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© Copyright 2019 Ichthus Music Press

ASTRAY 

A DARK COMEDY ABOUT GETTING CAUGHT IN BETWEEN

PROJECT

DESCRIPTION

Two people meet in a therapy group for the dead. Each of the deceased is trying to reconcile the knowledge that they are alive, with a world that considers them to be dead, and would prefer to stay that way.

A man reads his obituary in the paper and is appalled that not only does everyone think he is dead, but that his death, which he allegedly experienced, is not the one he wanted. He tries to change the record of his death, but meets a ruthless bureaucrat who blocks his every attempt.

A woman returns from a long absence to find that her family has declared her dead. She asks her

husband, who clings to the idealized memories of her life, to accept the possibility that she still exists. He refuses.

In group therapy, the couple realizes that they have to accept their death to continue with the rest of their lives.

This dark comedy is an original story based on bizarre true stories, Kafka's parable "Before the Law" and Mahler's setting of the Rückert poem, Ich habe der Welt abhanden gekommen.

VENUE, CASTING, & ORCHESTRATION

This opera can work as a stand-alone piece, or can be programmed to compliment any number of one-acts that highlight similar themes.
 
The cast of characters can be adjusted depending upon the available resources.  The general distribution of voices consists of the following:
HERSELF  (Coloratura Soprano)
HIMSELF (Lyric Baritone)
MAN IN THERAPY/OBITUARIST/HUSBAND (Lyric Tenor)
THERAPIST/BUROCRAT (Dramatic Mezzo-soprano)
The opera is scored for dual pianos and percussion, a 6-piece ensemble, or a 13-piece chamber orchestra.  It can be adapted to traditional stages, intimate black boxes, dive bars,  multi-purpose public venues, private parlors, and other non-traditional spaces. Anticipated running time is between 45 - 70 minutes.

THE MUSIC

The opera will be lyrically robust and compositionally sophisticated with solo moments that will challenge young singers, while providing accomplished professionals the opportunity to lend the material their distinctive voices. Drawing from the composer's operatic and Jazz sensibilities, the writing features a rich harmonic palate, intricate contrapuntal dialogues, and a rhythmic fluidity that transitions seamlessly from recitativo to choral ensemble, to aria. 

THE COMPOSER

Frank Pesci’s compositions have been performed across North America and Europe. He has written nearly 100 works for the concert stage, including forty choral works, eleven song cycles, nearly twenty chamber and concert scores, and four operas. He lives in Cologne, Germany.