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Virginia Saya

Opera in one act by Dominick Argento to a libretto by John Donahue; Minneapolis, Cedar Village Theater, 14 October 1971.

From an abstract libretto by the children’s theatre director John Donahue (with lines in no set sequence, assigned to no particular character), Argento created a symbolic fantasy based on the guarded interactions of seven people waiting for a train. Their activities are interrupted by abrupt leaps of time and strange entertainments (a cabaret song to nonsense syllables, a puppet show with lifelike puppets, a Viennese operetta duet). Each character performs an aria of minimal self-revelation and carries an item of luggage, the contents of which he or she symbolically protects from the prying of the others. When Mr Owen (tenor), the only named character, is forced to reveal that his suitcase is empty, he is cut off from the group and, in heroic style, sets out on a voyage of self-discovery in a ship built by the puppets....

Article

City in the Republic of South Africa. It contains the headquarters of the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal (PACT), which was established in 1963 and is responsible for opera and ballet performances in the Transvaal. Opera was first given at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre and at the Aula in Pretoria. Since its opening in ...

Article

Psalm  

Christian Troelsgård, John Arthur Smith, Terence Bailey, Paul Doe, Alejandro Enrique Planchart and Malcolm Boyd

An ancient Near Eastern or ancient Egyptian sacred poem exhibiting the following main characteristics: a theocentric subject, short bifurcated units of literary construction and parallelism of clauses (parallelismus membrorum, ‘thought rhyme’); or a setting of such a poem to music. The Greek word itself, used in the Septuagint and the New Testament for the book of ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Notched flute of the Sere people in the Uele region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is cylindrical, about 50 cm long, and has four fingerholes. (LaurentyA, 280)

Article

Pwing  

Side-blown antelope horn of the Hungana people in the Kasayi region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. One specimen is about 55 cm long. (LaurentyA, 325)

Article

(Arab.: ‘ode’). Important verse form used in classical Arab music. See Arab music, §II, 3, (i); Egypt, Arab Republic of; Iraq, Republic of; Lebanon ; and Syria, §2, (ii), (b) ; see also Bedouin music .

Article

Rabāba  

Christian Poché

Bowl lyre with five (occasionally six) strings, used in Eritrea (Ethiopia) and the Sudan, where the term is a generic one for the lyre. The instrument is also known in Zaïre and Uganda as rababah or rapapa, mostly with five strings, with or without bridge and with very small soundholes recalling those of the Ethiopian ...

Article

Darius Brubeck

(b Alexandra township, South Africa, March 2, 1946). South African alto and soprano saxophonist, flutist, and penny whistle player. In a career that typifies the history of jazz in South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century, from the age of 11 he played penny whistle on street corners in a group called the Little Bunnies, then continued in the same vein with the Kwela Kids. He was self-taught, but passed Royal Schools exams through Grade VI in music theory and flute. In the 1960s and 1970s he played saxophone with Abdullah Ibrahim, and he may be heard on albums that are now considered to be classic. He also performed in Chris McGregor’s Castle Lager Big Band (...

Article

Rapapa  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Symmetrical bowl lyre of the Bari people in the Uele region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has five to seven strings made of twisted leather strips, and a bridge (lacking in similar lyres of the Zande and Mangbetu). The Bari always use a resonator made of a tortoise shell with its bottom plate replaced by an antelope-skin belly. ...

Article

Samha El-Kholy

(b Cairo, 1896; d Cairo, 1969). Egyptian composer . As a boy he played the violin in Egypt and in England. He read agriculture at Durham University (also singing baritone and composing), and returned to Cairo in 1918. He began to compose vocal music to Arabic texts, an activity which culminated in the first opera composed by an Egyptian, ...

Article

Samha El-Kholy

(b Cairo, July 10, 1896; d Cairo, May 25, 1969). Egyptian composer. As a boy in Cairo he played the violin, which he continued to study for many years, both in Egypt and in England, where his wealthy family sent him to be educated: he read agriculture at Durham University, also singing baritone and composing. In ...

