Back in early 2015, I was the Composer in Residence for Opera Colorado’s Generation OC – Page to Stage program. As part of this program, I worked with the theater department at Elizabeth Middle School. They took the play Everything’s Coming Up Rosies by Christina Hamlett, (which takes place during World War II) and turned it into a musical. Here are the third and fourth songs I wrote for their lyrics.
In “It’s Men’s Work,” Roy and Carl (trumpet/trombone) have too much work to do in their factory, so Roy’s Wife Faye (horn) offers to help, but they tell her that it’s ‘men’s work’ (it’s dirty, she wouldn’t like it, etc.). She tells them all of the experience she has taking care of children, cooking meals, sewing socks, volunteering, washing laundry, etc… running the ‘business of home.’ With all the men going to war, there’s work that needs to be done, but who’s going to do it? It’s women’s work!
In “Chorus of Rosies,” Vivian (flute), her friends (oboes), and a woman named Rosie, are now working in a factory. They sing while they work, including a chorus of ‘We can do it!’ It’s hard, dirty work, but they are independent women, working as a team, who are just as good as men. They are serving their country by being tough and strong to keep the factory moving until their men are brought home. They stop abruptly when Carl walks in with a message for Vivian…
Tune in next month for the final two songs!
Back in early 2015, I was the Composer in Residence for Opera Colorado’s Generation OC – Page to Stage program. As part of this program, I worked with the theater department at Elizabeth Middle School. They took the play Everything’s Coming Up Rosies (inspired by Rosie the Riveter) by Christina Hamlett (which takes place during World War II), and turned it into a musical. Here are the first two songs I wrote for their lyrics.
“The Happiest of Happy Days” starts with a group of girls (oboes) laughing and reading their friend’s diary about a cute boy named Frank. After scolding her friends for reading her diary, Vivian (flute) prepares for her wedding to Frank in two weeks. She’s getting butterflies wondering if she should wear her hair up and what she should use for her ‘something blue’ when her father walks her down the aisle in her grandmother’s dress. Nothing could ruin her perfect day!
Frank finds out that he has been drafted and has to leave in three days for basic training. In “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You,” Frank (cello) tells Vivian that he doesn’t want to leave right after getting married. He understands that it is difficult for her, but he has to go. Vivian (flute) tells him that she doesn’t want him to leave before they’ve gotten married. She understands that it is important to him, but she still doesn’t want him to go. What about all of their plans and dreams? Frank tells her that he can’t stay while they’re at war and that he has to do his part to keep her safe. They can get back to their dreams when he comes home, because good things are worth waiting for. He will take her love with him and think of her every day while he is gone. Vivian agrees to let him go, but only if he promises to come back. Frank promises to come back if she will wait for him. She promises to wait for him, and they can finally say goodbye to each other.
Tune in next month for the next two songs!
During my undergrad at the University of Rhode Island, I read the book The Mummy or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice. I had the overly optimistic idea to compose an opera based on the book and began working on some musical themes. For many reasons, the opera never happened (if you know Anne Rice and think she might be interested, give her my info), but I had this short piece to show for it. Originally, it was written for rock band and strings, but I recently rearranged it for rock band, choir, and full orchestra.
On Thursday, April 23, my children’s operetta The Wishing Spell will be performed at Dartmouth Elementary in Aurora, CO at 6:30 pm. It is based on the book of the same name by Chris Colfer (Glee), with libretto by Cherity Koepke, as part of Opera Colorado’s Page to Stage Program.