Hi,

as some of you might recall, I posted the first aria of this mini opera project several months ago.

As I have finally finished composing it, I'm here again to post the entire opera. Following your precious suggestions, I have scored a piano and a chamber orchestra reduction, just in case some composition contests require such instrumentation.

I have also made an abridged version of the original play by E. Dowson (it's in public domain), which significantly reduce the time of the spoken parts (around 10 mins), for a total duration (arias + spoken parts) of around 25-30 mins.

At the following URLs you'll find the six arias, each of which lasts around two minutes. As I have recently been able to find a female singer (not an opera one) and recording is still a work in progress, a couple of arias feature a real singer whereas the other still make use of synth vocalizations.

 

I hope you''l give this work a chance and let me know whether it's a decent work or not and where it needs to be improved.

Thank you all so much, for your time and patience.

Gabriele

 

Full version, including 3 instrumental pieces:

https://gargoyle.bandcamp.com/album/the-pierrot-of-the-minute

 

Arias only + subtitles:

My journey's end! - https://vimeo.com/690007961

Who is this mortal - https://vimeo.com/692181670

Take up thy destiny - https://vimeo.com/724152051

Sweet contemplation! - https://vimeo.com/712545349

What is love? - https://vimeo.com/737844772

Moon Maiden's song - https://vimeo.com/704587676

 

 

 

 

 

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  • the Moon Maiden's Song is ravishing -- simple and yet so touching. And all of it is nicely and varyingly orchestrated with the instruments supporting the vocal line effectively when appropriate (I tend to write a bit differently with the orchestra being more independent of the singers but my influences are probably completely different and it's not a criticism). It certainly helps having a real singer even if one or two of the words were mispronounced but I'd use one of the virtual choirs which can sing text in the other songs in the meantime such as the EWQL Symphonic Choirs.

    I don't think I'd call it an opera --even a mini-one as there is no actual plot is there? -- or perhaps I simply don't know the whole story, but it doesn't matter. I got a lot of pleasure listening to this

    • David,

      thank you so much for your time and for your appreciation.

      I agree with your comment about the orchestration: it's not a matter of influences as I'd like the orchestra to play more complex and independent parts (like in Verdi, for example: you can cut out the voices and you still get great melodies and orchestration) but my skills are not that good.

      As for the plot, well, the original one-act play by E. Dowson has one, even though this brief work is a sort of allegory of success. I just set on music the most important (imho) lines.

      Thank you once again for your support.

      Gabriele

       

       

  • Great piece. I'd call it an operetta. I have very few comments. You evidently know what you're doing with harmony, melody and orchestration so I won't comment on that. About the arias/duets:

     “Who is this Mortal?” I think the closing chord should be a little longer (as you did in “What is Love”). A very nice ending.

    “Take up thy Destiny”: The voice needs a tiny bit more volume with “While my dance woos him" (1’50” approx.) Thereafter the lower voice notes need strengthening. Is this possible on your mixer?

    “What is Love?” Perhaps a little more voice volume on the Moon Maiden’s opening bars. Either adjust the orchestration or its volume to give her a slightly stronger entry? I liked the change of harmony when Pierrot entered.

    Moon Maiden’s Song. Nice. The ending suggests a short orchestral coda (just a few bars) might conclude the work better (and give the audience the cue to applaud?) And perhaps an overture, introducing some of the tunes. A couple of minutes would do it.

    However, it would work equally well as a 'recital' with things as they are.

    So: Well-balanced orchestration. Altogether easy to listen to.

    Given the style and these being songs/arias/duets, I was perfectly happy with the balance between voice and orchestra. Arias are meant to showcase a voice and/or character. Would Donizetti (one of my two favourite operettists) have done differently? I don’t think so. You keep the singers comfortably in their tessitura. Everything flows. It could possibly be expanded with talking or recitative between arias perhaps to fill in more about the plot to turn it into a 15-20 minute piece. You give some stage instructions so it would give the characters (and scene changers) a chance to 'set the new scene'.

    This is exactly the kind of work a local opera group might perform (although you may have to rely on your chamber adaptation as most community halls won’t have a large orchestra pit). And great you have a piano reduction - always good for rehearsal.

    Congratulations on putting this all together. Brilliant.

    • Dane,

      first of all, let me thank you for the time spent listening and commenting.

      What about adding a "punto coronato" (grand pause) to the closing chord of "Who is this mortal"?

      As for the flaws in the mixing, which I noticed too, I'll try to fix them but I'm not very confident as I'm definetly not skilled in mixing, unfortunately.

      Never thought about adding a little coda to the end of the Moon Maiden song's to call for a round of applause, I'll definitly give this a try!

