Don't Miss the Opera in the Pit

September 3, 2014 4:04 PM

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I am occasionally asked, on panels, and in master classes, why it is important for an opera composer to write well for the orchestra, do their own orchestrations, and use it for more than mere accompaniment to what's going on twelve feet above.

I reply that an understanding of the orchestra's role in opera is a prerequisite for crafting the very finest, and the most sophisticated, operatic scores. I stipulate that it is in the subtle use of orchestral colors and textures that much of the composer's capacity for the telling of truth to powe...

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