Posts Tagged ‘FailingThat’

June 24 – Sneak Peak of Failing That (my solo opera)

I’ve been doing a lot of composing so far this year. In addition to an encore for the Hilary Hahn competition (which didn’t result in an honorable mention, but did result in a pretty cool piece for violin and piano), I’ve been chugging away on the solo opera that’s been a good four years in the making. I’ve got a solid chunk of 50 minutes of music (i.e. 50 milliWagners) composed, which is about two thirds of the final piece.


I’m going to perform that 50 minute chunk as part of the Solo Sunday performance series at Stage Werx. If you’re in San Francisco next weekend, please come on by.

Failing That – A Minor Tragedy
Part of Solo Sundays
7pm Sunday, June 24
446 Valencia St, SF CA



Jun 2012

Eight days a weekend…

Well this was a big weekend.  I presented a thirty minute excerpt of Failing That at StageWerx, including twenty minutes of brand new material.  If that was all that was going on this weekend, that would have been plenty.  Unfortunately, it was one of those weekends where just about every aspect of my life had something going on.

How did the workshop go?  Well…I’ll get to that.  First let me give you a glimpse into the days leading up to it…
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Mar 2010

Brevity takes time

File this under “things I’m required to do when I really should be composing or at least practicing for the workshop.”

I got an email last night asking me to supply some marketing material for the Solo Sundays gig, including a fifteen word description of  my piece for the ticketing website.  Fifteen words!  The full title of the piece is five words and my full name is another three!  That’s over half the real estate right there.   There’s just enough room for:

Brian M Rosen’s “Failing That: A Minor Tragedy” is an opera. Look! Three more words!

Somehow I don’t think that would get butts in seats.

Turns out being brief is a lot of work.  How to be pithy, descriptive, and interesting in so few words? For inspiration I turned to Smith Magazine’s Six Word Memoir project. And then checked out #operaplot over at The Omniscient Mussel, a contest where readers attempt to summarize entire operas using only 140 characters (i.e. one tweet).  Unfortunately, snark doesn’t translate well in marketing materials.

After a surprising amount of time I was able come up with both 20 and 30 word descriptions of what audiences will actually be seeing at StageWerx in ten days (assuming I find time to actually start rehearsing this stuff).

33 words

Brian M Rosen sings an excerpt from his original opera “Failing That”, in which a college student hallucinates his way through a final exam, encountering his inner demons, Einstein, and his ex-girlfriend.

That’ll have to do for now.  Hopefully the 270 words worth of program notes will be easier.

Note to readers: So far this blog has a bit too much in the “Stuff About Me” category for my taste. In the next few days I hope to write up a few posts about music and theater. You know, the title of the blog.

Update: They actually decided to go with this alternative blurb that I included, even though I thought it was less interesting. Go figure.

31 words

Brian M Rosen’s sings an excerpt from his original opera “Failing That,” in which a college student, utterly unprepared for his final exam, turns to self medication with deliriously unexpected results.


Feb 2010

A teensy bit freaking out

Sometimes I don’t have a great sense of how much time things really take.  I figure if it’s conceptually easy, it shouldn’t take much time to do.  I neglect to schedule the actual overhead involved with the mechanical tasks. Sometimes this gets me in trouble.  I’m a little bit worried that this might be one of those times.

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Feb 2010

Upcoming Event: Failing That Workshop Presentation

Failing That: A Minor Tragedy (excerpt)
7pm February 28th
Stagewerx Theater
533 Sutter St (at Powell)
San Francisco, CA 94102

I’ll be performing a 25 minute excerpt from Failing That as part of the Stage Werx Solo Sunday festival on February 28th.  This excerpt will follow the arc of Steven Scafidi as he finds himself completely unprepared for a final exam.

These workshops are a great way to see a work as it develops, and also a great way for me to see what works and what doesn’t work.

I’ll be presenting my piece in the first half of the evening (note the early start time, 7pm).  My good friend, the lovely and talented Katie Rubin will be presenting a section of her solo show in the second half.   I hope to see you there after the show.

Read more about Failing That (including audio samples)  here.

You can purchase tickets here.


Feb 2010