A Thematic Catalogue of My Works Part IV: Operas
by, Jan-11-2012 at 02:45 (422 Views)
Yet another instalment in my series of blog posts about my life's work (or rather, everything I have done since November 2007). In this blog post I will talk about my operas, two of which are complete and one which is abandoned. This instalment might not turn out to be particularly long, so I will also write about some of the operas I intend to write probably starting next year.
The Swineherd, a fairy tale opera I hoped would be in 2 acts (Abandoned) (worked on it on and off between December 2008 to August 2009 and then decided to start again on it at various points in 2010)
Libretto by the composer.
Duration of original version 2008-2009 (ie. overture and first three numbers): 17'
Prince - tenor
Princess - soprano
Never got around to writing anymore voice parts.
Orchestra (2008-2009 version): 18.104.22.168-22.214.171.124-Perc.(Timp.Glock.)-Str.
Description: This first attempt was started right after I completed my first symphony. It was based on the story "The Swineherd" by Hans Andersen. I decided to re-write this opera once my style of composition suddenly and unexpectedly changed, but I never really felt like finishing it. I tried to restart the opera two more times in 2010 but I never got around to writing more than just a few bars. Thus, it was abandoned, but the libretto to the first act is complete.
The Death of Osiris, a mythical Egyptian opera in 3 acts (September 2010 to February 2011)
Libretto by the composer.
Isis - Soprano
Seth - Bass
Osiris - Tenor
Horus - Child soprano
King in Byblos - Tenor
Queen in Byblos - Alto
A Maid - Alto
Two Builders in Byblos - Baritone and Bass
People of the Afterlife - Soprano, Alto, Countertenor and Chorus
Slaves, conspirators, hunters - Chorus
Dancers, acrobats and onstage musicians.
Orchestra including onstage instruments: Piccolo/bass flute, oboe/heckelphone, bassoon, four horns, three tenor trombones, three bass trombones, triangle, wood block, tambourine, sizzle cymbals, tam-tam, five tom-toms, 2 pianos (one prepared one normal) and strings.
Description: This is the longest work I have ever composed so far. I first came up with the idea to write this opera in February 2010 when I was flicking through a very informative 512 page book on the subject of Ancient Egypt and came across a section in the book called "Myths and Their Settings." I read through the myth "The Death of Osiris" and thought that it would make a terrific opera. I showed my parents and told them that I would cut out the indecent parts. They told me not to, which baffled me. I ended up writing the first act during two weeks of holidays in spring and the second and third acts during the summer/christmas holidays and a bit into February 2011. I have given a photocopy if the handwritten score of the first act to Richard Gill, but he hasn't got back to me on that one yet.
The King's Horn, a comic Macedonian folk tale mini chamber opera in a prologue and two acts. (sometime in 2011)
Libretto by the composer
Barber - Bass-baritone
King - Tenor
King's Mother/Villager 1- Alto
King's Father/Villager 2 - Bass
Shepherd Girl - Child Soprano
Shepherd Boy - Child Soprano
Instrumentation: Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Percussion (1 player: Tom-toms, tambourine, triangle, bass drum, roto-toms, xylophone, tubular bells), Theorbo, Violin, Accordion.
Description: This was originally going to be written for a competition, but didn't get finished in time as my parents told me about the competition one month before it was due. I could only use six instruments and six voices in the opera because if competition guidelines. You can view the libretto for the prologue and the first act on this very blog.
Yet to be composed in my Avant-Garde Period:
Here I will write about some operas that I hope to compose in the near future.
Foundling, a fairy tale opera based on the story by the Brothers Grimm. I first read this story in 2009 and at the time I wanted to use the story for my second opera. As my abandoned opera was planned out to be about 135 minutes in total if I had managed to complete it, I wanted this still-yet-to-be-composed opera to be only a hour in length.
Cesario in Illyria, a comic opera in four acts based on "Twelfth Night" by William Shakespeare. I have already planned the story line out to fit into four acts rather than the original five acts of the play. Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" is my favourite of all of his plays. I have read it about five times and have decided that I want to turn it into an opera. Probably a chamber opera though as I seem to prefer that genre. Lengthwise, the opera might turn out to be somewhere between two and three and a half hours.