Am deeply immersed in the writing of my first (hopefully not the last) opera, Why did you kidnap our son ? . As this will be the first opera ever that uses "real" Indonesian language (not a poetic one), I am having trouble in some parts of it, especially the recitatives. I have no models to follow! (by the way, no complains to the script writer whose work I heavily edited -- not changed! -- , Seno Gumira Ajidarma ; he wrote a fantastic script !)
I've been watching a lot of operas by Mozart, Wagner, Britten and Bellini lately (oh, and Shosty's fantastic Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Enjoyed it sooo much but I don't know if it helps, since I don't understand any Russian. What one should be aware while composing is that the music should be communicative enough to people who do not understand the language of the vocal parts.) to see how they solve the problem of doing their dialogues. It's such a difficult language, Indonesian. I mean, I have written more than 50 songs based on Indonesian poems, but again, it's totally different from doing recitatives. An opera is not just a series of arias. Ohh... Being the first to do one thing is always a problem !
The arias are quite ok, the ensemble part is quite enjoyable to do (especially with Chendra's collaboration for the choreography ; basically all the movements, characteristics and durations came from him, so I am having an easy job on this), they don't pose many problems ... but uugh, those recitatives ! In Indonesian ! Can you imagine ? What shall I do with this bloody language ??? HEEELLLP !!! Aaarrrghh !!!
Another thing is that there is much violence in this opera, that somehow my "dark side" has surfaced ... and made me rather worried . I think this opera will be rated PG .... and all this after writing my new song-cycle "Love and Variations", and my sweetest, delicious, loveable cantata Ars Amatoria that includes a children choir !