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Neal Learner: Buskers Opera

WELCOME

Thank you for visiting this page. Below are some elements from my new opera, Music Underground: A Buskers Opera in Two Acts. The 90-minute work calls for nine leads (five female/four male), a good-sized chorus and "buskers" consisting of a string trio and saxophone quintet. It's an ambitious work but suitable for a college ensemble or strong high school theater department, as many of the characters are young adults. If you'd like more information, please contact me at learnermusic@hotmail.com. Thanks! Neal

SYNOPSIS: Music Underground: A Buskers Opera in Two Acts

Music dominates the soundscape of Central City’s main subway station where life is good for the musicians who perform for a few coins and a smile. That is until the newly elected mayor announces her plan to give the city a “clean sweep” — a plan that includes a ban on music in public places. When police arrive to tell the troubadours they have one week to clear out, an unlikely leader emerges to defy the order, and go down singing. Will her compatriots follow, especially the handsome new boy with the cool guitar licks and soulful songs? Will the commuters rise up and demand the mayor retract her edict? Will they even notice if the music is gone? Music Underground is a rock opera that explores an array of timeless themes: an artist’s need for expression, authority’s need for control, young people’s need to rebel, the complexity of relationships, love’s ability to conquer all, and, of course, the power of music to change the world.

CAST/SONG LISTS: Music Underground

Read about the cast of characters and songs for Music Underground: A Buskers Opera in Two Acts. Click here.

SCORES: It Ain't Perfect But It's Home

VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL scores of "It Ain't Perfect, but It's Home," sung by Sally the station manager after kicking out a group of bad boys.

PIANO/VOCAL SCORE

INSTRUMENTAL SCORE

STATEMENT: Music Underground: A Buskers Opera in Two Acts

I love street performers. They are free spirits, creative souls and oftentimes great artists who make public spaces come alive with vibrant sights and sounds. I also like the fact that if you don’t dig what you’re hearing, you simply move on. But that’s seldom been the case for me, and I’ve spent many happy hours hanging out in subways, squares, parks and sidewalks enjoying the talents of musicians, jugglers, dancers and mimes.

READ MORE

Music Underground: Opening Song, 'Music Underground'

Music Underground: "It Ain't Perfect, But It's Home"

Music Underground: Slide on Over Next to Me

Music Underground: 'We Messed Up the Words'

Music Underground: I Want to Use Force

01 TRACKS Buskers Opera

TRACK 1   

  1. Doo-wop warm-up (Undertones – Charlie, Tina, Nadia, Nina)
  2. String trio (string trio – two violins and cello)
  3. Jazz combo (piano, bass, guitar, saxophone, drums)
  4. Music Underground (Melody, cast)
  5. I’ve Got a Dilemma (Tina, Melody, cast)
  6. Trouble (punks, Tina, Jake, Charlie, Mayor Payne)

02 TRACK Buskers Opera

TRACK 2

7. It Ain’t Perfect, But It’s Home (Sally, cast)
8. Ticket to Ride (tourists and commuters)

03 TRACKS Buskers Opera

TRACK 3

9. Slide on Over Next to Me (Dennis, Melody, Tina)
10. Where Are You From? (Dennis, Melody)

04 TRACKS Buskers Opera

TRACK 4

11. I Love This City, Hate the Dirt (Mayor Payne)
12. Joined the Police/Things We Won’t Tolerate (Boone/Police Chorus) 

05 TRACKS Buskers Opera

TRACK 5

13. What Just Happened Here? (Melody, Charlie, Tina, Musicians)
14. What About Us? (Jake, Sally, Melody)
15. The Cat in the Banana Peel (Jake, Homeless) 

06 TRACKS Buskers Opera

TRACK 6

16. Listen Up Tango (Boone, Melody, Charlie, Tina, Dennis, Heath, Jake, Sally)
17. I Stand Alone (Charlie, Tina)

07 TRACKS Buskers Opera

TRACK 7

18. I Have a Plan (Melody, Chorus)
19. What Do You Hope to Gain? (Dennis, Melody)
20. We’re Musicians (Charlie, Melody, Musicians)
21. Yes Son (Dennis, Mayor Payne) 

END OF ACT I

08 TRACKS Buskers Opera - Act II complete

21. Entractes

 

21. Entractes

23. Excellent Question

24. A Circus Came to Town

25. I Want to Use Force

26. You Mean the World to Me

27. Oh How I Loathe Myself

28. Freedom

29. Outlaw

30. I Want the Music Back

31. Music Underground

END OF ACT II

 

21. Entractes

23. Excellent Question

24. A Circus Came to Town

25. I Want to Use Force

26. You Mean the World to Me

27. Oh How I Loathe Myself

28. Freedom

29. Outlaw

30. I Want the Music Back

31. Music Underground

END OF ACT II