Diary entry June 2012

June 26, 2012

What a funny day! To wake up and read that CEO Larry Ellison is in the process of buying Lanai (an island in the Hawaiian Islands), and that Madonna has a DNA sweeper who follows her everywhere making sure that no future Madanna clones can be had. Wow. Brave new world indeed.

Mitchell Morris [librettist] just left after spending three days with me working on and discussing our opera. He finished the libretto for Act 2; I had hoped to finish the music for Act 1 but didn’t quite make it. We had many useful discussions as well as listened to the 75 minutes of music we already have for the show three times. That’s a LOT of music listening, especially when it’s yours.

It’s an amazing feeling being in the middle of an opera with so much music behind you and so much more to go. It feels like a creative Hawaii: a little piece of paradise in the middle of nowhere.

We decided that the title should not be Angela Peralta, as the story has really morphed into something different now than the original thrust. The title we like the most today is: THE DOVE AND THE NIGHTINGALE. And those are the two characters that now are on equal footing. Angela is an historic figure; Rosa was completely our invention, but a necessary one for our drama.

I keep telling Mitchell that I feel as though I’m working on my own personal Sgt Pepper –– music that the whole world will love [well, ok, most] and will be a real direction changer in the world of opera. Or else I’m completely delusional, which is entirely possible. After all, I do have this endless line of composers waiting to channel my next melody; anyone who claims that must be nuts. But seriously, the opera is going really well, and every number is amazing. There isn’t any deadwood and it’s all memorable AND singable. Why not bring back a tradition where opera gives us new melodies to sing, rather than just psychological theatrical “experiences.” We’ll see.

Daniel is in the Philippines so I am home with dogs and parrots in a virtual artist retreat in our new home. I hope to finish Act 1 this week and take advantage of the solo time.

I am looking forward to my final year at UCLA; I will only be teaching composers for my final year––a perfect ending.

Back to work.

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