"Kindertwist" by Marc Hoffeditz
I. Three Blind Devils II. Missing III. Rock-a-bye-bye "Kindertwist" is a collection of miniature dramas for soprano and pierrot ensemble inspired by darker interpretations of children's songs. Not only do these pieces exploit the innocent nature of nursery rhymes, but they also take into account the crazed mentality of the individuals dealing with these situations. "Three Blind Devils" recounts the Farmer's wife's attempts to murder the rodents that are infiltrating both her home and sanity. "Missing" explores the numbness of an older woman who recently lost her dog, contemplating reality and battling suicidal thoughts. "Rock-a-bye-bye" explores the life of a stepmother dealing with the cacophonies and tribulations of her newly acquired child. Much like the child's cradle, her mental stability teeters and totters ad nauseum, awaiting the outcome of her stepchild's foreshadowed death. Composer/Conductor: Marc Hoffeditz Soprano: Alexis Rodda Flute: Heather Pulkowski Clarinet: Jared Field Violin: Chelsea Starbuck Smith Cello: Jihwon Na Prepared piano: Dmitry Glivinskiy Recording by Jason Pomerantz "Three Blind Devils" Three blind mice Are running through my kitchen. Chaos ensnares my life! Vermin! Demons! Return to Hell! "Missing" Oh where, oh where are you, Trixie? Savior from this cruel reality, I’m lost. The phone always rings. I never answer. And yet, I listen to the lullabies of my razor blade. Away from this darkness with Trixie! Doggy!” Trixie? Doggy? Darling? “Come with me to another world What is there to live for? What is to live? I am missing. What is there? You are lost. "Rock-a-bye-bye" Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top When the wind blows, your cradle will fall through the sky And I can finally sleep all through the night! Hush-a-bye baby, soon the bow breaks! Slender branches, crippling arms of a mother tree Waiting to snap off. Please don’t cry dear child, I’m only trying to help you. And save the world from pulling out their hair. Please just stop for an hour, a minute, a second! God! Why did I marry a widowed father? Don’t you cry angel, it’s getting old. Clock is ticking. Quit your cries creature, don’t you fret. Mommy’s coming closer to a night without crying or sighing or whining, With romance, relaxing, and Daddy dearest alone! Why do you tease me, bastard child? Held over my head playing games like a mutt. I am not your animal, but now you are mine! It’s time, for when the bow breaks I’ll see you next fall. Presented by The Secret Opera www.thesecretopera.com
She, After Composed by Daniel Felsenfeld Text based on Alice, in the Time of the Jabberwock by Will Eno and Nora in the Great Outdoors by Robert Coover Conductor: Nell Flanders Director: Sarah Outhwaite Soprano: Alexis Rodda Piano: Jason Wirth Violin: Johannes Lee Cello: InYoung Park Production Manager: Elise Brancheau Presented by The Secret Opera on July 26, 2014 at Scholes Street Studios
"The Hill Wife" by Alex Burtzos
I. The Birds II. The House III. The Smile IV. The Tree V. The Hill Wife The Hill Wife takes as its basis a set of five poems by Robert Frost. Together, these verses tell the story of a young married couple who live in isolation deep in the New England woods. Childless, isolated, and increasingly unhappy, their relationship fragments as the mental health of the wife deteriorates. The strongest character in the set may be the forest itself, which Frost depicts as a crushing, claustrophobic force that eventually consumes all else. The poems themselves alternate between distant third-person commentary and breathless first-person narrative: likewise, the music is sometimes aggressive and sometimes remote. Composer: Alex Burtzos Text by Robert Frost Conductor: Alex Burtzos Soprano: Alexis Rodda Flute: Alice Jones Clarinet: Bryan Conger Violin: Shyang Puri Cello: Julia Biber Piano: Naomi Perley Video by Josh Vertolli I. THE BIRDS One ought not to have to care So much as you and I Care when the birds come round the house To seem to say goodby; Or care so much when they come back With whatever it is they sing; The truth being we are as much Too glad for the one thing As we are too sad for the other here-- With birds that fill their breasts But with each other and themselves And their built or driven nests. II. THE HOUSE Always--I tell you this they learned-- Always at night when they returned To the lonely house from far away, To lamps unlighted and fire gone gray, They learned to rattle the lock and key To give whatever might chance to be, Warning and time to be off in flight: And preferring the out- to the indoor night, They learned to leave the house door wide Until they had lit the lamp inside. III. THE SMILE I didn't like the way he went away. That smile! It never came of being gay. Still he smiled--did you see him? I was sure! Perhaps because we gave him only bread And the wretch knew from that that we were poor. Perhaps because he let us give instead Of seizing from us as he might have seized. Perhaps he mocked at us for being wed, Or being very young (and he was pleased To have a vision of us old and dead). I wonder how far down the road he's got. He's watching from the woods as like as not. IV. THE TREE She had no saying dark enough For the dark pine that kept Forever trying the window latch Of the room where they slept. The tireless but ineffectual hands That with every futile pass Made the great tree seem as a little bird Before the mystery of glass! It had never been inside the room, And only one of the two Was afraid in an oft-repeated dream Of what the tree might do. V. THE HILL WIFE It was too lonely for her there, And too wild, And since there were but two of them, And no child, And work was little in the house, She was free, And followed where he furrowed field, Or felled tree. She rested on a log and tossed The fresh chips, With a song only to herself On her lips. And once she went to break a bough Of black alder. She strayed so far she scarcely heard When he called her ― And didn’t answer ― didn’t speak ― Or return. She stood, and then she ran and hid In the fern. He never found her, though he looked Everywhere, And he asked at her mother’s house Was she there. Sudden and swift and light as that The ties gave, And he learned of finalities Besides the grave. Presented by The Secret Opera www.thesecretopera.com
Rosaleen 10/11 - Act III Scene 4 - Mad Scene
Dalton intercepts Cale on his way to flee with Rosaleen. In an impulsive fit of anger, he stabs him. Cale, dying, admits he loves Rosaleen, but that she indeed has remained chaste. Dalton realizes what he has done. Rosaleen, gone mad, enters and sings about the artistic merits of Cale's blood, not realizing that he is dead. She then begins to hallucinate about her dead children, imagining the life they would have had together if they had lived.