Monday, November 05, 2007

Advice to Composers

I am tired of my advice to opera composers series. I wasn't saying a lot.

1. Aim lower. We're just folks. We might enjoy some catchy tunes or lyrical moments not imported from popular songs.

2. Put in a love story. Those lyrical moments work best when accompanied by love.

3. Learn how to compose for singers. Consider this a goal worth aspiring to. We're here to listen to people sing, usually sopranos and tenors, but other people, too.

4. Write arias that can be taken out of context and performed in concerts and on recordings.

5. Sex sells. There may have been a time when political posturing did, but there's no evidence this is still true. The larger political issues are all settled, and I don't really see an opera about capitalism. I think to excite the imagination it has to be an active contemporary issue that stirs the passions.

6. Sell your opera to the public, not to the Met board or your academic colleagues. If the objective is your academic prestige, then please, just skip it.

We can consider this subject on hiatus.

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