Publication Date

2015-04-27

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2015-04-27

Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Department

Music Theory and Composition (Music)

Date of Defense

2015-04-08

First Committee Member

Lansing McLoskey

Second Committee Member

Charles Mason

Third Committee Member

Juan Chattah

Fourth Committee Member

Alan Johnson

Abstract

In this essay, I describe my new chamber opera about Paul Robeson, The Undelivered. Scored for six singers and seven instrumentalists, the opera’s duration is around forty-two minutes. I discuss my process of creating the libretto, which is based on a transcript from 1956, when the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee questioned Robeson at a hearing. The opera’s title refers to a speech that Robeson was barred from reading during the proceeding. This paper details observations about the process of writing the music from different perspectives. These include the thoughts that I was having during the time of composition as well as those that I have had since then. I also explore certain sections of the opera with a more in-depth analysis in the last chapter. The final products of this creative process, the libretto and full score of the opera, are included in the appendices.

Keywords

Paul Robeson; HUAC; Opera; Chamber Opera

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