      As for adding an overture and/or recitatives, my concern is about the duration: all the calls for score from opera companies are about very short works, often around 5 up to 30 minutes. The 6 arias (and 3 very brief incidental piece of music) last around 15mins and the spoken part last around 10-15mins, therefore I've already reached 30mins length. While there could still be room for a very brief overture, there definetly won't be for recitatives. I also chose this play by E. Dowson, among the other reasons, also because it's just a one-act/one-scene play, so it should be pretty easy to stage (this is the URL of the abridged version of the booklet, in case somebody would like to read it: https://drive.google.com/file/d/19YDH7cNPLvu7_Wfcgl1BmCjSclqnUKuM/view)

      That said, I thank you deeply once again. Such helpful and detailed suggestions (hope Donizetti won't come in my dreams to scold me, as you dared to mention him :DDD)

      Thank you for your support.

      Gabriele

       

       

       

      • If the calls from opera companies are for no more than around 30 minutes then you have maybe got things just about right if you need that much text to tell the story. I think a scene-setting prelude (not like a full overture) would be helpful. I wonder whether could you even replace the spoken parts with a form of recitative, but then again that might not work and I'm more thinking out loud.Your overall plan does seem to make sense -- and you've obviously given it a good deal of thought -- and there are parallels elsewhere in music for this approach.

        If the Moon Maiden's Song is really the very last planned thing (I don't know how the readings are supposed to fit), then I would certainly round things off with just a few orchestral chords to emphasize the glow at the end, otherwise it does sound a bit abrupt. But not too much, otherwise it would be out of scale.

        I'm not in general very good at detailed analysis, except in a few works which I really find lots of merit but are obviously spoiled by a few specifics which is not really the case here. I'll leave that sort of thing to Dane et al.

        • David,

          I'll definitely look into writing a very brief overture, as you both agree on it being helpful. Same for the Moon Maiden's song: I'm going to add few bars to better end the entire work.

          Don't worry David, even few words are a great honor to me. I actually find these suggestions highly precious, as they come from accomplished composers.

          Thank you once again, deeply.

          Gabriele

      • "As for the flaws in the mixing, which I noticed too, I'll try to fix them but I'm not very confident as I'm definetly not skilled in mixing, unfortunately."

        It'll only need a small "tweak". Just a touch of the fader can make a big difference sometimes. I too, have a lot to learn about production! You don't mention the equipment you're working on so I assumed the orchestra was put together on a Midi editor. It may be possible to austomate the voice volume with a CC channel (Continuous Control Channel), lifting it a tiny bit where necessary - although if you present your recording as it is as a "demo" a competent producer would know what's going on.

        I take your points about duration. In fact the 23 seconds before "My jourenye's end" is enough of an intro to raise the curtain. You may have already written brief links between the arias and if so it would be nice to hear the work complete.

        All my wishes that you can have this performed. 

        Bests, Dane.

        • Dane,

          yes I intensively use automations but in those very cases it's not enough. I assume some unwanted frequencies from other instruments are overlapping so I'm supposed to make room by filtering those instruments but, as I said before, I'm not very good at it. I hope a juror who listen to a midi mockup in order to choose which composition is worthy of being staged could overlook such flaws and focus on the score.. maybe I'm too naive, I know.

          As for the overture, as I said, i'll look into it, as you and David have now triggered me! :DDD

          I'm still refining the 3 very brief instrumental parts and I'll surely post them here. By the way, they are not meant to strictly link the arias, tbh. They just accompany the actors in the spoken parts. Indeed, I have always looked at this opera as a singspiel for many reasons: first of all, the length of the work; second, I definitely don't own the skills needed to compose recitatives; last but not least, I believe spoken parts give the singers a better opportunity to show their skills in acting, rather than recitatives (but this is just a personal standpoint).

          Crossed fingers, even I'm not confident at all that Pierrot will ever be performed.

          Thank you a lot once again for such help and support.

          Gabriele

           

  • Just to let you know that, as promised, I published the entire opera (arias + incidental music).

    You can listen to it at: https://gargoyle.bandcamp.com/album/the-pierrot-of-the-minute

    As David and Dane (which I thank once again) suggested, I added few bars at the end of th "Moon Maiden's song" to end the whole work in a more proper and clear way.

    I can now focus on the overture (event though the work has already exceeded the planned duration).

    Many thanks to those who are going to listen to it, for their time and comments.

    Best,

    Gabriele

  •  Hi Gabriele,

    very hard to do voices digitally but I surely can hear the potential of this work. The instrumental part is excellent.

    I have just listened to the first movement and enjoyed it. Thank you.

    Kjell 

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