JAKE HEGGIE (b.1961): The Radio Hour (opera), Patterns for Mezzo-Soprano and Women’s Chorus, I Shall Not Live in Vain for Mezzo-Soprano, Women’s Chorus and Handbells, He Will Gather Us Around (versions for Solo Mezzo-Soprano and for Chorus).
Catalogue Number: 10R077
Reference: DE 3484
Description: The Radio Hour is an intriguing concept; a 'choral opera'. The central character does not sing; a single woman living a mundane, unfulfilled life, her world is shaped by what she hears on the radio. Selectively listening to random programming allows her to escape her interior brooding and achieve a more positive outlook on the world brought to her over the radio waves. This idea allows the composer unlimited scope for pastiching a range of styles, from swing to various popular songs, to radio ads, to a final grand choral apotheosis, as the character's interior monologue and surroundings become richer and more magical. The idiom is tonal, and the work is a lively fantasy-entertainment in the spirit of “The Wizard of Oz” or “Alice in Wonderland” for an age in which magical transportation is performed by technology. The other main work here is Patterns, to a text by Amy Lowell, a dramatic scene of eloquent pathos set in an idiom of lovely, tonal lyricism. Libretto included. Susan Graham (mezzo), John Alexander Singers, Members of Pacific Symphony; John Alexander.