Postcard from Morocco
More info on Postcard from Morocco
About the opera Postcard from Morocco
Postcard from Morocco is an opera in one act composed by Dominick Argento and libretto written by John Donahue that was commissioned by the Center Opera Company (now the Minnesota Opera). It is based on A Child's Garden of Verse by Robert Louis Stevenson. The setting is a train station in an exotic place, 1914. The world premier of the opera was on October 14, 1971, at the Cedar Village Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Conducted by Philip Brunelle and stage direction by John Donahue. The set and costume designer was Jon Barkla and the lighting designer was Karlis Ozols. It was a huge success and went on to be produced in New York and around the world. This was Argento's first international success. A masterpiece it exemplifies Argento's abilities as a composer, â€œArgento's Music speaks to his audience with a singular freshness and ardourâ€. Postcard is a moving and artful piece, which asks us to think about our motivations in life.Read more on Wikipedia
The orchestra and cast are both small. The cast consists of only seven singing characters and the orchestra is small; a piano, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, violin, viola, bass, a small percussion section, and classical guitar. The orchestra at times feels like a band in the train station scoring the action around them. The score also calls for non-traditional sounds of a train at the beginning and end of the piece. It asks for a whistle, it is possible to include the sound of the train (steam releasing, brakes) at the station for the beginning and end of the opera book ending it, emphasizing the station as a place people merely pass through not dwell in. These can be done with a live whistle but using a sound system provides greater range in dynamics and timbrel quality of the train sounds.