Creative Concept Enterprises

First Act of New Opera Project Uploaded to Load.CD

News 17.05.2010 10:11
We had been searching for a couple of years for a long poem or other literary work from the Medieval Period (1000-1500 AD) to use for libretto in our second opera. We ran across the text of a medieval morality play from that period in English history called "The Castle of Perseverence." (sic)

The over 3,500 lines of metrical text we located online had been modernized by Professor Dr. Alexandra F. Johnston, Victoria University, University of Toronto. We asked for and received written permission from Dr. Johnston to use her copyrighted work as libretto in a contemporary opera. We needed to  further modernize the Middle English usage found throughout the play into more modern-sounding English.

The multitude of characters in the morality play proved to be an artistic problem for us as we began work on the opera. Rather than having the kind of names one normally finds, the characters in the morality play are instead given the names of the Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Moral Virtues, etc. Characters appear and disappear within the play structure to never be seen again.

The play opens with "The Banns." We have two lyric tenors alone on stage singing the parts of the two Heralds. The Banns section provides a synopsis of the plot of the play.

Another consideration we had was the "castle." The play rubrics mention the castle walls as being part of the scenery. Characters ascend scaffolds that are onstage. After some careful thought, we decided that the scaffolds mentioned in the morality play could be duplicated using modern scaffolding--with wheels attached. The scaffolds are meant for use in a military attack upon the Castle of Perseverence in one part of the play. So.....the scaffolds will become part of the scenery to be moved about -- away from and closer to the castle walls -- as the plot calls for.

Quite the interesting play to use for a setting in a contemporary opera project. But, one we are relishing with each moment we spend working on it.

ACT I is 47 minutes, 56 seconds of music scored for full orchestra, mixed choir and solo voices.




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