Friday, 5 July 2019

Full score and CD recording of 'The Thirteenth Child' by Poul Ruders

The new opera composed by Poul Ruders, The Thirteenth Child, with a libretto by Becky and David Starobin inspired by the Brothers Grimm has not yet been performed (the first performance is to happen on July 27 in Santa Fe, NM), but the full score has already been published by Wilhelm Hansen and a recording has been issued by Bridge.

The full score is a large 230 pages volume.

The title page reads :

Poul Ruders / The Thirteenth Child / an opera in two acts / Libretto by / Becky and David Starobin / Full Score / Duration : / Act 1, c. 45 min. Act 2, c. 45 min. / WH / Wilhelm Hansen Musikforlag

On the following pages are given the 'Personnel' (characters with age and tessituras), detailed synopsis and complete orchestral setting.

The recording fits on 1 CD, with a total playing time of 77:50 (39:36 for Act 1 and 38:13 for Act 2).

The complete cast is the following :

Sarah Shafer (soprano) : Princess Lyra
Tamara Mumford (mezzo) : Queen Gertrude
Ashraf Sewailam (bass-baritone) : Drokan
Matt Boehler (bass) : King Hjarne
Alasdair Kent (tenor) : Prince Frederic & Toke
David Portillo (tenor) : Benjamin
Alex Rosen (bass) : Corbin

The Odense Symphony Orchestra and the Bridge Academy Singers are conducted by David Starobin (vocal music & orchestra Act 2) and Benjamin Shwartz (orchestra Act 1).

The recording was made in Denmark (Carl Nielsen Hall in Odense) and the USA (American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City and New Rochelle Studios in New Rochelle, NY), between September 2016 and December 2018.

The booklet includes the full libretto.

I have observed a discrepancy between the score and the recording, in act 2, scene 3. On page 187 of the full score, the chorus sings 'Welcome Welcome Lyra !'. On the CD (track 22, page 28 of the libretto), the words given at the 'Townfolk' are 'Welcome silent Lyra !'.

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