Mark Mitchell Music
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Theatre Music

I have had a long-time interest in opera and musical theatre.  My largest work so far is the one-hour musical, The Gift of the Magi, but I have thought about writing an opera for a long time and sketched the opening of one just after graduating from UBC.  I hope to do more -- if you're a librettist, I want to hear from you.
 
The Gift of the Magi  A musical in one act
 
 Prelude              [mp3 - 2.5 MB]
 Prologue          [mp3 - 4.4 MB]
 God Rest          [mp3 - 0.9 MB]
 My Treasure      [mp3 - 3.0 MB]
 Mme. Sophronie  [mp3 - 5.1 MB]
 My Gift              [mp3 - 4.3 MB]
 Mr. Balthazar     [mp3 - 2.6 MB]
 Comfort and Joy  [mp3 - 4.6 MB]
 Epilogue                 [mp3 - 3.9 MB]
 
 Script Sample - Scene 1    [PDF - 97 KB]
 Treasure - Score                [PDF - 1.6 MB]
 
The Gift of the Magi is, of course, a famous short story by O. Henry about a pair of newlyweds who sell their most precious possessions, she her hair and he his pocket-watch, to buy a Christmas gift for the other.  He buys combs for her hair, and she buys a fine fob for his prized watch...  The moral of this touching story is that the real gifts we give are those that come without a price tag.  The ancient Magi book-end the play with their contemplations before and after offering gifts to the Christ child, and as they address the audience in the epilogue, they delare: "Wisest of all those who gave and who got / Are those who offered what cannot be bought." 
 
I adapted the story to a play and wrote music and lyrics.  The musical is just short of an hour in performance and has been performed several times, in Ottawa, Utah and Edmonton.  The names of the recording cast is here.
 
Incidental Music for Montrose Crossing
 
 Introduction    [mp3 - 2.9 MB]
 
 Closing        [mp3 - 1.1 MB]
 
Montrose Crossing is a dramatization of a scene from the life of Joseph Smith in 1844, days before his murder, as he makes the decision to deliver himself into the hands of the mob and certain death at Carthage, Illinois.  The introduction music uses the folk-hymn "Parting Friends", found in the Sacred Harp, an American collection popular in the 1840's.  The climax of the closing cue follows Joseph's words, "Come, brethren.  Like a lamb to the slaughter!"
 
Re-Orchestration of Pagliacci
 Prologue - Score   [PDF - 6.1 MB]
In 2008 the Mercury Opera asked me to reorchestrate Leoncavallo's classic opera Pagliacci for a small-scale orchestra: Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Tuba, Percussion, Violin, Cello, and Piano.  This version has been performed professionally in Edmonton and New York City with great success. I created score-ready midi files of the whole opera for my orchestration and imported them into Finale.  All this work could easily be adjusted for other orchestrations, so if you are in need of a specific instrumentation of the full opera, or are interested in the Mercury orchestration, let me know.