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Music Text
Deutsch

Libretto by Royce Vavrek (E)

Scoring
1.picc.2.1.bcl.2-2.2.2.1-timp.perc(3):I=chimes/BD/crot/vib/glsp/susp.cym/marble in Martini glass; II=xyl/glsp/SD/crot/marimba; III=vib/kick dr/floor tom/marimba/ride cym/hi-hat/rack tom/SD/Splash cym/Crash cym-pft-harp-strings

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Abbreviations (PDF)

Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

Opera
For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.


Composer's Notes
Deutsch

A motley assortment of contestants participate in their annual finch-sitting competition, a Belgian folk competition that pits chaffinches (and their owners) against each other in a battle to see who has the most melodious bird. A flag waves, and the game begins. Each competitor—sitting in front of a box containing a fellow contestants’ birds—makes a tally mark on a stick then the bird sings a certain call: the "susk-e-wiet." At the end of an hour, the bird with the most points wins, bringing much pride to its trainer. Although a seemingly simple and gentle competition, access to both the competitors' inner monologues, and flashbacks to their preparations, reveal deception, deep-seated rivalries, painful loneliness, and blossoming romance


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