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Need Libretto for an Opera

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I want to write a Romantic Opera.

I need someone to write the libretto, in whatever language deems necessary.

If i can't find anyone, i will then have to write it myself. I despise opera's in english, because the english language, in my opinion, was never meant to be sung operatically. And because i dont speak any other languages, i will have to either write a nonsense opera, or devise a new language altogether...which might as well force me to join youngwriters.com or something lol.

So if anyone is interested, im hoping to compose an opera to the Beauty and the Beast Story (the traditional one).

Would greatly appreciate if you could help.

Thanks

Nick

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Guest bpopw750

Your best bet, Nick, might be to search online for a French writers forum or something of that sort. I speak French, but am not sure I'm up to the task of writing top-tier poetry in French; I would certainly love to, since I remember how beautiful the original story was when I read it in French. I'm certain there'd be a young aspiring French writer (who I'm certain would speak English as well, so you two'd have no problem communicating) who would jump at the opportunity to collaborate with a peer composer. If I can give more suggestions, let me know....

Brooks

Undergraduate, Cello Performance, Greenville, SC

P.S.: I'm new here, so if you had some time to review a couple of my works, posted under the "Chamber Music" thread, I'd greatly appreciate it :)

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Also, don't overlook Spanish! I mean, Spanish isn't traditional and would be better than English. In fact, I wrote an opera not too long ago (well, two years, I am only 15... so that is a little long for someone my age) that was in Spanish and it was received VERY well around here. However, I am in Texas, so that might make a difference. haha.

Just a thought.

-Mori-

P.S. I don't anybody to hurt me because I like Spanish, and Sapphire, if you ever read this... French sucks!

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I want to write a Romantic Opera.

I need someone to write the libretto, in whatever language deems necessary.

If i can't find anyone, i will then have to write it myself. I despise opera's in english, because the english language, in my opinion, was never meant to be sung operatically. And because i dont speak any other languages, i will have to either write a nonsense opera, or devise a new language altogether...which might as well force me to join youngwriters.com or something lol.

So if anyone is interested, im hoping to compose an opera to the Beauty and the Beast Story (the traditional one).

Would greatly appreciate if you could help.

Thanks

Nick

Don't be so hastey to throw away English as an option for your opera. When I was a highschool student I felt the same way. However, if you truely understand English or any language you will see that there will be both positive and negative factors.

Becuase English is my first lanuage and the language of this country I am all for composing operas English :P

Besides, unless you are familiar with the foreign language you are working with you might cause yourself more trouble and end up with a less satisfactory result than if you went with English.

In fact I'm composing an opera right now and I'm having a blast with English. The problem with English is that you have to try a little harder to make sure the language doesn't sound corny or ineffective in its musical delivery.

Either way, I hope you find a libretto and settle on a language.

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Don't be so hastey to throw away English as an option for your opera. When I was a highschool student I felt the same way. However, if you truely understand English or any language you will see that there will be both positive and negative factors.
The english language is more of a conversation language. It has far to many sonorant consonants, and not enough open vowels making it cumbersome to sing with.

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thank you all for the wonderful advice. i will take it into account.

I think the best source of action would be to write the libretto in english myself...as finely as possible, and then perhaps find a frenchman...or spanish :P man to translate. There are websites that you can actually pay to have it done for you...professionally...its jsut a LOT of money for 5000 words to be translated to french/spanish.

And if that fails, then at least i can use the english libretto i would have written, and try turn that into an opera

Thanks again.

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The english language is more of a conversation language. It has far to many sonorant consonants, and not enough open vowels making it cumbersome to sing with.

That's my whole point. Have fun with both the negatives and positives of the language. French and German were also thought of as lanuages not to be used for opera and librettists and composers found a way to work with the languages as ther were.

Having said that, if one is a native English speaker does that mean you have to find another language to write your vocal/choral works in?

Handel did marvelously with the English language. Besides, that is why singers learn who to sing and tackle the issues of various languages. It wasn't until my senior year of highschool and my years in college that I got a better understanding of vocal technique and applying it to various languages that really made me enjoy singing in English.

Any singer with any once of technique will not find English cumbersome at all. The one thing that singers really work hard at is learning how to sing closed vowels well and communicate them well in the tricky parts of the vocal register. So many Afro-centric opera singers show the beauty of English and singing in English when they perform African-American spirituals.

A librettist and or composer who understands the language will avoid making the language sound unattractive to the ears.

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thank you all for the wonderful advice. i will take it into account.

I think the best source of action would be to write the libretto in english myself...as finely as possible, and then perhaps find a frenchman...or spanish :P man to translate. There are websites that you can actually pay to have it done for you...professionally...its jsut a LOT of money for 5000 words to be translated to french/spanish.

