Cronin, Stephen (Australian composer, 1960-____), and Leon Waller (American playwright, poet, writer, museum educator, visual artist, librettist, story teller, July 6, 1949-____), “Storm Light,”
a 45-minute chamber opera drama in three scenes in English, set in the mythical West African Yoruba Kingdom, just before dawn, mythical past,
© 1991, 2002 by Stephen Cronin and Leon Waller;
• in Stephen Cronin and Leon Waller’s Storm Light (New York: The Author, 1991);
• script/rights available from Stephen Cronin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.stephen.cronin.name/, or from Leon Waller, e-mail email@example.com, telephone (home) 212-228-8402, extension 3.
• Cited by Leon Waller via ftp August 3, 2004; Waller says,
Shango (m), Yoruba king; Eshu (m), trickster god; Oya (f), Shango’s chief wife.
“The play takes place on the eve of these disastrous events. The king is very much in love with his chief wife Oya, with whom his relationship is passionate. The arrival of the trickster god Eshu interrupts this; he is about to change everything by a confrontation and eventual seduction of the king.
• “This work is called an opera because of the musical nature of the language. It was written as much for singers as actors. It has the potential to be set as an opera, yet it can also be spoken. The actors should be sensitive to the poetic and musical quality of the words. The play is the playwright’s personal version of an African legend concerning the Yoruba King Shango. Traditionally, Shango is said to have been a real king who brought about the death of his wives and children through misuse of magic. He was eventually elevated to the status of Storm god. Storm light is a term I picked up in Australia; it refers to the quality of light just before the arrival of a storm.
• I have had a successful collaboration with the Australian composer Stephen Cronin for the last ten or more years as his librettist.”
• About Leon Waller: “I was born in 1949 in King William county Virginia. I graduated college from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a Bachelor in Elementary Education. My primary interest was art and museum education. I have worked as an educator, at the Valentine Museum and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond Virginia, and for the Museum for African Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art and currently at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. In addition I have been an Artist-in-Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem, and I am Adjunct Instructor at Parsons School of Design, where I teach art history. I am a writer and visual artist. I am a librettist for the Australian Composer, Stephen Cronin, with whom I collaborated on a prize winning song cycle. . . . I have studied the philosophical aspects of the Tarot since my junior year in college. I am a museum educator, poet and storyteller.”—Leon Waller's Storefront - Lulu.com, http://www.lulu.com/lwaller, accessed January 19, 2007.
• “Stephen Cronin, born in Brisbane, Australia in 1960, was educated at the University of Queensland and the University of London. He was appointed a faculty member at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in 1986. The recipient of many prizes, he has received the prestigious Paul Lowin Award for his cycle, House Songs, settings of poems by New York poet Leon Waller and an Albert H. Maggs Award for his orchestral work, Cries and Whispers. His work reflects his interest in literary and narrative themes, and much of his vocal music is based on texts by New York poet, Leon Waller. In addition, he has written for diverse instrumental ensembles, including The Snake Pit, performed at the World Music Days in Zürich in 1991. He is widely commissioned and has provided works at the invitation of leading Australian and overseas ensembles including the Duo Contemporain, Octomania, Perihelion Ensemble, Synergy, The Song Company, The Seymour Group and various orchestras. Biography provided by the composer and current to 2001”—Stephen Cronin, Represented Composer, Australian Music Centre, http://www.amcoz.com.au/composers/composer.asp?id=489, accessed January 19, 2007.
• “Stephen Cronin (1960) was born in Brisbane, Australia. He studied composition and piano at the University of Queensland and was awarded the Master of Music degree in composition and subsequently a Doctor of Philosophy in Composition from that institution. During 1985-86 he studied at the University of London and on his return to Australia was appointed to the staff of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. Stephen's works have been performed and commissioned by leading Australian and overseas groups including various orchestras, Duo Contemporain, Octomania, The Seymour Group, Synergy and The Song Company. Many of his vocal works are settings of text written by New York artist Leon Waller. Awards he has received include a Rotary Foundation scholarship, the Percy Brier Memorial Prize for Music Composition, the Dalley-Scarlett Memorial Scholarship, the inaugural Paul Lowin Song Cycle Award, the A. H. Maggs commission, a Vienna Modern Masters recording project and an Australia Council Composer Fellowship. As a teacher Stephen believes in exposing students to a broad variety of styles and genres. His composition teaching focuses on the establishment of a solid compositional craft based on strong aural and theoretical foundations. Various projects at QCGU have supported these aims such as The Rag Project and the Composers in Schools Project which have resulted in publication of compact discs of new music by young composers.”—stephen cronin, http://www.stephen.cronin.name/, accessed January 19, 2007.
• Page mounted September 18, 2004, updated October 9, 2008, by the Webmaster.
Africa, dance, folktale, history, magic, mask, music, mythology, opera, poetry, ritual, song.