Friday, August 21, 2009

Opera and the Word of God Witness

A word of thanks! When I first received your email I groaned: "72 pages of downloads! How can I ever get through that, when I have my opera to orchestrate (350 pages done, 450 pages to go, 5 hours a day, 7 days a week and all against a deadline)!" SEE side bar for St Paul Year downloads refered to here.

Well, when I finally took a moment after a hard day's work at my music to satisfy my curiosity I made an amazing discovery. After a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Christoph von Eschenbach of Bruckner's 6th Symphony, played at St. Paul's Outside the Walls to celebrate the Year of St. Paul - something as a Pauline Cooperator I have tried to participate in - the Pope was moved to compare St. Paul's teaching on the the Church - "just as the hand cannot say to the foot, etc." - to the role of the individual orchestral instruments within the one musical composition. It was exactly the principle I was constantly struggling to apply when arranging the piano score of my opera for orchestra. Who would have thought that the Pope, through you, would have had something to say to me about orchestration? How encouraging, and just what I needed.

Thanks, and keep those emails coming!

Gratefully,

Jim Stepleton

p.s.: My opera THE AWAKENING, set in New Orleans, has been tentatively scheduled for its world premiere production by New Orleans Opera in Spring, 2011 - if I can get the orchestration done in time!

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