UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Merry Christmas, Stephen Leacock : a chamber opera for string quintet and three singers ; Concertino : for two pianos and percussion ; String Quartet #1 ; An excerpt from The Master’s Stroke : an opera for seven singers, chorus, and instrumental quintet Weisensel, Neil Andrew


Four separate compositions make up this thesis. The chamber opera Merry Christmas Stephen Leacock is conceived as a one-act opera for film. There are three characters, portrayed by soprano, tenor and baritone voices, and musical support is provided by a string quintet with the following configuration: two violins, viola, and two cellos. The text, from a Leacock short story, was adapted into a libretto by writer Pamela Post. Composition of the work started in September 1997 and was completed in December of that same year. Revisions were completed by June of 1998. Total duration: ca. 18 min. The instrumental piece, Concertino, was started in October 1996 and finished June 1997. The musical forces required for this piece are two pianos and two percussionists playing the following, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, toms, snare drum, and crotales. The piece is in four movements: I. Commotion II. Comfort III. Carnaval IV. Convergence/Confluence V. Coda Total duration: 18 min. 10 sec. The composition of String Quartet #1 (first movement of a set of variations on an original theme) was started in late February and completed on March 15, 1998. A theme from an earlier orchestral piece, Suite for Orchestra (1995), is developed in this quartet. Total duration: 4 min. 30 sec. The Master's Stroke is a 90-minute opera for seven main characters, SATB chorus, and chamber orchestra. The excerpt presented here is from Act I Scene I, and is scored for piano, cello, clarinet, violin and percussion. Composition commenced in earnest in January of 1999, and the score was completed in mid-April of that same year. Total duration: 10 min.

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