Publisher and editor Trevor Cramer of TrevCo describes Lacy’s music as “innovative, refreshing and creative.” He says that the new pieces are “a wonderful addition to the literature available to the double reed player and others.”

Since some readers are double reeders, I figured I’d post a link to this article. (I did have to kind of laugh about the photo of the composer. My first reaction was, “too bad he has half a face.” I know it’s supposed to look creative and all … just doesn’t work for me.)

You can also visit Trev Co Music to see what else is there. It’s a good resource for double reed musicians.

06. May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Opera, Ramble · Tags:

Variations on an opera theme must be in the air today … I just read this:

The Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, best known for producing classical European operas for almost 60 years, is breaking new ground with an original hip hopera production on Wednesday.

Soprano Teiya Kasahara, baritone Justin Welsh, pianist Liz Upchurch, plus local rap DJs lil Jaz and T.R.A.C.K.S. composed the work in hip-hop beat mode, rather than operatic orchestration and vocals.

Their new work, “Hip Hopera”, is a story about the challenges faced by an interracial couple.

So now we also have “hip hopera”.

Shall we invent other operas? Anyone want to jump in here?

Of course there’s always ObOpera … which consists of only oboists. Everyone’s dream, I know.

I’ve blogged about this before, I’m sure (I’m too lazy to check right now). But what does make an opera? What makes a musical? I would never call Oklahoma! an opera, and I would never call Turandot a musical. But what about A Little Night Music or Street Scene? Do tell!

One blogger is quite clear that Porgy and Bess is not an opera. Period. Another writer calls Carmina Burana a pop opera.

Years ago I heard a rather snooty sounding man say opera doesn’t use amplification and musical theatre does. (This was back when Luhrmann’s La Boheme was being done, and he was clearly aiming his shots at that.) Others say it has to do with the moving of the story line … something about how the song or aria stops time or causes the story line to progress … something like that, anyway. Some might say it just has to do with the quality of the writing, but of course that gets mighty subjective.

One thing I have noticed is that musical theatre is much more likely to alter instrumentation … somehow instrumentation doesn’t matter to MT folks nearly as much as it does to the opera people. (It matters to me!)

And then there’s “what ruins an opera?” I think the following, which I just read about here, would do it for me:

Five years ago in Berlin, San Diego Opera’s Ian Campbell attended a controversial new version of Puccini’s “Turandot” that had French soprano Sylvie Valayre emerging from the stomach of an enormous teddy bear and the tenor using a giant cell phone to punch in the answers to the opera’s riddles.

Well. Okay then.

Update

I’m not the only one who asks things like this. I just read this:

Is Street Scene a Broadway musical? Or is it an opera? Or is it a synthesis of the two?
“It’s definitely an interesting question when it comes to Weill and his place in the musical world,” Shell said. “As far as the production is concerned, we just stay true to what he intended.”
That varies from scene to scene.
“Weill purposely did things within the first act to hook the people who were interested in opera to come to see a Broadway musical,” Shell said.
“And he gave the Broadway crowd something they could understand and appreciate in the first act.
“It moves more toward real opera in the second act. The second act is much shorter, but it’s much more operatic in construct as well as in the music. He was purposely trying to ease everybody into what he thinks musical drama would ultimately be.”
By “opera,” Shell meant music that “furthers the drama” or music in which “the musical themes take precedence and they start to make comments on the story, as opposed it just being some arbitrary accompaniment of singing.”