By Maxwell Ramage
A modern take on Proust’s “Swann’s Way,” Maxwell Ramage’s opera is a humorous exploration of modern romantic relationships and Swann’s lack of skill within them. Ramage tests the boundaries of the operatic love affair. It’s an erogenous cacophony of he loves her, she loves him, he loves him. Blurring the lines between broadway and grand opera, Swann’s Love is a modern take on what a piece of “music theatre” can be.
Ramage speaks of his inspiration, “As a violinist, I was drawn to the novel's most prominent leitmotif, a fictional violin sonata. Before writing a single word of the libretto, I composed a violin sonata based on Proust's descriptions of the music. Almost all the music in the opera is derived from the sonata's themes. The sung material comprises fifteen numbered songs connected with recitative; each song explores a single emotion and a single musical motif.” With a current, comedic libretto and ear catching compositional style, Ramage will bring a little levity to this year’s Double Bill.
Audience Advisory: Swann's Love contains some strong language and adult content.
Maxwell Ramage is a composer, violinist, and librettist from Durham, North Carolina. He earned his B.A. in Music from Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and won the Friends of Music Prize for composition. His works have been performed by such ensembles as Grammy Award winner Roomful of Teeth and the Yale Symphony Orchestra (YSO). He has served as both assistant concertmaster and guest conductor of the YSO. Ramage is also a laureate of the National Federation of Music Clubs composition contest. He is a master’s student in composition and violin at Indiana University, where he serves as Associate Instructor in Music Theory.