.Gabriel

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.Gabriel (pronounced "dot Gabriel") is an opera in two acts (to be performed continuously) written by American composer Robert J. Bradshaw.[1] The libretto, also by Bradshaw, was inspired by the composer's online experiences with social networking websites, instant messaging, chat rooms and email correspondence.[2] The opera was commissioned by the Australian Trumpet Guild for performance at the 35th Annual Conference of the International Trumpet Guild, 2010, Sydney, Australia.[3] Also in 2010, the composition was awarded an American Music Center Composer Assistance Program Grant [4] and was named winner of a 2009 Boston Metro Opera Mainstage Award.[5]

About the opera[edit]

Program notes[2] (included in the published score) state:

.Gabriel is an allegory for society's increasing perception of connection to the world through the Internet, while in fact separating ourselves from physical interaction. The false perception of safety and protection (and ultimate isolation) of electronic relationships at times promotes posting statements or images people would never consider saying (or doing) in person.[6] Although Principal interacts with the other members of the cast, they never come in contact with each other. A scrim represents the physical barrier (the computer screen) that separates Principal from the living world around her."[7]

.Gabriel is a composition where the trumpet performs as one of the main characters, interacting on stage with the vocalists.[8] The three vocal roles represent different aspects of social interaction. "Principal represents society's dependency on the Internet, computers and electronic communication."[2] She lives alone and is consumed by her need to be "connected". There are also two minor male roles that act as Principal's memories. One is the positive spirit of social relationships and the other is the actual situations where social interaction is required.[1]

Concert premiere[edit]

.Gabriel was premiered at the Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (July 8, 2010).[3] The two principal roles were performed by Joshua Clarke (Yamaha Performing Artist and Principal Trumpet of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra) [9] and Jane Parkin (Opera Australia Artist and member of the Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program) [10] In March 2010, scenes from the opera sung by Tina Milhorn Stallard, who sang Principal in the premiere recording, had been previewed at the Palm Beach Atlantic University New Music Festival.[11]

Roles[edit]

Role Voice type Premiere Cast[8]
Gabriel, Principal's unknown companion Trumpet Joshua Clarke
Principal, A young woman obsessed with the Internet Soprano Jane Parkin
Memory I, A persistent memory trying to resurface in Principal's mind Tenor Samuel Sakker
Memory II, A persistent memory trying to resurface in Principal's mind Bass-baritone Christopher Hillier
Instrument Musician
Clarinet Peter Jenkins
Viola Virginia Commerfod
Bassoon Matthew Ockenden
Piano Tony Legge
Conductor Tony Legge

Staged premiere[edit]

.Gabriel was first staged in America on February 25–26, 2011, by the Boston Metro Opera. The performances took place at Hope Central Church in the historic Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.[12] These performances were announced on December 1, 2009, when the opera won a BMO Mainstage Award.[5]

Character Voice type Premiere Cast
Gabriel, Principal's unknown companion Trumpet Kathryn Driscoll
Principal, A young woman obsessed with the Internet Soprano Sarah Mayo
Memory I, A persistent memory trying to resurface in Principal's mind Tenor Christopher Aaron Smith
Memory II, A persistent memory trying to resurface in Principal's mind Bass-baritone Stewart Kramer
Instrument Musician
Piano Eve K. Budnick

First recording[edit]

.Gabriel was recorded by the Palmetto Camerata at the University of South Carolina (January 5–7, 2010) and released by Beauport Classical (BC41009) on CD in 2010.[13] The recording features Tina Milhorn Stallard (soprano) and James Ackley (trumpet) performing the principal roles.[1]

The Palmetto Camerata, .GABRIEL Recording Session, January 5, 2010
Role Voice type Recording Cast
(Engineer: Jeff Francis)
Gabriel, Principal's unknown companion Trumpet James Ackley
Principal, A young woman obsessed with the Internet Soprano Tina Milhorn Stallard
Memory I, A persistent memory trying to resurface in Principal's mind Tenor Walter Cuttino
Memory II, A persistent memory trying to resurface in Principal's mind Bass-baritone Jacob Will
Instrument Musician
Clarinet Joeseph Eller
Viola Constance Gee
Bassoon Michael Harley
Piano Joeseph Rackers
Conductor Neil Casey

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c American Record Guide Nov–Dec 2010, p. 95
  2. ^ a b c .Gabriel, Program/Notes, score published by Beauport Press
  3. ^ a b International Trumpet Guild Review of premiere performance of .Gabriel
  4. ^ American Music Center Composer Assistance Program 2010 Awards List
  5. ^ a b Boston Metro Opera Mainstage Award Announcement
  6. ^ The New York Times, "On Networking Sites, Learning How Not to Share"
  7. ^ Gabriel, Program/Notes
  8. ^ a b Opera Australia Article titled New opera features trumpet in main role
  9. ^ Joshua Clarke Biography
  10. ^ Jane Parkin Biography
  11. ^ Stepanich, Greg. "New Music festival features contemporary classical composers". The Palm Beach Post. March 16, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  12. ^ Boston Metro Opera Concert Program
  13. ^ CD Baby (CD Distributor) .Gabriel listing

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]