The Moon Singer
About this work:
The Moon Singer is a chamber opera in one act, designed for children as well as adult listeners. It is based upon the story "The Moon Singer," by Clyde Robert Bulla and the libretto is by Diane Simkin Demeter. The lead character of "Torr," the mysterious boy who is the "moon singer," is written for soprano, and this role may also be performed by a boy soprano of exceptional ability. All other roles are for mature voices. Musical direction of the premiere was by John Greer, and the stage director was Jonathan Field.
I began to think about writing a short opera for young listeners in 1994, and "The Moon Singer" was written over the course of the four years from then to the premiere at the Brevard Music Festival in the summer of 1998, when I was composer-in-residence. The spark which led me to this project came from the reading of many children's stories with my then five-year-old daughter, and I suppose this also rekindled a desire I have had for a number of years to try my hand at a dramatic work.
In my operatic adaption I arranged the drama into a prologue and two scenes. The prologue introduces Torr and shows his discovery by Lord Crail. The first scene is set in a room at the Palace, and culminates with the ridicule of Torr's failure to sing. The second scene takes place in the Forest, and shows Torr's recovery and the understanding of his gift. I had from the start imagined the opera to be especially directed toward young listeners, although meant for a general audience as well. With this in mind, I wrote the music for a chamber group as the instrumental ensemble, and I imagined performances in less formal settings - like assembly rooms in schools - in addition to more traditional stage settings. The music itself was written with much regard for dramatic needs.
Commissioned by the Hanson Institute for American Music. Premiere performance at the Brevard Music Festival in 1998.
Published by Published by Keiser Classical; contact - 203-560-9436, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year composed: 1998
Ensemble type: Opera/Theater:Chamber Opera, Two or More Singers
Instrumentation: 1 Flute, 1 Oboe, 1 Horn in F, 1 Percussion (General), 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello, 1 Double bass, 1 Guitar (Classical/Acoustic), 2 Soprano, 1 Alto, 1 Tenor, 1 Baritone, 1 Bass-Baritone, 4 Other Voice