Big announcement!

Hello, dear readers!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, but I can assure you that we’ve been busy working on the recording of “The Thirteenth Child”, and making plans for the world premiere production. YES. The first staged production of our opera is now scheduled for summer of 2019! And 2020 will see the European premiere, in Odense Denmark.

Here is the Santa Fe Opera’s announcement of the premiere production:

https://www.santafeopera.org/operas-and-ticketing/the-thirteenth-child

The recording of “The Thirteenth Child” is moving along beautifully! With our orchestra (the Odense Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Shwartz, Act 1, and yours truly, Act 2), recorded and edited, we’re now down to recording just a couple of vocal roles and the chorus. The plan is to complete recording by October of 2018 and issue the opera in 2019, before the premiere in Santa Fe. The cast thus far: Sarah Shafer as Princess Lyra; Tamara Mumford as Queen Gertrude; Ashraf Sewailam as Drokan; Matt Boehler as King Hjarne; David Portillo as Benjamin.

I’ll try to post news here more often!

David

June 4, 2017

We’ve now recorded and edited both acts of the orchestration.  Act 2’s recording came with some extra drama attached!  Our conductor, Beni Shwartz, called from the Copenhagen airport 15 minutes before we were due to go over to the concert hall for the recording session.  Beni:  “I need to fly back to Israel right away-  my wife’s water broke!”

Yow! The choice was to cancel our recording and move the recording back a year or two, or jump in and conduct the act myself. I’ve worked (as producer) with this orchestra for 15 years and know them well.  I decided to have a go, and fortunately it all worked out well.  In fact, better than well.  For three days of sessions they played beautifully for me, and I was one happy conductor. And  I know Poul was happy too.  The score is superb.  Inspired. Heartfelt.  I can hardly wait to see the opera staged.

Next we’ll record some synthesizer parts, and then start laying down the vocal tracks.  Drokan is first. The role will be sung by Ashraf Sewailam.  He’s  scheduled to record it  the last few days of August.

Onward!

Back from Odense!

October 3, 2016
Becky and I have just returned from Odense, Denmark, where we recorded the orchestral score of Act 1.  Producing these sessions, and hearing Poul’s magnificent score brought to life for the first time was as an exhilarating experience as I’ve ever had as a musician.  The score has immense heart and character, and is deep inside the minds of the story’s searching characters.
The orchestra (ca. 60 players) had a very nice sized string section, and was gorgeously recorded in The Carl Nielsen Hall by engineer Viggo Mangor.  Benjamin Shwartz conducted the Odense Symphony Orchestra, with the composer attending from downbeat to final cutoff.
We’ll return for the recording of Act 2 in April, 2017, and then begin recording the vocal parts.  The story’s villain, the bass-baritone, Drokan, will be sung by Ashraf Sewailam.  Follow this blog for more news about the recording and stage-productions now in the works.
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Recording of the “Thirteenth Child”

Bridge Records will begin recording “The Thirteenth Child” in September of 2016, in Odense, Denmark.  The recording process will involve the recording of all orchestral parts separately from the opera’s vocal parts.  The Odense Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by the American/Israeli conductor, Benjamin Shwartz.  The recording of Act One is scheduled for September, and the recording of Act Two is scheduled for April of 2017.  We will update this post as we select the cast for the recording.