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  1. Hello to all fellow composers. I have been thinking a lot about composing another opera, but I am having trouble in finding a good story that would be suitable for it. It might help if I tell you a bit about my previous operas that I have written in the past few years. My first attempt in this field was made in late 2008. I was only about eleven when I made up my mind to compose a two hour long opera based on the Andersen fairy tale "The Swineherd." It was about a prince who wants to win the heart of a princess in a nearby kingdom. He sends over priceless gifts which she pretty much ignores completely. The prince then disguises himself as a Swineherd to get a job at her palace. He makes musical toys for her, but she can have them for the price of giving the Swineherd a certain amount of kisses. At the end of the story the prince reveals himself and tells the princess that she would not accept his tokens of love, but would kiss a Swineherd for some simple toys. I abandoned this opera after several attempts. My first actual opera is called "The Death of Osiris." It tells the ancient Egyptian myth of Osiris' murder and how his sister/wife Isis came to find him only for their evil brother Seth (who killed him in the first place) to slice the body into so many pieces and scatter them all over the earth. The final scenes are about how Isis retrieved the segments of Osiris' body and gives them proper burial ceremonies while Osiris becomes the god of the afterlife. In the original myth, Osiris' genitals get eaten by a fish after he is sliced up and Isis has to make an artificial thing for him, but I decided to leave that part out. My parents disagree with that decision. My second opera is scored for only six instrumentalists and six singers and is over a third of the length of "The Death of Osiris." This comic chamber opera is called "The King's Horn." It is based on a Macedonian folk tale about a King who was born, much to his parents' dismay, with a horn growing out of the top of his head. Throughout his life he has managed to keep his secret under his hat (or rather crown) but one day he needs a barber to cut and style his hair to conceal his strange growth, but the barber (who is extremely talkative) has the difficult task not to tell anyone. With this overwhelming amount of pressure, he decided to run far away from everyone so no one finds out (the King said that he will cut off the barber's head if anyone finds out). He comes across a cave and feeling sure that no one is around he yells out the words "The King has a horn!" A short while later, some reed begin to grow in that spot and are made into flutes by the children, but when they play these flutes the words "the king has a horn" sing out. When the king finds out what happened and what the barber did, he realises that his horn isn't really anything to be worried about, but it's the person underneath that counts. The opera ends with the villagers singing "What Nature reveals, no one can conceal." So those are my operas so far. For my third, I have been thinking of using Shakespeare's comedy "Twelfth Night," but I have also come across a true story about a Russian aristocrat who is turned against by the other citizens and is to be killed, so he runs away from his country in fear that someone will find him. Is there anyone out there who could give me some advice on finding a suitable story for an opera? Perhaps you could tell me about some of your own operas as well. Thanks, froglegs
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