Performer Blogs@Sequenza21.com

Jay C. Batzner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches theory, composition, and technology courses as well as coordinates the composition program. He holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kansas.

Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music.

Jay is a sci-fi geek, an amateur banjoist, a home brewer, and juggler.





2/10/2006
Jenufa

Kris and I finished watching Jenufa last night. Wow. Dark. Darkest of the dark. Lulu seems rather peppy in comparison.

I knew the plot going into it. I knew some of the music, too. But seen in context everything was much more intense than I expected. Usually I like the first act of an opera and then start to fade. The opposite happened here. The first act wasn't very captivating to me. And then it kept getting more interesting and powerful. Janacek was no slouch, that is for sure.

Jenufa,along with a recent performance of Schoenberg's op. 15, has rejuvenated my interest in double reeds. Especially contrabassoon. In C had some great contrabassoon moments the other night. I can't wait to write a chamber piece with a meaty contra part. I was also taken with Janacek's use of xylophone. Very effective stuff. Again, not a slouch.

I was also expecting the foster-mom to be more of a villain. Act 2 cured me of that. She might do unspeakable things, but she is much easier to relate to than, oh, Anakin Skywalker.

It got me thinking. Does anyone write comic opera anymore? Most new opera seems to be about dark, sullen, political things. Anyone writing good comic opera these days? Or has the comic music drama been permanently annexed by Broadway?