And if that fails, then at least i can use the english libretto i would have written, and try turn that into an opera

Thanks again.

Language is not just about words and ideas. It's primarily about feelings. And so is music. If you try to write in a language you can't feel you are going to end up with an opera that sounds like your attitude - apologetic and mediocre.

If you can't use the language you use every day, don't use any. And if it doesn't work in english, it certainly is not going to work in any other language.

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I write in Portuguese... if you're interested. And English. Which apparently you're not.

As to the Beauty and the Beast story, if I were to write on it there's a few minor things I'd like it to have. Not sure if you'd agree, maybe. It does fit with the romantic spirit IMO.

And yes, I have experience with poetic writing :P

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Hmm...im really really happy that this thread has drawn up some excellent points.

You are really making me think hard about the english language. I have heard Handel's The Messiah...but it was a poor performance, and that is probably what is making me steer away from writing in english.

I guess, this opera...well will indeed be in english then. Im going to need to study it's intricacies further (i am english btw). It's going to be a long haul...but i guess the support you have given me is an encouragement to give it a go. Im not trying to make a blockbuster of an opera...but its gonna be a bloody good one at that.

Question: Do you think i should compose the Overture first, or write the libretto first...and then create motifs and themes...and leave the overture to last?

^

Ideas of chronological creation?

Thank you all for your interest in this thread.

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Handel did marvelously with the English language.

Hmm. I'm not aware of any Handel opera in English. All I know are in Italian. I don't know all Handel operas of course. (And he wrote other pieces in English of course.)

I really love some of Purcell's English operas/semi-operas though (Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy Queen, King Arthur, etc.), and there's Britten and other 20th century composers who wrote really nice English operas.

Personally I believe you should only write an opera in a language you understand very well.

Question: Do you think i should compose the Overture first, or write the libretto first...and then create motifs and themes...and leave the overture to last?

Most composers wrote their overtures as the very last thing. But that has a very simple reason: The singers want their parts as soon as possible so they can begin practicing. The orchestra usually begins to practice much later, so the parts that are without singers can be done last. If you are not working for a scheduled performance it really doesn't matter where you begin with the music. I'd definitely first get a libretto though, personally. You need to know what you're writing music to. (Of course, if you write the libretto yourself you could also take a completely different approach, by writing a libretto to music you composed first. That'd certainly be extremely unconventional, but it could even work, as long as your music is very coherent.)

My general advice for a big form as an opera is: Don't rush it. Take your time to develop a concept of what you want the music to sound like, devise a strategy for your compositional process. If you just sit down and start writing without thinking about the whole first, you might lose track soon and the whole thing will silt up. Writing an opera is a huge undertaking that will take time and effort. Even just a single act with two roles.

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Im going to need to study it's intricacies further (i am english btw).

And maybe the basics too? :w00t: :huh:

Btw, The Messiah is an oratorio, not an opera.

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Hmm...im really really happy that this thread has drawn up some excellent points.

You are really making me think hard about the english language. I have heard Handel's The Messiah...but it was a poor performance, and that is probably what is making me steer away from writing in english.

I guess, this opera...well will indeed be in english then. Im going to need to study it's intricacies further (i am english btw). It's going to be a long haul...but i guess the support you have given me is an encouragement to give it a go. Im not trying to make a blockbuster of an opera...but its gonna be a bloody good one at that.

Question: Do you think i should compose the Overture first, or write the libretto first...and then create motifs and themes...and leave the overture to last?

^

Ideas of chronological creation?

Thank you all for your interest in this thread.

I disagree with the idea of an Overture first - if it even has one at all. I find Preludes much more suitable dramatic; even Donizetti, who died in 1848, prefered them. While Preludes can set the drama's mood perfectly, Overtures feel too much like separate pieces and give the opera an artificial starting feel. I find it far more suitable for comedies.

So definitely write the libretto first, and if I were you I'd scrap the overture.

(And as to writing the libretto.... how about contacting me? ;):P)

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That's my whole point. Have fun with both the negatives and positives of the language. French and German were also thought of as lanuages not to be used for opera and librettists and composers found a way to work with the languages as ther were.

Having said that, if one is a native English speaker does that mean you have to find another language to write your vocal/choral works in?

Pop music is perfect for the English language. It is only just singing. Classical opera involves extended vowels that which English does not produce.

French is horrible; its vowels just sound like you are holding your nose and speaking.

German is similar to English but have harder Consonants, making it adequate.

Any singer with any once of technique will not find English cumbersome at all.
Who cares about the performer, they'll learn. It is cumbersome to listen to. Because of said problems.
So many Afro-centric opera singers show the beauty of English and singing in English when they perform African-American spirituals.

