Make it a musical?

May 9, 2010

Daniel and I spent five days in Mazatlàn, Mexico last week. It was the town where the story for my future opera has its end. I revisited the story, made some fun changes.

As I have a commission to compose a piece for Vladimir Chernov,it occurred to me to find Duarte’s arias/numbers in the opera and see whether they work as a vocal set. It turns out that they do.

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The first is a song of lust and hormones from the young Duarte hearing Angela sing makes him hot in a way he has never experienced.

The second is a patter song, now a professional in his early thirties, about all of the things he has to offer her should she accept him to represent her as a lawyer, an agent and a music publisher–I imagine the setting to be something between Leporello’s “Madamina, il catalogo è questo” in Don Giovani, and “Not getting married” by Stephen Sondheim.
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The third is a soliloquy outside Angela’s door when he realizes how wildly in love he is with Angela, but he is married to Rosa.

The fourth and final number is an aria, a proposal on her death bed. He finally confesses his love, and apologizes for waiting so long.

Today, we went to hear/see the musical CHICAGO at the Pantages. While in Mazatlàn, I was toying with the idea of making THE ROSE AND THE NIGHTINGALE a musical. After hearing CHICAGO, I am clear that this has to be an opera. I can’t express this story in such simple language as in CHICAGO (and all the other Disney musicals). An opera by me will have some populist elements in it which will blur the lines anyway.

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