Alice Shieldscomposer

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Operas

Criseyde (2010)Opera in two acts

Duration 2 hours

Alice Shields, composer and librettist. The libretto is a new Middle English resetting of Chaucer's romance, that puts back in the story the important lines in Italian that Boccaccio wrote about Criseyde — lines that Chaucer took out! 

A feminist reconstruction of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde.  For soprano, mezzo-soprano, 2 baritones, lyric bass, ensemble of 2 mezzos and 1 soprano, and 14 instruments (fl, ob, enghn, bssn; horn, trumpet, trombone; harp, piano; vln1, vln2, vla, cello and bass).
See www.criseyde.com for more information.

 

 

Apocalypse (1994)

Duration 107:00

Opera in two acts for MEZZO-SOPRANO, CONTRALTO, BARITONE, CHORUS, DANCERS, ELECTRIC GUITAR & TAPE

Choreographed by the composer in Bharata Natyam style. Music and libretto by Shields, on Greek, Gaelic, and Sanskrit texts, in which a woman seeks spiritual knowledge.

Information about the recording

Listen to an excerpt ("Apocalypse Song")

Listen to an excerpt ("Organ Screaming")


 

Background/surround for the opera Apocalypse 


 

Mass for the Dead (1993)

Duration 60:05

Opera in one act for SOPRANO, MEZZO-SOPRANO/COUNTERTENOR, BASS- BARITONE, 8-PART SATB CHORUS; DANCERS; CELLO, OBOE, BASSOON, ORGAN & TAPE.

Music and libretto by Alice Shields. Based on a ghost story and the Gregorian chants of the Requiem mass. In Latin, Greek, & English.

Listen to an excerpt ("Agnus Dei")

Click on the images for sample score pages

Wraecca (1989)

Duration 17:00

Opera in one act for SOPRANO, MEZZO-SOPRANO, BARITONE, CELLO & PIANO.

Drama by Shields, using language from two Anglo-Saxon poems. In the plot, the god Odin manages to sacrifice himself. Based on Gregorian chant.

Click on the images for sample score pages


Shaman (1987)

Duration 45:00

Opera in one act for SOPRANO, MEZZO-SOPRANO, TENOR, BARITONE, CHORUS (SATB), FLUTE, OBOE, ENGLISH HORN, CELLO & TAPE.

Created out of wolf-calls, coyote screams, and manipulated human voices. The plot, in which a shaman heals himself, is based on Native American shamanic ritual. Text is by Edward Barrett and Shields.

Odyssey 3 (1975)

Duration 30:00

Opera in one act for TENOR, BASS-BARITONE, MALE CHORUS & 21-PIECE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (piccolo, oboe, english horn/alto krumhorn, bassoon; french horn, tenor-bass trombone, tuba; mandolin, harp; violin, viola, cello, contrabass;and 8 percussionists).

Choreographed in Noh theater dance style. Drama by Shields, based on the Homeric Odyssey: Odysseus meets his son Telemachos without recognizing him, and tricks him.

Odyssey 2 (1970)

Duration 30:00

Opera in one act for TENOR, BASS-BARITONE, MALE CHORUS, PIANO & PERCUSSION.

A surrealistic opera in which two men agress against each other. Choreographed in Noh theater style, with drama by Shields based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead and Roger Gilbert-LeConte's Dada play "The Odyssey of Ulysses the Palmiped."


"imaginative and exploratory in its contrasts of comedy and tragedy...disturbing connotations...a horrifying power in the defilement of the paper woman."                                                                     — Glens Falls Times on "Odyssey 2"

The Odyssey of Ulysses the Palmiped (Odyssey 1) (1968)

Duration 20:00

Opera in one act for TENOR, BASS-BARITONE, MALE CHORUS, PICCOLO, CELLO, FRENCH HORN & PERCUSSION.

A surrealistic opera in which two men agress against each other. Choreographed in Noh theater style, with drama by Shields based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead and Gilbert-LeConte's "The Odyssey of Ulysses the Palmiped."

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