THE STATION op.427 (June 1991)

A comic opera in one act for 7 singers, piano and string quartet
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd
Instrumentation: Soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, bass, 2 tea ladies (mezzo-soprano), Piano and string quartet
[Key to Abbreviations]
Note on Lyrics: Libretto by Howard Blake
Duration: 60 mins
First Performance: November 18-21 1992, The Platform Theatre,Haywards Heath. Jacqueline Barron (sop),Susan Bickley(contralto),Paul Agnew(ten),Don Greig(bar),Simon Grant(bass), with Penny Jenkins and Juliet McKinnell as the 2 tea-ladies (mezzo) with The Duke String Quartet directed from the piano by the composer.
Sheet Music Available
Full score for sale
Piano / Vocal score for sale
Instrumental parts for sale
Full score for hire
Piano / Vocal score for hire
Instrumental parts for hire
The full score contains the vocal and piano parts, with string parts in smaller print.
Recordings Available

CD of a live performance available


Notes

Characters: Amelia (Soprano), Freddie (Tenor), Phil (Contralto), Joe (Rock Singer/baritone), Stationmaster (Bass), Sandra (Mezzo-Soprano), Brenda (Mezzo-Soprano).  Originally written for the tenor Jeffrey Talbot and first performed by him and cast in a 30-minute version at Forsyth’s Barn Theatre, Ansty in May 1975. Extensively revised in 1991 for the re-launch at The Platform Theatre with coverage by BBC and ITV.

Performances

12th March 2009
- 15th March 2009
Sugar Land Opera/Imperial Performing Arts, Briscoe Manor, Houston, Texas
29th June 2006
- 2nd July 2006
State Opera of South Australia, Opera House Marleston SA

29-30 June
1-2 July

August 1996 Jigsaw Opera Group, Thaxted
21st July 1996
- 24th July 1996
Jigsaw opera group, Purcell Room,The South Bank,London
July 1996 Jigsaw Opera Group, Battersea Arts Centre
18th November 1992
- 21st November 1992
Jacqueline Barron (sop),Susan Bickley(contralto),Paul Agnew(ten),Don Greig(bar),Simon Grant(bass), with Penny Jenkins and Juliet McKinnell as the 2 tea-ladies (mezzo) with The Duke String Quartet directed from the piano by the composer., The Platform Theatre,Haywards Heath,Sussex

Reviews


2009


Blake is an experienced composer for film and television and he shows his understanding of dramatic pacing in this piece staged by the Opera Studio of the State Opera of South Australia. The piece is really a short encapsulation of what makes opera work: the search for love, conflict, anger, frustration. In less than an hour it was quite amazing just how much ground Howard Blake had been able to cover without the train ever leaving the station.

Tom Sankey, Opera, 15/8/2006


Howard Blake's 'The Station' employs traditional harmonies and well-established peratic conventions to create a 50-minute send-up of the medium. With classic romantic soprano/tenor duets (albeit about Maseratis and Dartford Warblers!), barbershop quintets, dramatic arias, clever ensembles and even an Elvis Presley take-off, the work takes us from Bel Canto to Can-Belto and back. It is a work that intentionally doesn't take itself seriously- a welcome respite in today's post-9/11 world.

Timothy Sexton, State Opera South Australia, 29/6/2006


'The Station' explores the inner thoughts of four commuters on a typical British train platform , forced to wait for a series of delayed trains...Director Sam Haren has ensured that 'The Station' is engaging entertainment from the first note to the last and the creative team has captured memorable images, but none more so than the young man appearing to face his destiny in the light of an oncoming train....this very interesting opera moves from the traditional to the satirical.

Greg Elliot, Independent Weekly, 30/2006


Purcell Room, London's South Bank Sep 18/20 1995

..the piece turns those stiff encounters between frustrated travellers, waiting on the platform for their morning train, into beguiling duets and quartets. Sarah Jenning's London premiere for Jigsaw Music Theatre proved a real crowd-pleaser, touching a chord in an audience only too familiar with the daily hazards of points failures, work to rule and the wrong kind of snow.

As Station-master Dean Robinson's resonant bass-baritone over the intercom had just the right note of British Rail regret...Lisa Tyrrell's bird-spotting secretary spies a Dartford Warbler on the line, while tenor Vernon Kirk's time-obsessed executive tries to impress her with his talk of fast cars and all the business appointments he may have to miss. Their back-to-back coloratura duet won a special round of applause on the second night.

Stranger still is Dennis Schiavon's shabby drop-out, with pop-tune chatter to match his copy of The Melody-Maker, clowning about on the track. He responds to the pleas of Janet Shell's feminist business woman to join her in a cup of coffeee. But though they find the buffet closed, their duet combining his musical theatre vocal with her delicious mezzo made for a standout musical encounter.

John Thaxter, Ths Stage and Television Today, 28/9/1995


... a gently satirical and witty piece. Blake's libretto is sharply perceptive, encapsulating the humour of the mundane. His lyrical score is vividly pictorial. Modern rhythms sit easily with more classical elements, all beautifully worked ... The Station makes music theatre enjoyably accessible.

The Stage, 17/12/1992

Related Works


'THE STATION' op.195 (February 1975)
Comic opera in one act - original version N/A

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