Ode to Common Things

A conversation with composer Cary Ratcliff

Congratulations on an incredibly prolific year!   You’ve released several new albums including a new recording of your opera "Eleni" and "For Better, For Worse, Songs About Marriage" and "On This Day, Earth Shall Ring."  How did you do it all? 

Yep, the year was like an all-out Triple Jump. You get a good running start, keep your eye on the last jump, and hope you land on your feet, not your behind. The two Madrigalia albums were based on the first two concerts I have done with them, and it was satisfying capturing the great sounds they have been making. My opera recording has been a dream for several years, and when Katie Lewek, my lead singer, gave me eight months' notice that she would have two weeks to come to Rochester last summer to record, I set out orchestrating the material for an 'affordable' size orchestra. I trained the choruses, and rounded up and rehearsed with the many solo characters. Finally we added 30 RPO colleagues, which brought it all to life.  I conducted the sessions, which was very satisfying as things came together. Everyone brought such dedication to it, and I am pleased that we got so much challenging music done well, so that listeners may know what this opera sounds like. 


You might've read my recent post about Rochester composer Cary Ratcliff. He's writing an opera for children's chorus and chamber orchestra that'll be performed in San Diego in the spring.

Cary got more good news this week. He writes,

“I wanted to share with you the news that Eleni has been selected for the New York City Opera 'VOX' showcase of new operas this May 10/11. Half an hour of Eleni will be performed un-staged by their singers and 60 (?) piece orchestra. A giant thanks again to all who have helped to move this work toward some hoped-for production. Now I gotta finish up that full-orchestra orchestration...”

Congratulations, Cary!


Cary Ratcliff: Who He?

He’s a composer.

And he’s having a good year.

In this picture Cary Ratcliff is preparing the Hochstein Youth Singers for Saturday’s premiere of a set of songs called 'Goops and Hula Hoops.'

He’s currently writing an opera for children's chorus and chamber orchestra that will be performed in San Diego in the spring.

Also this spring Concentus Women's Choir will present 'Song of Woman,' to poetry by Rochester poet Francesca Guli.

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