Please join the School of Music for the Festival of One Act Operas presented by the TCU Opera Studio. All performances were recorded prior to the end of the spring semester. David Gately, director.
Opera in English w/subtitles
Composer and Librettist: Tom Johnson
Director: David Gately
Musical Supervisor and Pianist: Stephen Carey
Editor: Janell Stallard
Subtitles: David Gately
The Soprano - Jackie Cuesta
The Contralto - Lotta Mushkatblat
The Tenor - Sean Fahy
The Baritone - Kelly DeLameter
The Bass - Jacob Dyksterhouse
Composer Note (Written in 2004) I was 32 years old when The Four Note Opera was premiered, and that was 32 years ago. Now, with the wisdom one is expected to have at the age of 64, I should know everything about this early work, but I really don’t know much more than before. The only sure thing is that the crucial moment in the evolution of the piece was that evening very long ago when I read, with great excitement, Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters In Search of an Author. Normally characters are not even conscious of their existence on a stage. They are completely obedient to the author, they conform totally to the world the author creates, and they have no thoughts of their own. But Pirandello's masterpiece was different. His characters knew they existed in a theatrical space, and only for a couple of hours. They were aware of the audience, and of the author as well. It was not the kind of theatre that asks you to believe something that is not true. It was the kind of theatre that you have to believe, because everything is true.
Pirandello's vision had a strong impact on me, and for years one question lingered in the back of my mind: what would happen if, instead of Six Characters in Search of an Author, there happened to be some opera characters looking for a composer? It happened that some opera characters were looking for a composer, and about 10 years after reading Pirandello they found me and came to life in The Four Note Opera. This opera, my first, was premiered in 1972 in a little theater in New York called the Cubiculo, and it was an immediate success, taken over later that year by CBS-TV, then by the Netherlands Opera for a European premiere the following season, and subsequently by other opera groups, both professional and non-professional, each year thereafter.