Wonderglass - chamber opera (90') sop, mezzo, 2 tenors, bass-bari, fl, cl, sax, tbn, hp, pno, perc, cbs
Concert Premiere: American Artists Series, Detroit, 2/93 NY Premiere: St. Clement's Church, NYC, 12/94 funded (in part) by the National Endowment for the Arts
view an excerpt from the score
also available: Scenes from Wonderglass (35')
Wonderglass is a journey exploring the visions of Lewis Carroll. The sequence of events unfolds as it might in a dream. Because the characters and their adventures are already familiar, they become a point of departure - allowing each person's unique imagination to lead the way through the boundless world of Lewis Carroll. "Life, what is it but a dream?"
"...it was hard to know what to admire most about her efforts here: her music, her singing, or the theatrical flair and imagination she brought to both. Her score traverses a kaleidoscopic mix of styles, from jazz through Weill to Neo-Classical Stravinsky and beyond, with remarkable assurance. In its mordant humor (with apt quotations from Gershwin, Mozart and Donizetti in the Queen of Hearts' mad scene) and its savvy, nightmarish treatment of seemingly childish material, the music evokes Harrison Birtwhistle's 'Punch and Judy'... Ms. Botti strikes hardly a false note...The piece incorporates two fine animated film sequences by Phil Denslow..." -- James Oestreich, The New York Times
"Botti's music...shows a variety of influences while maintaining a solid personal voice. There are improvisatory passages, debts to Stravinsky and Schoenberg, operatic quotes (including a snippet from Lucia's 'Mad Scene' in which the soprano is accompanied bya trombone instead of a flute), humorous take-offs on popular styles and ample doses of sweet lyricism... But the opera's strongest moments are its most poignent ones... Botti herself sang several parts, including the pivotal Queen, using her winning soprano to show how varied her talents are... Botti's 'Wonderglass' deserves to take its place as a worthwhile contribution to contemporary opera." -- John Guinn, Detroit Free Press