Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cassandra calling... Again.

Ok another opera.  In this case created not by the composer but again by the administration.  During the rehearsals I hear nothing about art but only if it will sell.  It doesn't actually matter if it does or not. Just by being performed it already is a success.  The Muralization continues.


 Not a bad idea for an opera and the composer has a good feeling for harmony. The story is told.

 Naturally I found some problems.

  1. Simple linear story telling. 
  2. Addition of a love story that doesn't quite mesh. 
  3. Musically the beginning has all the fireworks.  
  4. The end fizzles.
  5. Overall Its musically unbalanced.  This could be fixed.  Better to end with the male chorus singing a rousing tune.
  6. Melody? No tunes at all.  A very conversational setting. 
  7. When their are tunes they were composed by someone else.  
  8. All the vocal line are derived from the harmony either hetrophonic or arpeggios with the occasional upper neighbor note.  --All out of the harmony.  
  9. The voice  never leads the voice never has the melody.  So the characters are never in charge of their music even the bad guys. 
  10. The music does not tell the story it frames the story.   
  11. The registers are too high for the singers. The scansion is good but the registers and the multi-language setting make it still hard to understand.
  12. Instrumental approach to character --their vocal part does not explain them, their accompaniment tries to but all the accompaniments are similar.  Only events get noted.
  13. All the parts have the same vocal lines just some are even higher.  See Les Miz.
  14. The use of quotation is not persuasive.  
  15. The layering of old quotations and new original music seems a simple effect.  Its been done.
  16. In fact there is much sophisticated simplicity at hand.  Too many long notes in the strings.  To many long held chords.  
  17. Character is not clearly defined because of the outside in approach.  
  18. The scene is described by the accompaniment not by the singers. Cinematic approach. Music as underscoring as framework for something else.

Well, heads or tails? 

The MN critics loved it, but that was expected.  Just as the MN audience always give a standing ovation to everything.  I stand by my thoughts.

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