For SpinTunes 5 Round 3, the challenge was as follows:
What's Opera, Doc? - Write a Mini-Opera: A dramatic story told through dialogue sung by two or more characters. A couple suggested examples I got are "Come Talk To Me" by Peter Gabriel or "Written In The Stars" by Elton John. (2 minute minimum) (your submission is due July 29th 11:59PM (Sun)
Defined Opera as: A theatrical presentation in which a dramatic performance is set to music.
- A dramatic story: of or pertaining to drama: a story involving conflict or contrast of character, especially one intended to be acted on the stage.
- Told through dialogue: a conversation between two or more persons. That is, person #1 says something to person #2, and person #2 responds to person #1.
OK, I lied. There are reviews, but they're mini-reviews:
If I had to pick a favorite for the round it would be Menage a Tune's "Poison, Or, All Of Hamlet in 4:04". To my thinking this is the only entry that really captured the feel of a staged production. It may not be the slickest production, but it has exactly the feel of a high school or community theatre production. I've done enough of those to be charmed by it.
Ross Durand's "Apart", featuring Bryanna Acosta, is a lot of fun. I "hear" it exclusively as a film production. As I hear it, he's a soldier away at war, leaving her at home. They figuratively sing "to" each other through the distance. Actual conflict and face-to-face dialogue is provided by "the Bad Guy", who is making moves on the hero's girl while he's away. The Bad Guy is a dead ringer for Snidely Whiplash. It's an interesting folk-rock take on the challenge.
I can see Governing Dynamics' "Dark Places" as a rock opera either on stage or film. I "see" scenes when I hear it. We've got story, we've got conflict, and we've got a dialogue. Travis has found a superb singing partner in Rebecca Brickley; their voices are nicely complementary, and the easy listening style is like warm mink on your ears.
Not all drama is conflict. Sometimes it's just heightened emotion, as Edric Haleen demonstrates in "Vows". It's a love song between two people, and I can just barely stretch the definition we were given enough to include a wedding as a "theatrical presentation". It's a well done realization of a very simple message, so there's not much more I can say about it. Edric has loads, though... read his song bio.
The Rest (in order of listening):
(update: reading this again, it sounds way too harsh. It's not intended that way. I sort of focused on the things that kept them from being in my four picks. It's intended to be constructive criticism, not assholery. Sorry if it comes across as the latter.)
The Chocolate Chips - The Pathfinder. I found much of this to be next to impossible to understand without the lyrics in front of me. There's dialog, but not much in the way of drama. "Come with me, I'll make you a god." "Yeah, sure, ok." So they drink the Kool-aid, but it's very pat.
RC - He's Dead, Jim. Not even the Trekkie in me will accept this as opera. As a song, it's cute, and I like it a lot. But it looks like alien females aren't the only thing Jim screws... sometimes it's challenges. (OK, that's harsh. I really do like the song. A lot. I just think it missed the challenge.)
Mariah Mercedes - Dear Jeremy. Sorry, Mariah... Ross pulled off the "dialogue at a distance" trick better and took one of the top four spots in your place. I'm not sure you did yourself a favor by having Jeremy speak some of his lines. BTW, you took "I love my dog" to a new level... I'm not sure that's intentional, but it made me smile.
Felix Frost - Lyman Boone And The Moonshine Scoundrel. You're just writing for a themed album, aren't you? There are places where you're singing narration rather than dialogue. The quirky musical changes would come across much better, I think, if there was some discernable structure to them, such as having each character sing in an identifiable style consistent with his personality. This just sounds disjointed. Maybe the town just isn't ready for Felix Frost.