Musica Brasilis is now added to the database

Brazilian music publisher, Musica Bralisis is now listed in the database. Musica Brasilis documents the long rich history of Brazilian music beginning in the 1500s. The website includes downloadable scores, videos, and soundclips documenting over 100 years of Brazilian recorded music. Searching for operas, I was listening to choros, tangos, bossa novas, and sambas listedContinue reading “Musica Brasilis is now added to the database”

Duke Ellington’s lost opera, Queenie Pie is now in the database

In the 1930s, Duke Ellington started working on an opera about Madame C.J. Walker, the first African American woman millionaire. These sketches became the basis for the opera, Queenie Pie. Queenie, one of New York’s finest beauticians, is challenged by a rival, Cafe O’Lay a lighter skinned Creole. Cafe O’Lay sells skin-whitening concoctions to residentsContinue reading “Duke Ellington’s lost opera, Queenie Pie is now in the database”

Sidney Bechet’s ballet “La Nuit Est Une Sorcière” is now listed in the database

Soprano Saxophonist and New Orleans native Sidney Bechet (1897-1957) is now listed in the database. Bechet wrote the ballet, La Nuit Est Une Sorcière, while he was living in Paris in the 1950s. The ballet received mixed reviews when it premiered in 1953. The mixture of classical and jazz themes confused the audience. Even moreContinue reading “Sidney Bechet’s ballet “La Nuit Est Une Sorcière” is now listed in the database”

One of the first Operas with the saxophone, Meyerbeer’s 1849 Le Prophète

When I started this project, I was researching all Romantic operas that were orchestrated for the saxophone. 800+ works of operas and ballets later, I am still finding early Romantic operas, including Giacomo Meyerbeer’s (1791-1864) 1849 grand opera, Le Prophète, which makes it the second oldest opera in the database after George Kastner’s 1844 opera,Continue reading “One of the first Operas with the saxophone, Meyerbeer’s 1849 Le Prophète”

Hamlet: Streaming on Met on Demand, 5/5-5/6

One of the first operas to feature the alto saxophone, Ambroise Thomas’s 1868 opera, Hamlet is streaming tonight on Met on Demand. You can watch it here until Thursday, May 6th: https://www.metopera.org/season/on-demand/opera/?upc=811357013625 Here is the Metropolitan Opera’s description of this 2010 production. “After over a century out of the Met’s repertoire, audiences were thrilled toContinue reading “Hamlet: Streaming on Met on Demand, 5/5-5/6”

Contemporary Music Centre-Ireland works are now the database, and new ways to search

The publisher Centermporary Music Centre Ireland works are now listed in the database. Contemporary Music Centre publishes the works of Irish composers. Historically, the arts were not as well funded in Ireland, so there are only a few works in the database for opera and ballet. The earliest work listed for an Irish composer isContinue reading “Contemporary Music Centre-Ireland works are now the database, and new ways to search”

William Grant Still is now in the Database

Composer William Grant Still (1895-1978), long considered “Dean of African-American Classical Composers” is now listed in the database. Still is known for inserting African-American folk songs and spirituals into his compositions. Two ballets are listed in the database, 1937’s Lenox Avenue and 1941’s Miss Sally’s Party. In Lenox Avenue, Still called for 3 saxophonists, Alto, Alto/Bari,Continue reading “William Grant Still is now in the Database”

The Saxophone and Ondes Martenot at the 1937 World Exposition

The World’s Exposition in Paris in 1937, initially intended to recreate the successful Expositions of the past (i.e. the Eiffel Tower’s construction for the 1889 Exposition to demonstrate the power of steel), ended up as prelude to war. Each nation built pavilions along the River Seine, but rather than showcasing technological achievement, these pavilions becameContinue reading “The Saxophone and Ondes Martenot at the 1937 World Exposition”

Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, now streaming on Operavision

Sergei Prokofiev’s 1936 masterpiece, Romeo and Juliet, is now streaming on Operavision. This new production is from the Polish National Ballet. It will be streaming until 8/16/21. Romeo and Juliet has a well known tenor saxophone solo, you can hear it in at minute 26:35 during the “Montagues and Capulets” scene, one of it’s mostContinue reading “Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, now streaming on Operavision”

Duke Ellington is now in the Database

Pianist, composer, and leader of one of the finest big bands in the 20th century, Duke Ellington (1899-1974) is now listed in the database. Ellington’s expressive, energetic, and dance like music makes him a go-to source for choreographers to create new and unique ballets. The choreographer Alvin Ailey, who founded the Alvin Ailey American DanceContinue reading “Duke Ellington is now in the Database”