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Work

Barossa : opera

by Ralph Middenway (1988)

Barossa

$POA

This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.

Barossa

$POA

This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.

Score

Barossa : a singspiel in two acts / libretto: Andrew Taylor ; music: Ralph Middenway.

Library shelf no. F 782.13/MID 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

This opera (technically a Singspiel, i.e with some spoken dialogue), is a 'Romeo and Juliet' story with a happy ending. Its setting is a small ethnic German town in Barossa Valley in South Australia, during the period October 31st to 11th November 1918.

'Romeo' is a recently discharged AIF officer, the son of a local Anglo grazier; 'Juliet' is a student teacher, the daughter of a widowed ethnic German woman with a small holding.

The plot is driven by the sometimes extreme ethnic tensions found in the Valley during WW1. Music plays a role: one character plays ragtime piano; one is the church organist; several others form an onstage German band. News of the Armistice leads to a happy ending.

Work Details

Year: 1988

Instrumentation: 4 professional singers (2 sopranos, 2 baritones), 7 advanced students (2 tenors, 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, speaker), onstage instrumentalists (jazz piano/speaker, organ/mime), onstage German band, mixed chorus, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 trumpets, flugelhorn, horn, baritone, trombone, bass trombone, 2 percussion, harp, strings (4.4.3.2.1. min.).

Duration: 120 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Four professional singers for principal roles (SSBarBar)

Dedication note: "Den Schwiegereltern gewidmet - dedicated to our parents-in-law E. und E. Joseph, Wiesbaden ; I. and R. Dambitis, Adelaide."

Commission note: Commissioned by South Australian College of Advanced Education.

First performance: by Tessa Miller, Mary Branagan, Geoffrey Asshenden, Alan McKie, Tessa Bremner, Brian Chatterton — Oct 88. Scott Theatre, Adelaide

By one definition of the term, 'Barossa' is 'post-modern', in that it includes elements of traditional Lutheran music, village dance music, small-town band music, ragtime, bucolic tonal and lyrical or dramatic atonal music, spoken dialogue, and some sections which suggest Sprechgesang. But it works a treat.

Performances of this work

Oct 88: Scott Theatre, Adelaide. Featuring Tessa Miller, Mary Branagan, Geoffrey Asshenden, Alan McKie, Tessa Bremner, Brian Chatterton.

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