This page will link you to selections from Barry Drogin's on-going collection of solo scenas, "Portraits," a work-in-progress.
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"Portraits" grew out of "Alamo!" which grew out of Barry Drogin's exposure to the solo concerts of Dora Ohrenstein. Rather than present art songs in a recital format, concerts such as "Urban Diva" were collections of scenas, dramatic scenes for solo voice, popular as a side business for famous opera singers in the 18th century. For each piece in the evening, Dora would get into costume, and perform as a character, sometimes interacting with the audience.
After presenting "Alamo!", first as an incomplete work-in-progress, then as a completed piece, to enthusiastic audiences throughout the world, Barry started work on "Brandt," a piece specifically written for his own voice. Then, when Raw Impressions Music Theatre invited Barry to participate in RIMT #4, he composed (with words by collaborator Rachel Sheinkin) custom solo arias for Jake Alrich and Liz Racster. Since that time, Barry has been asked to compose two more "Portraits," one for Laurie Amat in San Francisco and one for Danielle Woerner in Woodstock.
Unlike the piano portraits composed by Virgil Thomson, these are not portraits of the singer, but portraits of real (or imaginary) characters that the singer portrays. The pieces are written with the singer's talents and range in mind. The singer is encouraged to suggest a text and participate in the process of the creation of the piece. Not Nice Music seeks no compensation for the composition, but retains copyright and royalties. Texts in the public domain are preferred. All of the "Portraits" are a cappella, so that the singer is free to perform them anywhere and anytime, within a concert setting or in a public or private space.
Singers interested in having "Portraits" written for them should contact Not Nice Music using one of the response options below.
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