Opera: S.Fairbank / Candyce

After indulging in the curious activity writing about opera for the last year or so I finally get to review my own. Excited to announce the release of a project that’s been my labor of love for the last 2+ years – a modern opera called Candyce.

What cheek! Who do I think I am anyway, putting my major opus on par with Tosca and Doctor Atomic?

Well – it’s my site where I write about opera, and my work is an opera with a capital ‘O’, and I busted my ass for 2+ years on it, and I do believe it’s as good as anything you’ll see in a metro opera company’s 2024 season so I will now tell you about it. My house, my rules!

With Candyce, I set out to write and produce a pop opera written in my own musical language. I wanted it to possess the dramatic arc of classical opera, the everyman appeal of musical theater (without the corniness that permeates the typical Broadway property), and rendered in music that lovers of alternative rock, post-rock, electronica and other musical genres could enjoy. The pop stylings weave seamlessly in and out of a structure of orchestral arrangements to create something that is intended to be just as powerful through your earbuds as it would be experienced on the stage.

As is the rule with opera, Candyce is sung-through, telling a story in music without dialogue. Performed by a cast of 4 singers and running 2 hours 20 minutes, it is conceived for the stage — but unlike many operatic and Broadway composers I didn’t wait around for the ‘permission’ of a theatrical run to produce a recording of the work. By design there are many parts of the work that are hopefully enjoyable and understandable out of context; individual songs and scenes could be inserted into a playlist and enjoyed on their own merits. So with that there was no reason to hold back an audio release on the premise that it someday might be produced on stage.

It was maybe a bit crazy for me to have taken on such an ambitious work, but for me the impulse to bring a new musical concept to life is just too powerful to resist. When I get a big idea that gives me a jolt I don’t wait around for funding or peer approval or trendy timing – I just roll up my sleeves and get down to it.

I’ve felt for a long time that if modern opera is to remain relevant the industry needs to reimagine how to tell a serious story on stage with music containing complexity, gravitas, and a healthy amount of soul. Candyce is my best effort at presenting a new idea.

Candyce is available for purchase on this site, Bandcamp and Apple Music. Also available on Spotify and most streaming networks. 

I hope you check out Candyce and that you enjoy it!