TO WONDER, I WANDER, WONDERING
2021 - Opera in One Act, for Four Singers and Piano
Instrumentation Soprano, soprano, tenor, baritone & piano
Duration 25 mins
Composed Jan. 2021-June 2021
First Performance Bergen 15 June 2021, performance by students from the Grieg Academy: Hannah Edmunds(Alice - soprano), Annika Synnøve Beinnes(The Mad Hatter - soprano), Olve Haugen(The Caterpillar - tenor), Martin Steinum Brun(The Queen of Hearts - baritone), Ljubov Katerli(Piano)
To wonder, I wander, wondering is based on text from Lewis Carroll’s «Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland». The opera alternates between Scenes depicting dialog from the book, and Songs which are based on the poems within the book. The opera does not have a distinct story, but utilizes that the source material is known for most audiences. Instead of telling a story, the opera deals with the question of the absurd, through the music as well as Alice’s experiences in the piece.
Stylistically, the opera moves back and forth between a contemporary classical soundscape accentuated by extended singing techniques, atonal passages and halting rythms, and a Broadway-inspired musical language with catchy melodies, clear cut forms and predictable harmonic language. In the beginning of the piece, the two styles are clearly separated, but as the music progresses they start to overlap. The styles are blended together in a way that makes the audience question what is "out of place". A distinction that gets increasingly difficult over time, lending itself to the question of the absurd.