How the Trumpet Got Its Toot
Composer: Anthony Plog
Librettist: Anthony Plog
Original Cast: Trumpet - Anthony Zoeller Tuba - Steven Timoner Flute - Carolyn Talboys Klassen Parents - Lynnette Arbizu and James Murphy
Premiere Date: July 14, 2004
Producing Company: Utah Symphony and Opera
Description: How the Trumpet got its Toot is the story of a Trumpet who is born to 2 brass Candlesticks. He soon realizes that he has a different destiny than his parents, and that he was meant to play music. His parents are against this, but soon he meets an enthusiastic Tuba who tells him of a wonderful city called Sinfonia, where everybody plays and loves to listen to music. They depart for Sinfonia, where they meet a Flute who teaches Trumpet about music and life. At the end of Act 1 an announcement is made that a contest will be held to pick a new Herald for the mayor. Act 2 Scene 1 is the contest, and after a good start the Trumpet goes for a high note and misses it horribly. He leaves the stage in disgrace. In the final scene, the Trumpet walks in a disconsolate daze through the streets of Sinfonia. He notices that a fire has started from some of the remaining embers, so he plays a fanfare, loud and true, and this saves the town. He is made the mayor's new Herald, and has found his true calling. Although this opera is humorous and light, it deals with many of the themes that have always faced young people: leaving your parents to pursue your own destiny, trying to discover what exactly that destiny is, learning the lessons of life, dealing with rejection, and following your dreams.
Reviews: Salt Lake Tribune July 16, 2004 Catherine Reese Newton Trumpet finds its voice, and it sings In the tradition of "Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra", and "Peter and the Wolf" comes Anthony Plog's "How the Trumpet got its Toot", a fun little fable that acquaints listeners with orchestral instruments while delivering a useful lesson about perseverance, hard work and finding one' s voice. Utah Symphony and Opera gave the world premiere of Plog's short opera Wednesday in a free performance at the Sandy Ampitheater. Anthony Zoeller was an absolute delight as Trumpet, the unexpected offspring of two candlesticks. Though a baritone, Zoeller sailed into the tenor range with ease as his character yearned to express himself through lively fanfares. The Utah Symphony's principal trumpeter, Nick Norton, was Zoeller's alter ego, his trumpet flourishes complementing Zoeller's exhuberant singing and dancing. A disastrous audition by Trumpet required the real trumpeter to flub some notes spectacularly, which Norton did to amusing effect. Bass Steven Timoner nearly stole the show as the appealing Tuba, who sang some of Plog's most clever music as he longed to break out of his supporting role. Tenor Todd Miller made a terrific, too-short appearance as Trombone, sliding across the stage as he sang. Soprano Carolyn Talboys-Klassen was a nurturing, helpful Flute. Baritone Anthony Porter sang authoritatively in the opera's assorted "messenger" roles and delivered the final moral: "Sometimes in life you have to take risks." Soprano Lynnette Arbizu and tenor James Miller gave fine, funny performances as Trumpet' s perplexed parents; they doubled as clarinet and oboe, respectively. Soprano Holly Abel and two unbilled sidekicks also erned laughs as the flirtatious, ostentatious Strings. Tenor James Murphy delivered some inside humor as Horn, and baritone M. Judd Sheranian stepped out of his accustomed role in the Utah Symphony violin section to sing the role of Bassoon. Plog's score was easy on the ears, giving a nod to Prolofieff here, Copland there. Costume designer Susan Memmott Allred and set designer Jardd Porter kept things simple, and that approach will probably make "How the Trumpet got its Toot" attractive to future performers. BRIEF NARRATIVE: This opera is unique in that it uses humor as a tool to educate in several different areas - since almost all of the characters are instruments it is a good introduction to the orchestra. And it also deals with qualities that we all want and need in our life: the courage to pursue one's dreams, the value of friendship, dealing with rejection, and learning the lessons of life.
Length: 01:10
Orchestration: fl, ob, cl, bsn, hrn, tpt , tbn, tba, perc, str
Musical Style: humorous and tonal
Contact: Anthony Plog=
E-mail Address:
Phone: 011 49 761 696227
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