UNTIL THE WAR IS OVER

A chamber opera by Beth Wiemann and Jennifer Moxley

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UNTIL THE WAR IS OVER is based on writings by Hilda Doolittle, the American poet known as H.D.

Librettist Jennifer Moxley and  composer Beth Wiemann began work on a treatment of H.D.’s autobiographical novel Bid Me to Live in 2012.

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Lindsay Conrad and Stefan Barner in the UMaine Workshop performance.

Two workshop performances of selected scenes took place in the 2015-16 season. The first as part of Hartford Opera Theatre’s New in November series, and the second at the University of Maine’s Black Box Theatre.

Written to be an intimate production, with just four singers and four instrumentalists, the opera is comprised of an overture, four scenes, and a coda. The total running time is 90 minutes. The characters include H.D. (a soprano, and the lead character, appearing in every scene), D.H. Lawrence (a tenor, appearing in two scenes), Richard Aldington (a baritone, H.D.’s husband), and Bella, another tenant in the Mecklenburgh Square house in 1917, (a mezzo-soprano, and Aldington’s lover).

The instrumental group (flute, alto sax, double bass and piano – an adapted jazz combo) hints at salon music of the early 20th century.  In the opera’s second half, electronic sounds are blended into the accompaniment.

 

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Librettist Jennifer Moxley introduces an excerpt from scene 1 in the UMaine workshop performance.

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Lindsay Conrad singing in scene 1.

 

Media and document links:

Aria from scene 3, with Lindsay Conrad as H.D.

Excerpt from scene 4, with Lindsay Conrad and Stefan Barner

Excerpt from scene 1, audio recording

Complete program from the UMaine workshop performance: program draft moxley 8.5 x 11 format

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The last image in the workshop