvi. A few years later, I borrowed the arrangement and put it into Speed Dating Tonight! #29-#30. The idea is that the daters are talking while the song is playing in the background. Because of balance, it's tricky and the singer singing the song can cover the daters. 

We are giving it another try right now at Taos Opera Institute, where we will be doing Speed Dating Tonight! for the second time in late June 2022. Here's a lovely phone recording of one of the participants Gabriel Chona Rueda, who is a student at University of British Columbia.  



Saturday, June 11, 2022

Interview about ALICE AND ANNA


Earlier this week I did an Instagram Live interview with Savannah Voice Festival Artistic Director Jorge Parodi about ALICE AND ANNA. You can view it here. Jorge was interested in the process of figuring out the story, writing the libretto, and composing the music. I was my usual opinionated self, talking about the need for repetition, melody, many more female characters, and a contemporary point of view--why will a modern audience member be interested in these stories, set in the 1730s and 1940s-50s. 

ALICE AND ANNA plays in Savannah (hey that rhymes!) August 12 and 13, 2022.  The first one act, ALICE RYLEY premiered in 2015 and ANNA HUNTER played for the first time a few years later. COVID-19 delayed their culmination as a full evening. 




Saturday, June 4, 2022

National Opera Association board meeting in Houston

I'm proud to be on the board of the National Opera Association, which serves opera at colleges, universities, and small opera companies. We recently had a board meeting in Houston, which is the location for the January 2023 conference. Since the most active members are usually the directors of university opera programs, I'm able to provide a bit of a perspective from other parts of the opera ecosystem such as professional companies and composers. I particularly would encourage composers to think about writing operas that can be performed by small and medium sized college programs. (The largest universities and conservatories can often do what professional opera companies can do.) NOA has a vocal competition, a scenes program competition, a bi-annual new one act opera competition, and an important new composer fellowship supported by the estate of Dominick Argento.