PYRAMUS AND THISBE(1982)

one-act opera

Duration: 45 minutes

Coloratura soprano

Mezzo-soprano

Lyric tenor

Lyric tenor

Baritone

Bass

 

Chamber orchestra

 

Convery writes:

The opera is my second. It is in two scenes with a staged musical interlude serving to encapsulate the dramatic statement of the opera by restating its intent in miniature during this interlude. The libretto is adapted from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM by Shakespeare. I adapted the libretto. The first scene is of the rude mechanicals discussing the play to present before the Duke and Duchess. The musical interlude is a mimed rehearsal of the play. The second scene is the performance of the play. The opera is a comic farce. Each character has his own music and melodic style to what he or she, sings. Each character is identified with an instrument in the orchestra. The writing is Brittenesque. The setting of the text is not as fussy as Britten, that is, I do not attempt to paint the words in the vocal line to the extent that Britten would. I feel his extreme use of this technique diminishes the clarity and communication of the text.

Each character has an aria. There is a large ensemble piece at the end of the first scene involving all the characters. There is a farcical love duet at the end of the opera which ends with the entire ensemble once again singing together.

The opera was first workshopped at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford,CT in 1982. Leon Major was director. First performance (staged and conducted) was by Boris Goldovsky in 1983 at the Curtis Institute of Music. A subsequent performance was in 1985 at the American Opera Center. I staged the opera and JoAnn Falletta conducted. Another performance, following the workshop at the O'Neill, was in the summer of 1982 at the Lake George Opera Festival.