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“Agostino and the Puccini Clarinet,” is an original one-act opera by composer Chuck Holdeman, of Montchanin, DE, and librettist Vincent Marinelli. The story revolves around Italian immigrants, their children and grandchildren and the difficulties of achieving success in America. Its goal is to dramatize the challenges to immigrant populations and to give an introduction to the particular kind of story-telling that is opera, a genre rich in its references to Italian culture.

“The Yellow Rose of Texas,” deals with an often forgotten but essential part of American history. This opera is the story of an indentured servant, Emily West Morgan, said to be the reason General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, the Mexican president, lost the Texas-Mexican war in 1836. The score for “The Yellow Rose of Texas” is a blended fabric of folk and pop music and borrows techniques from grand opera. Composer John Cornelius and librettist Michael Bobbitt put to music the unique experiences of people unrepresented in this medium.

The Kitsune Ensemble, comprised of Japanese and American musicians based in NYC, is dedicated to a repertoire that explores various facets of Japanese culture and history. The group will perform composer Billy Fox’s “A Day Without Pain,” which is dedicated to Japanese and American veterans of the Second World War and explores the dehumanizing nature of all wars. A free matinee concert for children and pre-teens is being planned by the ensemble.

These are only some highlights of the Music grants given in 2007.