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Three Portraits is the working title of an opera in one act. The complete work is broken into three scenes. The plot concerns a young artist who is introduced to fame nearly overnight. The opera, however, is not about his actual story but his perception of his situation and how he grows and matures from it. My purpose in writing an opera is to garner a greater understanding of the genre. The work presented here represents a significant portion of the complete opera: the entire first scene and the first half of the second scene. The submitted score is an orchestral score, written for a chamber orchestra containing five single woodwinds (one flute, one oboe, two clarinets, and one bassoon) and their necessary auxiliary counterparts, single brass players (one horn, one trumpet, one trombone), three percussionists, a piano, and strings. My research of the literature was consciously limited to works of a similar nature. I focused on those operas from the twentieth century in particular to observe the ways in which their plots developed, their time management, and their accommodations for the human voice. For the aforementioned reasons, I have looked at Benjamin Britten's operas The Turn of the Screw, Albert Herring, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. I also spent some time looking at other contemporary operas: Bela Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle as well as American works like Copland's The Tender Land, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and Barber's A Hand at Bridge.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Ladislav Kubik, Professor Directing Thesis; André Thomas, Committee Member; Clifton Callender, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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