Conducting Carlisle Floyd’s opera Of Mice and Men

It’s not often I get a chance to conduct works by living composers and rarely have I had the pleasure of consulting the composer directly for tips on performing the work. It was thrilling to have Carlisle Floyd in attendance for the opening night performance with Manitoba Opera. This opera is challenging musically partially due to a complex harmonic and rhythmic structure. The meter is constantly changing and  some pitches can be problematic for the singers to learn. Nevertheless,  there are Ty with Carlisle Floydmany beautiful lyrical lines and heart-wrenching melodies. The orchestra is featured in two interludes of completely contrasting style. The first one beginning with a gorgeous melody played by solo viola and English horn and the second building to a highly energetic romp for the entire orchestra. I felt blessed to be able to ask the composer himself for advice as to how to handle a few of the trickier moments in the opera. This production featured a wonderful cast and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra never fails to amaze, mastering this difficult score within a short rehearsal period. The response was wonderfully positive by the audience and critics.

“Maestro Tyrone Paterson superbly led the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra through Floyd’s through-composed, all-American score infused with the spirit of Copland, Barber and Bernstein.”…Winnipeg Free Press – April 25, 2016

“The orchestra and conducting were flawless.”…CBC News – April 26, 2016

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