Distractions have their uses sometimes. Going for a stroll and being diverted by something natural and beautiful, an artist is often inspired to create a new piece of work. Being conscious of one’s focus makes all the difference.
When did humans start enacting narratives where the performers would sing to each other as characters? It is often said that Monteverdi and Gluck were the initiators of the operatic repertoire. This was probably the case in Europe, but Singing Drama cuts across a wide range of global cultures.
One established theatre maker once said to me “I wouldn’t touch opera with a barge pole”. Composers often describe the form in disparaging terms, possibly because of the collaborative demands of creating a large scale work. Like anything else, different strokes for different folks.
Music theatre is where I started. I created pieces that told stories of people I could see around me. Spoken word theatre practitioners liked what they heard and I was distracted for a long time, working on productions that featured music in a supporting role.
I learnt a great deal from those experiences, but I always knew I would return to music driven drama. I know what floats my boat.