A librettist and or composer who understands the language will avoid making the language sound unattractive to the ears.

African-American spirituals =/= Opera.

Making the words sound less corny (Due to the descriptive nature of English - another problem) is a different issue.

German is harsh, so I tend to want to use it with harsher subjects (Salome/Elektra) Italian is more joyful and pleasant. Russian is in between.

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I've never found anything horrible about the French operas of, say, Lully, Rameau, Debussy... Nor many English, German, or Russian operas. (Or Hungarian! It's amazing in Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle!). I think you are a bit prejudiced there. The only reason Italian sounds the most "natural" in an opera to us, is because it's because since its beginnings with Monteverdi it has been an operaic centre.

I'm not denying that different languages sound differently, which may have an influence on the most "appropriate" music for it. So far I haven't seen a language however that appeared entirely unsuitable for an opera. It will turn out much better when you know a language and know how to work with it musically, than just to take a language that "sounds nice" but which you don't really know and hope it will work out.

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I've never found anything horrible about the French operas of, say, Lully, Rameau, Debussy... Nor many English, German, or Russian operas. (Or Hungarian! It's amazing in Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle!). I think you are a bit prejudiced there. The only reason Italian sounds the most "natural" in an opera to us, is because it's because since its beginnings with Monteverdi it has been an operaic centre.

French vowels are nasally. English vowels rarely exist and its consonants are soft. German has the same vowels as English, but harder consonants. Italian has open, extended vowels, and half/half for consonants. French vowels don't resonate. And Same with French and German. I am not being biased because of history, I’m analysing the actual Language.

To be honest I don't much like Italian, I prefer German. But Italian (as far as the 4 major European Languages go) is more suited to singing.

English is far too much a descriptive language which diminishes it's artistic value - heightens it's scientific value however.

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I've never found anything horrible about the French operas of, say, Lully, Rameau, Debussy... Nor many English, German, or Russian operas. (Or Hungarian! It's amazing in Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle!). I think you are a bit prejudiced there. The only reason Italian sounds the most "natural" in an opera to us, is because it's because since its beginnings with Monteverdi it has been an operaic centre.

I'm not denying that different languages sound differently, which may have an influence on the most "appropriate" music for it. So far I haven't seen a language however that appeared entirely unsuitable for an opera. It will turn out much better when you know a language and know how to work with it musically, than just to take a language that "sounds nice" but which you don't really know and hope it will work out.

Yeah, I personally always loved hearing French, German and Russian being sung and have enjoyed singing those lanuages as well. French for me was always easy because I had so many years of French in school. But as you said, it is about choosing the right words in any language with the right musical material.

Anyone should check out other Handel oratorios. He does use the English and the music dramatically.

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See, no one here has actually looked at the language and what makes it. They have looked at the language quasi poetically. Scientific facts make one language better for singing, regardless of personal taste. As I said, I prefer German.

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See, no one here has actually looked at the language and what makes it. They have looked at the language quasi poetically. Scientific facts make one language better for singing, regardless of personal taste. As I said, I prefer German.

I'm going to have to disagree with you here, a bit.

Yes, the nature or vowels and consonants in various languages may "scientifically" seem more suitable for singing. But, once you have actually, taken a grasp on vocal technique and understand the voice as well as how each persons voice differs greatly even from langugage to language it no longer becomes a scientific fact.

For me, my voice and the way I speak lends itself to "round and dark". Scientifically, Italian is an easy langugage to sing becuase it is a "bright and open" language. But, it was always a pain for me to sing in Italian and I always hated it.

Sometimes, teahcers will mention that a voice has a certain "spin" to the voice such as a "germanic spin/sound" and that can even make for singing a particular language easier.

By the way, check out "The abduction of Figaro" a silly opera in English by P.D.Q Bach (Peter Schickele). Does very well with the english as far a word choices for comedy as well as for lyrical purposes.

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These days language is an artistic choice, so pick whatever you think is nicer artistically. It's simple, really. Don't bother with the given descriptions of languages and such nonsense, just do whatever sounds more like you want it to sound.

For the sake of practicality, you can translate, or write in english for the sake of the audience. But don't worry about the language.

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See, no one here has actually looked at the language and what makes it. They have looked at the language quasi poetically. Scientific facts make one language better for singing, regardless of personal taste. As I said, I prefer German.

With the argument that certain languages don't resonate enough to be well-suited for operaic singing, you might just as well say that a trumpet is suitable for a solo concerto, but a flute isn't. It's all a matter of how you write for it. Yes, languages sound differently and even have slightly different physical features. I'd agree with you that the same music that works with the German language in, say, Salome or Tristan, might not work quite so well in French. I seriously doubt however that Pell

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