FIVE WOMEN PLAY THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES
ROYAL FLUSH is a one-act, opera designed for collegiate, semi-pro, and professional companies with many talented female singers, and not enough roles for them all. It's a comic piece interspersed with touching and vulnerable moments for all five singers. Four sisters (either by blood or common experience) size each other up over one hand of Poker. The fifth - their "Mother" - manages the proceedings, calls the game, and calmly deals.
With each card, one of the four sisters reflects on the hand they are dealt - both in the game, and in their lives - and in the process, reveals their "tell." The stubbornness and competitiveness of the four sisters push them all to advance terrible hands, while the dealer quietly assembles a Royal Flush. At the showdown, the Mother/dealer calls them all out, identifying their tells (which they didn't know they were showing) and advising them to "be kind to each other, because you're never alone."
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 several female roles and/or similar themes.
The cast of characters can be adjusted depending upon the available resources. The general distribution of voices consists of the following:
Rosie (Coloratura Soprano), her “tell” is prolific profanity.
Cee-Cee (Lyric Soprano), her “tell” is uncontrollable giggling.
Frankie (Dramatic Soprano), her “tell” is being overbearing self-confidence.
Annie (Lyric Mezzo), her “tell” is aggressive outbursts.
DeeDee, the Dealer (Lyric or Dramatic Mezzo), has the only poker face in the group. She knows everyone’s “tells.”
The opera is scored for piano solo, and can be performed with or without a conductor. It can be adapted to traditional stages, intimate black boxes, dive bars, multi-purpose public venues, private parlors, and other non-traditional spaces. Running time is 45 minutes.
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The opera is 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.
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 five operas. He lives in Cologne, Germany.