Saturday, 18 September 2010

Jigsaws

Following the performances of my opera this summer, I've ended up with a score covered in pencil marks, reflecting the ideas/changes/corrections which cropped up during the rehearsal period, plus musical clarifications from conductor David Roblou. Also Ian Caddy, the director of the staging (which premieres 31st March 2011), was present at the August performance and has come up with a number of ideas. These are designed to keep the drama flowing and correct the problems where tension sags. The trick is now to apply these cuts and changes to the score without losing the original structure. There are two sections based on a ground bass, which rather leaves little room for manoeuvre if you want to cut bars. Similarly there are other places where the accompaniment has musical and thematic reminiscences, so changes have to be clever. The other thing is, of course, that any change should feel like an improvement (or a movement in a particular direction) rather than change for changes sake. As we are staging the work for the first time, having just done it in concert, the revised version will be slightly less oratorio like in places, giving more scope for a fast paced, realistic drama. The revised score is still a work in progress but by the end of this month we should have something on which to base our staging.

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