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Blue Work


Root Vegetable Opera

recitativo ed aria grave for baritone and piano

Year:  2012   ·  Duration:  5m 30s

Year:  2012
Duration:  5m 30s

Composer:   Robbie Ellis

Films, Audio & Samples

Robbie Ellis: Root Vegetabl...

Embedded audio
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Sample Score

Sample: pages 5-6

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Borrow/Hire:

To borrow or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at info@sounz.org.nz. Please note that only library members in New Zealand and Australia can borrow or hire parts.

About

Programme note

During my 2012 Mozart Fellowship at the University of Otago, I started monthly gigs in Dunedin under the banner of Song Sale. Saran Goldie-Anderson and Rose Duxfield had founded Song Sale in Wellington as both an exercise for songwriters and an entertaining evening for an audience. It costs nothing for the audience to enter the venue, but anybody can pay five dollars to commission a song on a chosen topic, title and/or genre. One or two of a team of songwriter-performers will take this commission and compose a brand new song. The turnaround time is usually 30-45 minutes.

The Root Vegetable Opera came about at the June 2012 Song Sale, as a commission from Gabrielle Golding and Suzanne Murphy to write about root vegetables in the style of opera. I penned the lyrics and winged the singing in performance, while Corwin Newall accompanied me with a four-chord ostinato on a keyboard orchestral combi. After the gig, I transcribed this fully realised piano accompaniment and performed with Corwin at subsequent Song Sales. I even presented it at a University of Otago Music Department lunchtime concert, and Elizabeth Bouman reviewed my singing in the Otago Daily Times: “His excellent diction and visual interpretation exposed the humour of every line, but the baritone quality is best left unsaid!” (13 September 2012)

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Commissioned note

Commissioned by Gabrielle Golding and Suzanne Murphy


Performance history

25 Jun 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at The Church Bar & Restaurant, in Dunedin.

30 Jul 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at The Church Bar & Restaurant, in Dunedin.

27 Aug 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at The Church Bar & Restaurant, in Dunedin.

12 Sep 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at Marama Hall, in Dunedin.

24 Sep 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at The Church Bar & Restaurant, in Dunedin.

25 Oct 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at The Church Bar & Restaurant, in Dunedin.

10 Nov 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at Whare Flat Campground, in Dunedin.

15 Nov 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at The Church Bar & Restaurant, in Dunedin.

05 Dec 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Buz Bryant-Greene (piano) at Meow, in Wellington.

12 Dec 2012: Root Vegetable Opera

13 Dec 2012: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Corwin Newall (piano) at The Church Bar & Restaurant, in Dunedin.

16 Dec 2012: Western Art Music on Radio One - 16 December 2012

25 Sep 2013: Robbie Ellis - Otago University Lunchtime Concert

21 Apr 2014: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Josh Clark (piano) at One 2 One Cafe, in Auckland.

23 Apr 2014: Performed by Robbie Ellis (baritone) and Jonathan Berkahn (piano) at St Andrew's on The Terrace, in Wellington

19 Apr 2015: A concert of New Zealand music

22 Apr 2015: A concert of New Zealand music

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