The Earl of Kildare An Opera in 3 Acts (2 Vols).
PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
The Earl of Kildare is an opera composed in three acts based on the 1534 rebellion
against English rule in Ireland of Thomas FitzGerald, the 10th Earl of Kildare, also
known as Tomás an Síoda, or Silken Thomas. It is scored for a sixteen-piece
orchestra, and has a cast of ten singers. The libretto is by Celia de Fréine.
The principal method behind the composition is the assignment of separate tempo
layers and interval sets to the important characters resulting in the layering of tempi
in scenes where such characters interact. Tempo ratios are used as a means of
creating varying degrees of friction between character interactions, the simpler ratios
signifying a less conflicting relationship than the more complex ratios which are
used to signify a higher level of conflict.
Thanks to The Living Opera Company, a workshop-production of the opera,
performed with piano accompaniment only, was mounted, and a DVD made of the
resulting performance. The performance showed some flaws in the architecture of
the music, specifically in the last two acts, where more or longer interludes were
required to cover scene changes. These have been addressed. Additionally, there
were composed some spin-off arrangements for different ensembles of music from
the opera. These are included in volume 2.
The composition shows that the use of tempo layering, in addition to other
techniques, as a means of dramatic characterisation is a viable methodology for the
composition of music-drama.
||Please note: This thesis is accompanied by two CDs (i) acoustic prelude/transition to Act III, Scene iv (ii) DVD of workshop production (2009) - available in the Library.
||Earl of Kildare; An Opera in 3 Acts;
||Arts, Celtic Studies & Philosophy > Music
||09 May 2011 12:16
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