Last week, I had the good pleasure of hearing OperaFeHk perform a small theatre piece of my devising called “The Tragic Nature Of Being Ugly”. The whole evening was framed as a wedding ceremony between the main character from my piece (The House with Hippo Legs) and Baron Von Tone (Ambiguously eastern European gentry). Before OperaFeHk took to the stage, a variety of chamber groups would “arrive” posing as wedding guests and perform while the master of ceremonies attended to various disasters that cropped up. All in all, a great time.
The Tragic Nature Of Being Ugly is a theatre piece that tells the story of an encounter between a house with Hippopotamus legs and a group of antagonist horses. The libretto was co-written by myself and Zoe Robertson. It’s incredibly fun and more than a little bit surreal. It was a great challenge to arrange for OperaFeHk as they have a very odd instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Trombone, Viola, and Double Bass. At first glance, it would seem that most of the instruments are so disparate in timbre that any kind of ensemble unity would have to be thrown out the window. I got great results treating the group as a wind quartet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Trombone) With a low string descant (Viola and Double Bass). There’s a YouTube video of a previous performance in the music section of my website.
The house with hippo legs checking her complexion in the mirror.
The Baron’s untrustworthy steed coming to rescue the Hippo House.
The night’s villain, Baron Von Tone