Many of Opperman’s scores and parts can be found here, for free, for both study and performance. In return, we ask is that you let us know if you are planning a performance of one or more of Opperman’s works so we can add it to the Events calendar.
for wind ensemble, approx. 6 min.
Commissioned by the Berklee College of Music Symphonic Winds
World premiere performance by the Berklee College of Music Symphonic
Winds under the direction of Dominick Ferrara at the Berklee Performance
Center in Boston, MA - April 26th, 2012
Score | Piccolo | Flute 1 | Flute 2 | Flute 3 | Oboe | Bassoon
Clarinet 1 | Clarinet 2 | Clarinet 3 | Clarinet 4 | Clarinet 5 | Bass Clarinet
Alto Sax 1 | Alto Sax 2 | Alto Sax 3 | Tenor Sax | Trumpet 1 | Trumpet 2
Trumpet 3 | Horn in F | Trombone 1 | Trombone 2 | Trombone 3 |
Bass Trombone | Euphonium 1 | Euphonium 2 | Tuba | Timpani
Percussion 1 | Percussion 2 | Percussion 3
“Kagemusha” is a tone poem loosely based on the 1980 Akira Kurosawa film of the same name. Set around 1575 during the beginning of the Sengoku period of Japan, the film features the exploits of a thief who bore an uncanny resemblance to the warlord Takeda Shingen and was spared from crucifixion for his crimes in exchange for becoming a kagemusha, or shadow warrior, of Shingen during this time of civil war.
Shingen’s army has invaded a castle owned by Tokugawa Ieyasu and they began receiving reports of a mysterious flute player who would perform every night after battle. Shingen decides that he would like to hear this music for himself and ponder its meaning so he visits the battlefield where he is shot by a sniper. Mortally wounded, Shingen orders his generals to keep his death secret for a period of three years and the thief, the kagemusha, becomes the shadow warlord, his secret known only to Shingen’s brother and most trusted generals.
Movie available on Amazon.
The Peacemakers on the River Queen (2013)
Composed for the Clifton Community Band and dedicated to Robert Morgan
World premiere performance by the Clifton Community Band under the direction of Chris Opperman at Clifton High School in Clifton, NJ - May, 2013
Demo recording by the Rutgers Symphony Band under the direction of Dr. Daryl Bott - November, 2014
Score (fix this) | Piccolo | Flute 1 | Flute 2 | Oboe | Bassoon | Clarinet 1
Clarinet 2 | Clarinet 3 | Bass Clarinet | Alto Sax 1 | Alto Sax 2
Tenor Sax | Bari Sax | Trumpet 1 | Trumpet 2 | Trumpet 3 | Horn in F 1
Horn in F 2 | Trombone 1 | Trombone 2 | Bass Trombone | Baritone Horn Tuba | Glockenspiel | Vibraphone | Snare Drum | Bass Drum | Cymbals
Loosely based on the early 60’s Tales from the Bizarro World comics created by Jerry Siegel and John Forte (and owned by DC Comics), this opera-in-miniature explores a music lesson far out in space in the square-shaped Bizarro World. “Us hate beuaty! Us love ugliness!” they declare as Bizarro-Lana learns to become the worst, and therefore the best, singer in the whole school, for which she is awarded the coveted Blue Kryptonite. Along the way are plenty of jokes that will have 20th century music history buffs laughing in their seats!
According to Opperman, “Of all the jokes in the piece, the absolute funniest is the idea that two different vocal ensembles have given incredible performances of this work. First, Ekmeles, and then C4: the Choral Composer Collective. Apparently, as off-the-wall and challenging as it is, it is also very fun to put together and sing.”
for orchestra, approx. 12 minutes
I. The Celebration of King Minos
II. Theseus & Ariadne
III. The Labyrinth of Daedalus
IV. The Roar of the Minotaur!
V. Rewinding Ariadne’s String
VI. Corona Borealis
World premiere performance by the Montclair State University Orchestra under the direction of Paul Hostetter at Kasser Theater (MSU) in Montclair, NJ - October 30th, 2009
Score | Piccolo | Flute 1 | Flute 2 | Oboe 1 | Oboe 2 | Clarinet 1
Clarinet 2 | Bass Clarinet | Bassoon 1 | Bassoon 2 | Contrabassoon
Horn in F 1 & 3 | Horn in F 2 & 4 | Trumpet 1 | Trumpet 2 | Trumpet 3
Trombone 1 | Trombone 2 | Bass Trombone | Tuba | Timpani
Percussion 1 | Percussion 2 | Percussion 3 | Percussion 4 | Violin 1
Violin 2 | Viola | Cello | Contrabass
This work was commissioned by the Meraki Chamber Players as part of their debut season celebrating the famous paintings by Wassily Kandinski. It has five short movements, each about a specific part of Kandinski’s painting and each composed using different aleatoric methods. Once the procedures were laid out, the solutions were rolled by chance using The Musician’s Dice for the pitch information and polyhedral dice normally utilized in table-top role playing games for the rhythmic information.
“I wanted to use experimental compositional techniques to complement Kandinski’s experimental painting techniques,” says Opperman. “What was interesting to me was how much control the composer actually does have when creating music this way. The procedures I designed had a much greater impact on the overall feel of the piece than any of the individual dice rolls, and there are many, many other decisions that go into a piece besides picking notes and rhythms including dynamics, phrasing, and orchestration.”
The Porpentine (2008)
for jazz orchestra, approx. 15 1/2 minutes
I. Behind a World of Curtains
II. Journey Through the Snow in Early Twilight
III. Thessaly Draws Down the Moon
IV. Breakfast in the Forest of Tweeners
V. The Black Guard/My Little Judas
VI. The Citadel of the Cuckoo
VII. Walking the Moon’s Road, Playing a Game of You
VIII. The Brightly Shining Sea
IX. Waiting for the Moon to Rise
X. The Destruction of the Heirogram and the Porpentine
XI. Morpheus Unmakes the Land
XII. Flight of the Cuckoo/The Dorothy Option
Recording produced by Chris Opperman
Score | Flute 1 | Flute 2 | Oboe | Clarinet | Alto Sax | Tenor Sax
Baritone Sax | Horn in F | Trumpet 1 | Trumpet 2 | Trumpet 3 | Trumpet 4
Trombone 1 | Trombone 2 | Trombone 3 | Tuba | Percussion 1 | Percussion 2 | Drum Set | Electric Guitar | Bass Guitar | Piano | Harp
Violin 1 | Violin 2 | Viola | Cello | Contrabass
Microtonal solo work for gourd tree, a unique instrument invented by American maverick composer Harry Partch (1901 – 1974) recorded at the Harry Partch Institute under special permission from Dean Drummond as performed by Ryan McCausland. Features artwork from DC Comics artist Tony Akins (Wonder Woman, Fables, Jack of Fables).