Opera


  The Araboolies of Liberty Street        Audio excerpt  :::  Score excerpt  :::  Ordering information
An Opera in One Act
Based on the book by Sam Swope, with a libretto by Constance Congdon, The Araboolies is designed for performance in schools where virtually no production facilities may be available. A humorous treatment of the themes of tolerance and diversity, as the kids of Liberty Street make it possible for an exotic new family to move into their conformist neighborhood, ruled over by the mean General and Mrs. Pinch. Performed by both adults and children, the opera is intended for use by opera outreach or young audience development programs for children in grades 4-8 and their families. The style is contemporary tonal musical theatre.

Instrumentation: piano, 1 percussion (trap set, various small hand percussion)

Opera cast:

General Pinch (Tenor)
Mrs. Pinch (Soprano)
Joy, a young teenage girl (Soprano)
Boboolie, a young teenage boy Araboolie (Soprano, trouser role)
Momoolie Araboolie (Mezzo-soprano)
Popoolie Araboolie (Baritone)
Kid's Chorus, (Treble voices, 6-8 minimum)
Detail Summary
Based on the book by Sam Swope

   Libretto by:

Constance Congdon

   Composed:

2001

   Duration:

about 45 min.

   Publisher:

Pear Tree Press

   Catalog No.:

PTM 601


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  The Yellow Wallpaper        Audio excerpt  :::  Reviews  :::  Ordering information
A Chamber Opera in Two Acts
The Yellow Wallpaper is based on a Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story that was first published in New England Magazine in 1892. Set in a New England summer house in 1899, it describes the fate of Charlotte, a young wife and mother suffering from postpartum depression whose treatment — strict bed rest and a total absence of mental stimulation — leads to her emotional and intellectual decline. A contemporary tonal score with folk inflections.

Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo and alto flute), oboe, clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), bassoon, horn, trumpet, harp, piano (doubling celesta or, optionally, synthesizer), percussion (one player), string quintet (or small string orchestra)

Special: Onstage "drunken" clarinettist (role may be played by the orchestra clarinet)

Opera cast:
Nell, a young girl, Realtor's daughter (Soprano)
Emily, a young girl, Realtor's daughter (Soprano)
Ed, an older workman (Bass)
Len, a younger workman (Tenor)
Realtor, a widower, father of Nell and Emily (Tenor)
John, a doctor, married to Charlotte (Baritone)
Jennie, John's sister (soprano)
Charlotte, married to John, has "neurasthenia" (Soprano)
Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, historical figure (Male voice*)
Woman in the Wall (Soprano**)
Mary, Ed's wife, the baby's nurse (contralto)
Women's chorus (SSA, at least 6-9 singers)
Drunken clarinettist (male)

* This role involves almost exclusively a heightened speech ("Sprechstimme") for which only rhythms and relative pitch are notated.

** A member of the Women's Chorus

"Perera's music is well-made, tuneful, gratifying to voices and resourcefully orchestrated for 14 players. The opera is ingeniously organized, from the point of view of color, variety, thematic interrelationship and development."
Boston Globe
Detail Summary
Based on the novella by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

  Libretto by:

Constance Congdon

  Original
  conception/
  artistic
  collaboration:

Mark Harrison

  Composed:

1989

  Duration:

1 hr., 45 min.

  Publisher:

Music Associates of New York


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  S.        Audio excerpt  :::  Score excerpt  :::  Reviews  :::  Ordering information
An Opera in Two Acts
Based on a novel by John Updike, S. is set in present-day Boston and Boston's North Shore, in Florida, in England and Holland, at an ashram in Arizona, and on an island in the Bahamas. It follows Sarah Worth, a wealthy doctor's wife and a loving mother, as she flees her suburban life to join her guru, a charismatic Hindu religious leader known as the Arhat, at his ashram in Arizona. A hilarious romp through 80s American culture. Contemporary tonal music with Indian raga elements.

Opera Cast:
Sarah Worth, an upper-class WASP in her mid-forties (Lyric soprano)
Charles Worth, Sarah's husband, a doctor (Lyric baritone)
Pearl, Sarah and Charles' college-age daughter (Coloratura soprano)
The Arhat, a founder of Ashram Arhat, Forrest, AZ (Lyric tenor)
Durga, chief administrator of the ashram (Dramatic mezzo-soprano)
Alinga, a staff member at the ashram (Lyric soprano)
Gilman, Charles' lawyer (Bass-baritone)
Mother, Sarah's mother, a widow retired in Florida (Lyric mezzo soprano)
Midge, Sarah's best friend on the North Shore (Soprano)
Miles Murrow, a TV talk show host (Sprechstimme role)
Swiss Banker (French speaking role)
Ducky Bradford, Charles' investment advisor and Dr. Podhoretz, Sarah's dentist (Tenor)
Sheriff Yardley, Sheriff of Dorado County, AZ and Dr. Epstein, Sarah's psychiatrist (Bass)
Chorus (minimum about 24, evenly distributed SATB); travelers, sannyasins, local people, TV crew, IRS agents and others (including a few small designated solo parts such as Fritz, Racher, Navajo Man, Minister, etc).

Instrumentation: 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo and alto flute), 2 oboes (2nd doubling E.H.), 2 clarinets (2nd doubling alto sax, bass clarinet), 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, harp, percussion (2 players), sitar (may be performed on synthesizer), optional tambura, strings. Alternative chamber version: 2 pianos (2nd doubling synthesizer), optional tambura, percussion (2 players).

"Perera's music...does beautifully in setting mood, defining character, underlining humor, and distinguishing the sounds of two worlds."
The Valley Advocate
Detail Summary
Based on the novel by John Updike

  Libretto by:

Constance Congdon

  Original
  conception/
  artistic
  collaboration:

Mark Harrison

  Composed:

1995

  Duration:

2 hrs., 25 min.

  Publisher:

ECS Publishing


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