KEEPERS OF THE NIGHT
Published by Music Link International
"The performance on July 14 aroused a cheering audience of parents and friends... Professional singers Malcolm MacKenzie (Ozalid) and Suzanna Guzmán (Teri) were role models for their young cast members and were extremely engaging... For all of the children onstage and off, and for the parents who were in the audience, the show was a resounding success."
KEEPERS OF THE NIGHT
a children's opera
Music by Peter Ash
Libretto by Donald Sturrock
Keepers of the Night is an original story about four brothers and sisters, who go camping in the forest for the first time, unaware that it is Midsummer's Night and that there is magic is afoot. By accident, the children become involved in the nocturnal animals' annual song contest, and indirectly in the eternal conflict between the forces of order and disorder.
The narrative, essentially one of charm and whimsy, features a cast of bats, fireflies, moths,
mosquitoes, frogs, loons, crickets and snakes. However the story also touches upon more serious issues. For the children's magical journey is also a spiritual one. They learn about the differences between heart and head, are faced with issues of justice and injustice, and ultimately of Life and Death. Chloe, the youngest child, feels the emergence of that quality which may distinguish humans from animals - a moral conscience.
Keepers of the Night - LA Children's Chorus 2007
Extracts and interviews with Donald Sturrock and Peter Ash
OZALID, a stubborn owl (& Mr Knight)
SELENE, the Moon (& Mrs Knight)
ENDYMION, a mockingbird
MIST, a servant of Selene
TERI, a nervous tarantula
NELLIE, a night heron
CUMULO, a cloud
NIMBUS, a cloud
SYDNEY SKUNK, compere
MISS SIBERIAN THRUSH
TWYLAPEDE, a centipede accompanist
CHORUS OF BATS, BIRDS, CRICKETS, FIREFLIES, FROGS, MOSQUITOS, and MOTHS
Los Angeles Children's Chorus / Gershon
Alex Theater, California, 2007
Director: Corey Madden
Cast included Lynette Tapia (soprano), Malcolm MacKenzie (baritone), Suzanna Guzman (mezzo-soprano) and Lauren Libaw (soprano).
"Keepers of the Night was both an opera-for-children and an opera-with-children that did not insult the musical standards of grown-ups. Many seemed both surprised and delighted at the charm, sophistication and deep beauty of the music... Everyone undergoes some degree of bewitchment, with the wondrous result, becoming increasingly wondrous as the second act moves on, of a series of ensembles of truly bewitching, complex harmonies. Evocations of Brittens own Dream are hard to dispel... On the one hand, here was Suzanna Guzmán, wonderful to hear and hilarious in her many-legged spider getup. (Eat yer heart out, Tobey Maguire!)"
"With a fourteen-piece orchestra, Peter Ash created an atmospheric, haunting, evocative score. His writing for childrens chorus shimmered, particularly the Hymn to the Tree; his contrapuntal writing, layering each group of children as they were dramatically introduced on stage, was dazzling."
Beverly Hills Outlook
Double Bass (low C extension)
Celeste (5 octaves)/Harmonium
E flat Clarinet/B flat Clarinet/Bass Clarinet