Scoring A Century
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Scoring A Century

Scoring A Century is an opera with music by English composer David Blake.[1] The libretto was written by Opera Director Keith Warner. It is described as a 'low entertainment for highbrows, or vice versa'.

It tells the history of Mr and Mrs Jedermann, a couple of song and dance merchants, and incidentally of the twentieth century too.

The Jedermanns stumble through the momentous events, politics and social change of the last one hundred years, never ageing and only begrudgingly developing. Their sole aim is to provide some songs and snatches, to raise a laugh or provoke a tear. The form the piece adopts is more that of musical comedy than opera. It is a modern Singspiel, a review of a century in nineteen panels. There is dialogue and songs, but from time to time the action is interrupted by through-composed mini-operas which contain the serious, imaginative heart of the show.

Performance History

Scoring a Century was originally conceived as part of the millennium celebrations. Scenes from the work were premiered by the University of York Music Department in November 1999 whilst the complete work was being lined up to debut at Portland Opera, Oregon. Just as plans were beginning to finalise, however, the US] suffered the 9/11 terrorist attacks. "After 9/11, American opera houses immediately lost their budgets and Portland Opera decided to do Bohèmes and Magic Flutes instead," Blake says. "It was a big disappointment."[2]

On March 4, 2010 the Opera received its World Premiere at the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, by students from the Birmingham Conservatoire vocal department, directed by Warner and conducted by Lionel Friend.

Roles

Role Voice Type Premiere Cast,
4 March 2010
(Conductor: Lionel Friend)
Ernest Jedermann Baritone Matthew Cooper
Edith Jedermann Mezzo Lucie Louvrier
Private Tenor Benjamin Gillham [1]
Sergeant Baritone Joseph Kennedy
Nurse Mezzo Anna Jeffers [2]
Woodrow Wilson Tenor Kristian Cleworth
Clemenceau Tenor Mikael Onelius
Lloyd George Bass James Davies
Lenin Bass Ian McFarlane
Manager Spoken Debbie Oliver
Jedermann's Son Spoken Dale Harris
Berthold Tenor Henrik Lagercrantz
Studio Assistant Spoken Hannah Nye
Young Man Spoken Ben Gillham
Violinist Spoken Joshua Takacs
Tartine Soprano Francesca Saracino
Man in Nazi Uniform Spoken Thomas Arnold-Haynes
Gestapo Officer Spoken Craig Jackson
Father Baritone Hedd Owen Griffiths
Mother Mezzo Fiona Krober/Shira Lang
Station Master Bass Timothy Elliot
Voice Of Son Spoken Dale Harris
Kommissar Spoken Andrea Tjader
American Chairman Tenor Lee Beaumont
Soviet Prosecutor Bass Matthew Durkan
Girl in Jeans Soprano Penny Appleyard
Old Man Tenor Mitesh Khatri [3]
Woman 1 Mezzo Olivia Barry [4]/Harriet Campbell(alternating)
Woman 2 Soprano Lianne Birkett/Georgina Stalbow(alternating)
Woman 3 Soprano Claire Lees/Roma Loukes(alternating)
Woman in Black Spoken Andrea Pfenninger
Hippy 1 Spoken Joe Kennedy
Hippy 2 Spoken Stephanie Darkins
Hippy 3 Spoken Yukimi Muta
Hippy 4 Spoken Rosie Secker
Mary Lou Spoken Rachel Farr
Stage Manager Spoken Rose Mitchell
Police Officer Spoken Kay Standen
African-American Spoken Roberta Turner
Nurse(Act 2) Spoken Amelia Burns
Yuppie Tenor Craig Jackson
Bennie Blumenkohl Spoken Joe Kennedy
Evita Spoken Rosie Secker
Studio Producer Spoken Austine Broad
Engineer Spoken Timothy Elliott
Chorus All of the above plus Phillippa Cairns, Rachel Bowden, Claire Barnett Jones and Stephanie McClean

References

  1. ^ Amanda Holden (2001). The New Penguin Opera Guide. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-051475-9.
  2. ^ Interview and Article with David Blake and Keith Warner, Financial Times website, (subscription required)

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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