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Thursday
Feb182016

Expanded Orchestration for The Scarlet Letter 

I have added additional winds and one horn to the orchestration for The Scarlet Letter, allowing for a larger and darker range of sound.

The new orchestration is as follows:

2 Flutes/Piccolo

2 Oboes/English Horn

2 Clarinets in B flat/Bass Clarinet

2 Bassoons

2 Horns in F

Trumpet in C

Trombone

Timpani: 5 (20, 23, 26, 29, 32)

Percussion: Bass Drum, Chimes (high and low Eb), Cymbals — medium suspended (brushes, mallets, sticks), Finger Cymbals, Gong, Snare Drum, Tambourine and Triangle

Harp

Piano/Celesta

Voices (solo and chorus)

Violins 1 & 2 (8,8) Viola (6) Violoncello (4) Double Bass (2)

The characters and choruses remain the same, except I am customizing Hester's lines for coloratura Laura Claycomb.

LEADING ROLES

Hester Prynne, a seamstress: soprano

Arthur Dimmesdale, a young minister: tenor

Roger Chillingworth, a doctor: baritone

MINOR ROLES

Mistress Hibbons, a witch: mezzo-soprano

John Wilson, an elder minister: tenor

Governor Bellingham: baritone

Pearl, Hester's young daughter: non-speaking actor

CHORUS (SATB) Minimum 8

The Chorus Includes:

A Sailor (Baritone)

A Farmer (Tenor)

A Shipmaster (Baritone)

3 Goodwives (2 Sopranos, 1 Mezzo-soprano)

The Beadle (Baritone)

As needed, assorted Indians and townsfolk

These secondary roles can be cast from the chorus.

Thursday
Feb042016

The Scarlet Letter to feature soprano Laura Claycomb as Hester Prynne

The Scarlet Letter will feature soprano Laura Claycomb as Hester Prynne in her Opera Colorado debut. Claycomb is stepping in for soprano Elizabeth Futral, who had to withdraw from the production due to personal health reasons. To read the official press release, please click here.

To learn more about Laura Claycomb, please click here.

Saturday
Oct312015

My first "Letter" Song commissioned by Lyric Fest of Philadelphia

Lyric Fest commissioned my first "Letter" song for its newest commission project, "Sincerely Yours — Letters Set to Music".

I spent several months trying to find the perfect letter to serve as the basis for my song, finally settling upon one written by Mike Gioia, who is the son of my frequent collaborator, Dana Gioia. Mike had written this missive several years ago, as part of his application to Stanford University. Mike's sense of humor, language and evocative descriptions made this letter perfect for song.

I composed "Dear Future Roommate" in July 2015. Baritone Keith Phares and pianist Laura Ward will premiere the work on these two concerts:

April 2, 2016 at Haverford College at 8 pm

April 3, 2016 at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia at 3 pm

Other commissioned composers include composers Benjamin C.S. Boyle, John Conahan, Thomas Lloyd, Abbie Betinis, Daron Hagen, and Logan Skelton. Other performers include soprano Kelly Ann Bixby, tenor Andrew Fuchs and mezzo-soprano Katy Pracht.

For more information, please click here and here.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday
Oct252015

"forgetting" — by the Artsong Repertory Theater Company

On November 13 and 14 of 2015, the Artsong Repertory Theatre Company of Philadelphia will present "forgetting" — a show which examines the relationship between a mother and daughter as they both confront the mother's Alzheimer's Disease.

My songs will be featured, along with the music of Jake Heggie, Charles Ives, Tom Cipullo, William Bolcom, Dominick Argento and Larry Alan Smith.

The production is staged by Cory O'Niell Walker with musical direction by Jillan Zack. Performers are soprano Cara Latham, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Beattie and pianist Jillian Zack.

For more information and/or to buy tickets, please click here.

Tuesday
Oct202015

Opera Colorado Young Artists — American Song Recital 1.24.16

The Young Artists of Opera Colorado will be giving a concert entitled "American Song Recital" at the Redline Gallery in Denver, CO on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 2 pm. Many of my works with be featured, along with works by other contemporary American composers, and I will be in residence for a few days before the concert, in order to coach the artists.

This year's young artists are soprano Emily Louise Robinson, mezzo-soprano Danielle Lombardi, tenor Benjamin Werley, baritone Charles Eaton and baritone William Lee Bryan. Cherity Koepke is the Director of Education and Community Engagement, and guides these young artists in their pursuit of excellence.