Scene I Sunday: mountain music
Scene II Monday: the cricket's wedding
Scene III Tuesday: village dances and the cook of love
Scene IV Wednesday: flirting at the farmhouse
Scene V Thursday: sitting in a tavern, the Devil decides to get married
Scene VI Friday: three wives (at least)
Scene VII Saturday: marching to a different drummer
Above links are to videos of the concert premiere by the Xanthos Ensemble at Boston University, 4.1.11.
Video of the staged premiere by the Juventas Ensemble,5.5.12, The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, Boston.
A spry fortune-telling Roma on her wanderings meets a dashing, murderous outlaw in Rumelian hinterlands. Their path comes to a mountain village, and they meet a young shepherd, the village ingenue, and an old epic singer. Through their interactions and songs, occasioned by the Roma's tarot cards, we hear surprising stories of the past and future, peopled with characters from other times and places, including even the Devil himself!
"Rumelia" is the historic Turkish name for the southern Balkan areas of the Ottoman Empire ("Rumeli" means "land of the Romans"). A musical window into the lives of characters I repeatedly came across, during my research of the music from the different folk traditions throughout this culturally diverse and expansive area, this opera was an exploration of my family tree, which includes Bulgarian, Romanian, Albanian, Vlach, Greek, FYR Macedonian, Slovenian, Croatian, Hungarian, and Austrian roots.
Roma, spry fortune teller (alto)
Hajduk, heroic outlaw who plays a mean fiddle (baritone)
Vixen, village ingenue (soprano)
Youth, shepherd boy (tenor)
Guslar, old epic Singer of Tales (tenor, same singer as Youth)
Bear (spoken role)
Instrumentation : flute/piccolo, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion
"Nez has scooped a sampling of folk tunes, speared gnarly rhythms, and simmered them into a stringent but satisfying potpourri, spiced with paprika wit and wisdom. . . ." Fred Bouchard, Boston Musical Intelligencer
return to introduction