I am Jeremy Howard Beck, and I'm the composer of the opera THE LONG WALK
(libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann, based on the memoir by Brian Castner
). The opera tells the true story of an American veteran coping with a Blast Induced Traumatic Brain Injury after he returns home from duty in Iraq.
The world premiere production
(directed by David Schweizer, conducted by Steven Osgood) ran at Opera Saratoga last summer, with an intense and penetrating feature by C.J. Chivers in the New York Times Magazine
and an unbelievable response from critics
, experienced opera-goers and first-timers alike. To say it was a dream come true would be a gross understatement. And we were able to announce from Opera Saratoga's stage that the production will travel next to Utah Opera
in Spring 2017.
The opera had been extensively workshopped throughout its development as part of its commissioning by American Lyric Theater, so we were fortunate to arrive in Saratoga with an opera that was, more or less, dramatically and vocally airtight. But there is always a humbling amount to learn in any "first" endeavor, and so it was with the orchestration.
I am revising the orchestration for the Utah Opera performances and beyond, so that the opera sounds
the way I intended it to—the orchestra is, in many ways, a character in the show. I am doing these revisions because I want to; no one is requiring them. This is just very important to me in a way I find difficult to describe.
In order to get materials to the performers on time, I need to hire a copyist to make the orchestral parts. My copyist, Matthew Maslanka, does beautiful and truly important work: in addition to making things "look pretty" on the page (and conform to the strict guidelines the Modern Orchestra Librarians Association puts forth on how orchestral parts must appear), he is also my notation consultant, helping me figure out the clearest and simplest way to communicate often complex instructions to the orchestra (I ask the orchestra to do some bonkers things).
I've created this page to help me raise Matthew's copyist fee by mid-February
. (Considering industry rates and the volume and complexity of the work involved, this is a real bargain.)
I could not have made my delivery deadline without his help. He must be compensated for his work, as any professional must be, so this is, as they say, where you come in.
I am so deeply thankful for any and all support for this project—every dollar really does help, and no amount is too small. I mean it.
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(Above: Mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson, for whom the role of Jessie was written, with pianist Djordje Nesic, electric guitarist Taylor Levine, and conductor Steven Osgood)
Note: All donations will go directly to American Lyric Theater, the incredible new-opera incubator that commissioned and developed THE LONG WALK. ALT is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so all donations are fully tax-deductible.