Thursday, July 30, 2015

"At the Governor's Ball, done up like a Christmas Tree"

"While this one here at the Governor's Ball,
Done up, like a Christmas Tree"
from Act II scene i of BABY DOE
at the Janiec Opera Company of
the Brevard Music Center

For the past year, activities at the Douglas Moore Fund have looked inward at Moore himself. One of the projects comes to fruition this month with the premiere of a new reduced orchestration of THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE.

Using the scores from the original conductor, Emerson Buckley, the score has been entered, reduced, and printed using Finale. The Janiec Opera Center of the Brevard Music Center has graciously agreed to collaborate on the premiere, enduring the usual need for corrections of wrong notes. The final edits will be made after a production this fall at Amarillo Opera.

Discussions will be under way soon about the best way to administer this orchestration. The next fund project will be to edit and produce collections of Moore's vocal works, including unpublished pieces and others that are scattered over a half dozen publishers.

Monday, January 12, 2015

At the National Opera Association

Last week, Michael Ching and Miranda Beeson presented a program of Moore's lesser known operas and songs at the conference of the National Opera Association in Greensboro. The program was performed by students and faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, gathered together by their chair, Louise Toppin. We are particularly interested in further productions of CARRIE NATION and Jack Beeson's LIZZIE BORDEN.

Also at the conference, composer Leanna Kirchoff's opera, THE CLEVER ARTIFICE OF HARRIET AND MARGARET won the NOA's chamber opera competition. It will get a full production at next year's conference in Indianapolis. Leanna received a travel grant from the Moore Fund last year.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Douglas Moore's birthday, August 10th

This weekend, Cutchogue had its annual Douglas Moore Festival concert. In honor of the birthday, here's a link to a Moore song from 1938, "Adam was my grandfather." Text is by Stephen Vincent Benet and the title of the poem is "For all blasphemers." Here's the full text.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

LIZZIE goes to Tanglewood

Jack Beeson's dramatic and dark LIZZIE BORDEN will play at Tanglewood this summer at the end of July. Here's a link to a New Yorker announcement about it. And here's a more comprehensive one at Boston Lyric Opera. The production features a new orchestral reduction.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Day-Dream by Duke Ellington, Billie Strayhorn and John LaTouche

Opera folks know John LaTouche as the librettist for Douglas Moore's BALLAD OF BABY DOE. Given that the arias in DOE are some of the most moving in American opera, it's not surprising to learn that LaTouche was also a songwriter. He also collaborated with Vernon Duke and Leonard Bernstein.

I came across this in an old Ellington book from the 1940s that belonged to my father. 

You can purchase Ella Fitzgerald's recording of it here on Amazon. The instrumental only version is here.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Juhi Bansal visits the college staged premiere of A WOMAN IN MOROCCO

Daron Hagen, composer and Barbara Grecki, librettist

This fall the Moore Fund provided composer Juhi Bansal with a grant to attend the production week of the college staged premiere of Daron Hagen's opera, A WOMAN IN MOROCCO. The work had its premiere on October 25, 2013 at the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas, Austin. 

Thanks to Mo. Hagen and Mo. Kelly Kuo at the Butler Opera Center.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A mini Moore for Leanna Kirchoff

Recently, composer Leanna Kirchoff, went on a mini Moore fellowship to observe Arizona Opera's full workshop of Craig Bohmler and Steven Mark Kohn's operatic treatment of Zane Grey's novel, RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE.

Leanna said "It was great to see the work twice and to have time to talk to Craig and Steven about the process from creation to performance.  Craig's music has such a great emotional range and it is always contributing to the story, rather than being merely accompanimental.  He played for both performances, which was impressive, as the music was difficult in many spots!"

Leanna's work was featured at the John Duffy Composers Institute at Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk. She recently produced her opera, THE CLEVER ARTIFICE OF HARRIET AND MARGARET, in Colorado.

We thank Craig and Steven and Arizona Opera's Ryan Taylor for facilitating and embracing this visit.