The Composer's Nightmare, or Puss in Boots
Composer:Jorge Martin
Librettist:Andrew Joffe and Jorge Martín
Synopsis
A young composer is selling the idea for his first opera to the skeptical directors of an opera company (the dialogue is in the style of "screwball" comedy). The opera is a musical setting of the fairy tale ^Puss in Boots`. As the Composer describes and plays through his work, we see it played out and sung, as if the Composer's act of creation is unfolding before our eyes. The screwy Directors interrupt to express their demands for making the piece better; that is, more marketable and more like what they already know. As the piece progresses, the Composer, to his growing horror, realizes that his opera, as it is being played out, is changing to include the Directors' ideas. By the end, the Composer has lost control and barely recognizes his own work, but he gets his opera produced. Ironically, in the end, the opera turns out to be neither the Composer's nor the Directors' but more interesting than either's conception of it. The fairy tale unfolds a subtly parallel story to the Composer's: a young man completes a rite of passage with the "magical" aid of Puss, who is both his fairy tale master's wily agent and the Composer's pole-star and muse.

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)
02:15

Number of Acts
2

Musical Style
Full-length chamber opera. Tonal; lyrical; some coloratura; ensembles; comic; romantic; varied

Vocal & Musical Forces
Singers: principal roles (2 sopranos, tenor, baritone), secondary roles (2 tenors, 3 baritones, bass); chorus of animals (SSAA); 5 spoken parts. Chamber orchestra, double winds


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