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The Dreamers

By David Conte

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3 Soprano Voices, 2 Mezzo-Soprano Voices, 4 Tenor Voices, 3 Baritone Voices, Bass-Baritone Voice, Boy Soprano Voice, Girl Soprano Voice, Men's Ensemble, Women's Ensemble
Composed by David Conte (1955-). Full Length Opera. 21st Century. Piano/vocal score. 292 pages. Duration 2 hours. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.5219).

Item Number: EC.5219

Text: Philip Littell.

Commissioned by the Sonoma City Opera, Sonoma, California

Subtitled "the first part of a history of California," The Dreamers is a highly accessible opera about the dreams of American life, using as a springboard the dreams of one man, General Mariano Vallejo. Set primarily on two hot August days in 1848 in Sonoma, California- two years after the infamous Bear Flag Revolt that wrested control of the Sonoma Valley from the Mexican goverment, created the California republic, and led quickly in turn to its absorption by the United States- The Dreamers depicts California as the place where people come to fulfill their dreams, and the dreams are as varied as those who dream them. The raising of the bear flag lingers as a nightmare in Vallejo's mind, while his daughter's fancy turns toward one of the handsome American soldiers. California seems big enough to hold the dreams of a lonely Indian woman, the last of her tribe; a black man who is trying to earn enough money as a gambler to buy his wife out of slavery, and a gay soldier's dream to find acceptance and understanding.

Conte and Littell have captured this formative moment in American history in a compelling drama where characters are separated by their sexual, cultural, and racial differences, and brought together by their dreams. The Dreamers is our nation's tragedy and comedy: the never-ending story of how we became "American."

"The Dreamers confounded skeptics and left audiences cheering at each of seven soldout confounded skeptics and left audiences cheering at each of seven soldout performances... he [Conte] has written much vocal and choral music and his expertise is reflected in The Dreamers most powerful, soaring moments, especially the big ensembles in the second half of the the three-hour opus." -Byron Belt, OPERA NEWS.

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