Hi Folks. So we finished a new audio demo yesterday of a song from Act I of The Mapmaker’s Opera entitled, ‘Dark Night of The Soul‘.
We were privileged to have Michael Lampard sing the role of Edward Nelson for us again, and we introduce to you on this track, the young Australian music theatre tenor, Luigi Lucente, in the role of Roberto Duarte.
The song is male duet for the characters of Nelson and Duarte. It is now “..next week” as Very Useful has uttered in the closing dialogue of the song previous to this (‘Under Her Spell’) and we are relocated to the Duarte hacienda. It is early evening. Nelson and Roberto are in Roberto’s study. Nelson expresses his growing tiredness and struggle to find the strength to complete his task of mapping the bird population native to the Yucatán peninsula. The world, as he recognises, is changing and his ability to adapt to it becoming ever more difficult to reconcile. He is also starting to question whether any of his previous accomplishments have really amounted to anything of lasting value (“I remember the first time I approached the coast of Alaska…”). Roberto gently remonstrates with Nelson, suggesting he need only a short respite from his workload to reinvigorate himself.
However, Roberto, in truth, is harbouring a far deeper secret: one that will potentially bring ruin upon his family and the future of his beloved daughter, Sofia. Roberto sings (in Spanish) in counterpoint to Nelson’s chorus (“On my horizon, twilight’s descending…”) repeating Nelson’s lines, but his meaning is far darker in truth.
Nelson interrupts his own thoughts, casually remarking to Robert that (“…there are so many distressing concerns that I am powerless to put right”) recalling the earlier scene in Act I (‘Madness Rules’) where he has witnessed the deplorable treatment of the Mayan/Mestizo henequen field-workers and the shocking revelation that has ensued [Ed. as previously mentioned, something happens on-stage that we are not giving away here!]. In doing so, he makes mention of the two passenger pigeons being held in captivity in Don Victor Blanco Torres’ private aviary. The mention of Don Victor Blanco causes Roberto immediate unease.
The study clock chimes. Nelson leaves to freshen up before dinner. The two men farewell each other. Upon his deparature, Roberto sings his own lament in having placed the family’s fortunes at dire risk, and with no foreseeable solution to the crisis that will inextricably play out as the story unfolds in Act II.
I’m dedicating this song to my friend in México (he knows who he is) who orginally suggested I look at the Mexican song “Que te ha dado esa mujer?” (listen from where the two men begin to sing this beautiful duet) and which provided the inspiration for ‘Dark Night of The Soul’.
Victor and I hope you like it? Let us know what you think.