Tag Archives: Thea Musgrave

HARRIET, THE WOMAN CALLED MOSES: OPERA BY THEA MUSGRAVE

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

HARRIET, THE WOMAN CALLED MOSES – This opera, with music and libretto by Scottish composer Thea Musgrave, was first performed March 1st, 1985 at the Virginia Opera in Norfolk, VA. The conductor was Musgrave’s husband Peter Mark. 

Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember my articles about Thea Musgrave’s 1979 opera version of A Christmas Carol. I consider Musgrave one of the few genuine giants of opera from the late 20th Century. (Yes, I’m so boring I’m even into opera.) 

Of Republican Harriet Tubman, the famed former slave who worked with the Underground Railroad to lead other slaves to freedom, Musgrave said “Harriet is every woman who dared to defy injustice and tyranny. She is Joan of Arc, she is Susan B Anthony, she is Anne Frank, she is Mother Teresa.”

Harriet, The Woman Called Moses is a two-act opera which uses a non-linear narrative structure, jumping back and forth in time while highlighting powerful episodes in Tubman’s life. A chorus representing slaves remains on stage for the entire performance. Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1982): THEA MUSGRAVE’S OPERA

thea-musgrave

Get it right this time or I’ll squeeze your balls like THIS!

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1982) – Balladeer’s Blog’s 2016 edition of my annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues with this EXPANDED look at the great Thea Musgrave’s opera version from Granada Television video in 1982.

Musgrave was British and in my opinion she was one of the few masters of opera from the late 20th Century. The world premier of this most accessible of Thea’s works was on December 16th, 1981 at the Norfolk Center Theater. That Norfolk, VA production was by the Virginia Opera Association.

Later the opera debuted at the Royal Opera House in the U.K. and at the State Opera House in Australia.   Continue reading

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CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON 2011: THREE OPERA VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Time for another post in Balladeer’s Blog’s annual orgy of entries on various versions of THE Christmas tale. The Charles Dickens classic has a certain  unquenchable charm that ensures it will continue to be adapted for at least another few hundred years. Here’s an encore post from last Christmas season for my blogging buddy Didi Wright and her whippet George, the co-authors of the blog My Little Dog. Didi’s daughter Brianna hopes to be an opera singer someday so hopefully Brianna will enjoy this post, too.:

This time I’ll look at three opera versions of the classic Dickens tale. I’ll start off with the most lauded one- the 1982 Granada TV broadcast of the Royal Opera House’s staging of the opera by THE Thea Musgrave. Musgrave has also done the libretto and music for the celebrated operas Mary, Queen Of Scots … Harriet, The Woman Called Moses … Simon Bolivar  and Continue reading

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CHRISTMAS SEASON DIVERSION: THREE OPERA VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL

In my fifth installment of lesser-known versions of A Christmas Carol I’ll look at three opera versions of the classic Dickens tale. I’ll start off with the most lauded one- the 1982 Granada TV broadcast of the Royal Opera House’s staging of the opera by THE Thea Musgrave. Musgrave has also done the libretto and music for the celebrated operas Mary, Queen Of Scots … Harriet, The Woman Called Moses … Simon Bolivar  and most recently Pontalba in 2003. The opera is fairly faithful with the most significant changes obviously being imposed by the format. For efficiency’s sake the only scene at nephew Fred’s home is at the very end so things can close on a very festive note. Every performer except the Continue reading

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