STOP. THIS. OPERA!
A ONE-ACT OPERA FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES
Wracked with stage fright over her operatic debut, a singer tries desperately to stop the performance so she won’t have to sing her show-ending aria. In her attempts to stop the opera, she pleads with the composer, the conductor and orchestra, the stage manager and crew, even the prompter and the supertitles operator, all of whom push the opera to its conclusion. The singer overcomes her fear and brings down the house, only to learn she must do it again the following night.
An opera for young audiences, STOP. THIS. OPERA! introduces the moving parts of a production and many important roles on- and off-stage. It also addresses the fear of putting oneself and one’s talents on display, and the benefit and self-confidence gained by doing so.
Principal Roles (3 Singers)
THE ONE WITH THE BIG SOLO (soprano or tenor) – a terrified opera singer making their debut. Their stage fright is so great, that they are trying anything they can think of to stop the opera from reaching its end.
THE SUPPORTING CHARACTER (mezzo-soprano or baritone) – a seasoned professional doing what they can to move the show along while encouraging BIG SOLO.
COMPOSER (flexible voice type) – sympathetic to BIG SOLO, but absolutely opposes any attempt to stop or change the opera.
Secondary Roles (as available, and willing)
CONDUCTOR and ORCHESTRA
STAGE MANAGER AND BACKSTAGE CREW
PROMPTER and SUPERTITLES TECH
LIGHTING BOARD OPERATOR
OPTIONAL CHORUS comprised of children (and/or willing adults) in the audience.
A Note about Casting: Secondary Roles should be filled by actual personnel serving in each capacity. The order of action involving Secondary Roles and the Chorus may be rearranged or omitted, based on the availability – and willingness – of said participants. Additionally, the COMPOSER or SUPPORTING CHARACTER may double as any of the Secondary Roles.
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.