James Schwall

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Dr. Ramon Zupko

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Dierdre: A Soap Opera is a chamber opera in one act, with dance, and takes about an hour to perform. There are six singing parts which may be performed by five singers. Two parts are for sopranos or mezzos, two for baritone, and one is designated tenor. All have fairly easy ranges. The piece also requires four percussionists and a pianist. Several interludes, called "breaks," are intended for modern dance. One of these breaks and the overture are for taped electronic music, realized by the composer. The libretto, also by the composer, involves the employees and regulars at a somewhat up-scale night club. The format is taken from a television soap opera. The plot advances during program "segments" which usually involve only the singers and piano. During "breaks," dancers perform with the percussion ensemble or with the taped music.