BY ANOTHER WAY
A ONE-ACT OPERA FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES
Scripture last mentions the Magi, or "Three Kings", thus:
Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. (Matt. 2:12, KJV)
A collective dream shows the Magi that Herod's request to know the location of the child "...so that I may come and worship Him also." is a ruse. Herod intends to kill the child and eliminate a potential threat to his authority. The Magi, having witnessed the revelation of the child's birth are intent to protect him, and avoid Herod at all costs.
Along the way, the Magi come to terms with the prophetic importance of the child. This is news that should be spread, but if the word gets back to Herod, all could be lost. The weight of their knowledge weighs on them. Also heavy is the significance of the gifts they brought to the manger, which they now realize serve to recognize royalty and godliness, but also portendds the sacrifice that the child will be called upon to make.
In the midst of their travels, they encounter everyday folk - children and parents, the innkeepers, shepherds and farmers. These are the ones for whom the child has been born, and they begin to share the news of his coming kingdom, realizing that the responsibility given to them is stronger than the fear of it being taken away.
This work is an ideal paring for AMAHL and the NIGHT VISITORS, other Christmas programming, or as a stand-alone piece for production, or concert, presentation.
Principal Roles (3 Singers)
BALTHAZAR ...................... Bass
ENSEMBLE - Children and their parents, townspeople, shepherds, farmers, innkeepers; featuring both solo moments and choral tableaux.
This opera features flexible orchestration options: dual pianos and percussion, a 6-piece ensemble, or a 13-piece chamber orchestra. It can be adapted to traditional stages, intimate black boxes, church sanctuaries, multi-purpose public venues, private parlors, and other non-traditional spaces. Anticipated running time is between 45-70 minutes.
Frank Pesci (b. 1974) is a composer of “… sophisticated music with surprising harmonies.”
His 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 five operas, one of which – The System of Soothing – was selected for the 2017 Fort Worth Opera FRONTIERS showcase.
Recent commission and collaborative partners include the Boston Conservatory, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Kammersänger Edward Gauntt, London Review of Books, National Book Award winning poet Terrance Hayes, the Mars Hill College Saxophone Quartet, the What is Noise ensemble, Trinity Church in the City of Boston, and Saturday Night Live writer Simon Rich.
He worked on the reconstruction of Benjamin Britten's two-piano arrangement of Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirèsias, which was performed at the 2012 Aldeburgh Festival with Roger Vignoles and Malcolm Martineau playing. He had a twelve-year career as a professional liturgical musician, working across the southern and eastern US, and touring England and France. He served performing arts non-profits throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England regions, holding teaching positions at the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts, Theatre Lab, the Suzuki School of Newton, and Brookline Music School. He served as Associate Artistic Director of Boston Opera Collaborative, and Executive Director of the New Hampshire Music Festival.
Born in Washington, D.C., he graduated from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received the Theodore Presser Award. He studied with Luigi Zaninelli, John Heiss, and Daron Hagen.