European American Music Distributors Company is a member of the Schott Music Group
Information Regarding COVID-19

Our New York City office remains closed to protect the health and safety of all of our employees. During this time, we are doing everything possible to minimize disruptions to our daily operations. All employees are working remotely and remain fully contactable. If you have had to cancel or postpone a performance of a work from our catalogue, or are considering live streaming performances or streaming archival material, we are prepared to assist you in facilitating changes. Please direct all questions or concerns to rental@eamdc.com.

Please note:

  • All materials from canceled or completed performances should be returned to our Verona, New Jersey library only.
  • Please do not return materials to our New York office. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for lost materials that are returned to our New York office while it is closed. If materials are lost, we will have to charge the full replacement value.

Look Inside

Anthony Davis

Lear on the 2nd Floor

opera in 2 acts

cl(bcl).bsn-2perc(I. drum set; II. vib, mar)-pno-vn.va.vc.cb-laptop (2013)
Text informationLibretto by Allan Havis
Duration90'
CommissionCommissioned by Princeton University with funding from the Academic Senate of UCSD
Premiere2013; Conrad Prebys Music Center Concert Hall, La Jolla CA; Steven Schick, conductor
LanguageEnglish
RolesNora Lear - Soprano
Nora's Mind - soprano (improviser with extended techniques)
Mortimer/The Judge - Bass Baritone
Lyla - Soprano (light lyric)
Tara - Mezzo Soprano
Jenna - Mezzo Soprano
The Doctor - Tenor
The Nurse/The Lawyer and Husband - Baritone
PublisherSchott Music

Media

Program Note

Lear on the 2nd Floor is my third collaborative project with Allan Havis. Our first piece together was the 2nd movement of Restless Mourning, a four movement work for chorus and chamber ensemble commissioned to commemorate 9/11. Allan's section of the oratorio looked at 9/11 from the perspective of the pilots, initially the pilot for American Airlines and later the pilot for Allah. Needless to say, this approach to September 11th was controversial and I realized immediately that I had found a subversive co-conspirator who revels in challenging conventional thinking. Lilith, our 2nd piece together explored Adam's rejected first wife. The opera, an adaptation of Allan's play, was set in a divorce court in the Garden of Eden and in the present. Coincidentally, we both worked on prior Lear projects. Allan conceived a “Yiddish” Lear for actor Shelly Berman and I composed music for a Lear production at Yale Rep with Avery Brooks as Lear. The Yale Rep production envisioned Lear in pre-Columbian Mexico in the Olmec civilization imagining a connection to West Africa. My experience creating the music for the Yale Rep production was frustrating because I thought the “Storm” had so many musical possibilities. The “Storm” could be a mental storm or the rumors and insinuations of a family and community. I began to imagine Lear as an opera and realized as Verdi also discovered that an operatic version of Lear would be impossible. I came to the realization that an opera could “riff” on Lear, using Lear as a starting point and creating a story that mirrors Lear. In Shakespeare's Lear there are many unanswered questions that perplex directors and dramaturgs today. Was there ever a Queen Lear and what happened to the Fool?

As we approached our work on Lear on the 2nd Floor, we immediately decided that Lear should be a woman with three daughters and that the Fool should be her deceased husband who only is seen by Nora Lear. As with many Lear scholars we decided to explore Lear in a state of dementia in this case afflicted by early onset Alzheimer's Disease. This allowed us to take a post-modern view of Lear as a person of authority who is losing her grip on her power as well as her faculties. We imagined Nora Lear as a neurologist or a researcher in the field of neurological disorders. She has an episode during a conference lecture. We could explore in a somewhat humorous manner the terrain of neurological disorders as a powerpoint lecture goes awry. 

In the music, I have given each daughter a musical character and a singular language. Their conflict reflects varying views of the world. They each want acceptance from their mother that is finally unattainable. I approach opera as a dance with music that propels the story, that implies movement and physicality. Opera is a visceral form that seduces creating a rhythmic theater, negotiating the rhythm of speech and the rhythm of drama and music. Music should embody drama and not accept an antiseptic distance or detachment. Sometimes in my music the listener discovers the familiar not as a distancing parody but as a site of reference that summons memory and layers of meaning. The work exists not just as a separate and self-contained world but as a reflection on cultural history, a mirror on who we are and our connection to the past, a past that rejects categories of “high-low”, classical or vernacular, jazz, popular, or experimental, the old racist hierarchies and constructions that cripple American music.

Purchase

?
Types of Products

Score and part (Print)

Score and part (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (4 required for performance) (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (4 required for performance) (Print)

Choral Score (includes 4 copies) (Print)

Anthology edition (Print)

Full Score in 3 volumes (Print)

Choral Booklet (Print)

Choral Booklet (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Digital)

Performance Score (includes 4 scores) (Print)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Print)

Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (6 scores required for performance) (Digital)

solo part and piano reduction (Print)

solo part and piano reduction (Digital)

Parts (Mov. 11 only) (Print)

Full Score (4 needed for performance) (Print)

Choral Score Set - 20 copies (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Study Score (print) (Digital)

Study Score (print) (Print)

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

Vocal Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Print)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Print)

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Digital)

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Digital)