Article

Daniel Kawka

(b Alexandria, Egypt, Dec 12, 1943). French composer and musicologist. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Claude Ballif (analysis), Olivier Messiaen (composition) and Alain Weber (counterpoint), gaining first prize in counterpoint and analysis and winning the composition prize. She also holds a degree in literature from the Sorbonne. She has been resident at the Casa de Velasquez, Madrid (...

Article

Ribab  

Single-string spike fiddle of the Tamazight (Berber) people of North Africa. The resonator is a shallow circular frame covered by a goatskin head and back. The horsehair string extends at an angle to the neck (not along it) from the end of a long lateral tuning peg, through a thong looped to the neck that acts as a nut, over an inverted V-shaped wooden bridge placed toward the upper side of the head, to a string holder that is looped around the short spike. The neck, of square section, is often ornately inlaid and terminates with a knob. The string is not stopped against the neck but is pressed by the left-hand fingers to produce mainly pentatonic melody within the compass of an octave. The horsehaired bow is a simple arch, the stick wrapped with cloth and the hair tension adjusted by the bow-hand fingers. The ...

Article

Boris Schwarz and F.C. Ricci

(b Alexandria, Egypt, Jan 28, 1898; d New York, Feb 19, 1994. American composer of Italian descent. He studied music with Frugatta in Milan (1912–17) as well as economics at the University of Milan, where he obtained a doctorate in 1917. After brief war service in the Italian army, he settled in Rome with his family and took up his composition studies again with Casella; he also received some tuition in orchestration from Respighi. In ...

Article

Riqq  

Christian Poché

Small, circular frame drum with jingles, of the Arab countries (see Drum). It is used in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan and Syria; in Libya, where it is rare, it is called mriqq. It is between 20 and 25 cm in diameter and is now effectively a man’s instrument. Descended from the ...

Article

Gregory F. Barz

(b Bandundu, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nov 13, 1940). Congolese composer, arranger and singer . Along with Joseph Kabasele (‘le Grand Kalle’) and ‘Franco’ Luambo Makiadi, Rochereau is considered to be one of the early innovators of Central African dance band music. His compositions are in the ...

Article

Gary Stewart

(b Fornikoh, Sierra Leone, c1928; d London, July 4, 1994). Sierra Leonean songwriter and performer. A self-taught guitarist influenced by the music of country and western singer Jimmie Rodgers, Rogie performed in the palm wine style, steeped in the tradition of sailors' work songs and African traditional music. Rogie usually sang in Mende or Krio (languages of Sierra Leone), his smooth baritone voice accompanied by guitar and percussion....

Article

Viorel Cosma

In the late 18th century, Italian, French and German opera companies visited the country; in the 19th century they were joined by others, from Russia and from other Balkan countries (and some from the Near East – Egypt, Israel, Turkey), who presented performances in towns in the south and east of the country (Iasşi, Galaţi, Brăila, Constanţa, Bucharest). The repertory in the period ...

Article

Harvey Sachs

(b Susah, Tunisia, March 8, 1933). Italian director . He spent his early years in Tunisia, Italy and Switzerland, and graduated in 1953 from the Accademia d’Arte Drammatica in Rome. For ten years he acted in plays by de Musset, Shaw, Wesker and several contemporary Italian authors, under such noted directors as Giorgio Strehler, Michelangelo Antonioni, Luigi Squarzina, Giorgio De Lullo and Virginio Puecher. He directed for the first time in ...

Article

Rongo  

Mahi Ismail and Jamie Linwood

Xylophone of central Africa. The rongo of the Ndogo people of southern Sudan has ten ebony bars mounted on a wooden frame with ten matched gourd resonators attached below. A small hole in the bottom of each resonator is covered with a mirliton made from a spider’s egg sac. A leather strap attached to the ends of the frame enables the standing player to hang the instrument from his shoulders or neck. The frame extends in a semicircle that holds the instrument away from the player’s body (see illustration). The ten bars are pentatonically tuned and paired in octaves with the lowest pair at the player’s left, and the other pairs ascending in pitch from right to left. The musician uses a pair of rubber-headed beaters in each hand so that he can strike a bar and its lower octave simultaneously....