It has been a while since my last post, but now that things are starting to heat up again in the arts scene here in Juneau, it is time to let you know about what is happening.

This past week, I have started rehearsals for the one-act childern’s opera, Bennu’s Birds – an operatic fantasy, a work that OTG commissioned from Rory Stitt. The music has been rolling in steadily over the past few weeks, we now have enough to cast and start to work on it. There still remains about 1/2 of the piece floating around the ether surrounding Rory’s muse, but what we have so far is truly wonderful and original.

Great Music

One thing that I find in common with great music, is that it has an immediately recognizable and original sound. Every great composer had that from the beginning of our western music to today. The music of JS Bach is instantly recognizable and distinctive from his contemporaries such as Handel and Vivaldi.  Mozart and  Haydn sound similar to the casual listener, but even the slightest amount of attention reveals the personalities of the two giants in sharp relief.

As time has moved on, music has become more and more divergent in styles, with each composer bringing a unique voice to the ensembles he or she writes for. True in rock and pop music as well – my respect always goes to the composers, songwriters, or bands that set themselves apart with a style, a sound, that becomes inimitable.

All new music invites comparison with what has come before, and I look forward to hearing singers’ and audiences’ reaction to Rory’s score. I find it firmly footed in an operatic genre (whatever on Earth that means in 2012!), but with rich, sometimes jazzy harmonies, and melodic contour that belies his experience in pop songwriting and musical theater.

The Workshop

What is a workshop all about that no one gets to sign up for, anyway? This workshop is not for singers, or instrumentalists, or designers, or directors. It is for a composer. Of course Rory in this case. He has been slaving away on this piece for quite a while now, and we want (in fact, need) to give it a musical run through for an audience before diving into a full production. This makes sense, because we can get reactions from singers, audience, and the composer himself. This will help Rory shape any fine points of the story and dramatic/musical flow before orchestrating and giving it its final form.

So, the audience for the workshop is a very important factor for the composition of the piece. And we can’t wait to share it with you! October 20 7:30pm, and 21 3pm, Northern Light United Church. Go ahead and put it in your calendars, or even buy your tickets now! See our button at the top of every page, or go to the normal ticket outlets.

until next time,