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Roman Fever (Piano/Vocal Score)

By Robert Ward

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Opera in 1 Act for mixed voices
Composed by Robert Ward. One Act/Chamber Opera. 20th Century. Piano/vocal score. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.VP0008).

Item Number: EC.VP0008

Text: Edith Wharton.

Libretto:
Written by Roger Brunyate based on the story by Edith Wharton

Synopsis:
Audiences gave standing ovations and critics acclaimed the premiere performance of Roman Fever, a new one-act opera based on Edith Wharton's story.The story is set in 1927 in a terrace restaurant overlooking the Roman Forum where two widows and their daughters have met by chance. In the course of the opera, the full story of their meeting in the same place twenty years earlier is revealed.During the creation of the opera, the librettist and composer were particularly mindful of the repertory needs of conservatory and university opera groups. Duration: ~ 1 Hour

Roles:
ALIDEA SLADESoprano
JENNY SLADE, her daughterLyric Soprano
GRACE ANSLEYMezzo-Soprano
BARBARA ANSLEY, her daughter Mezzo-Soprano
WAITERBaritone

Premier:
June 1993, Triangle Opera Theater, Duke University

Notable Performances:
Peabody Institute
University of Michigan
Manhattan School of Music
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Eastman School of Music

Available Recordings:
CD Recording available from Albany Records, Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, David Gilbert, conductor, Cat. No. TROY505

  

View complete Piano/Vocal score:
Reviews:

Roman Fever melds music with drama in a manner reminiscent of the finest verismo operas, sports an extraordinary quartet for four female voices that must surely rank among Ward's most moving moments...
-John Lambert, THE SPECTATOR

Musically, this opera is beautiful beyond description. The rich flow of melody - following the text with hardly a break - is a delight to the ear and soul. Ward has a lyrical gift not often encountered in this day of crassness. And a sense of humor too. The writing for the small chamber orchestra is beyond belief, catching as it does the tender lyricism so evoked by the story. And the scoring makes for both vocal and instrumental richness and sonority. When the girls tell of their rendezvous with the Italian men, the music becomes jazzy and accompanies them in a typical 1920's dance. Early in the opera, Ward provides a magnificent duet... and a long solioquy... but the musical highlight comes just as the girls are leaving to meet their dates. Beginning with a solo entrance by Barbara, the music grows in turn, each woman's voice enters until it blossoms into a superbly scored quartet, whose ending leaves one breathless...
-Alwin Tonkonogy, DURHAM HERALD-SUN

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