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Composer Musings: You just finished an opera...now what?

Composer Searches for Creative Meaning after Completion of Opera

After two years of opera production, collaborating with a talented cast and crew via the Internet, working with composer Patrick Rundbladh on making 1000 takes into one cohesive soundtrack and album, promoting and premiering the opera, and preparing a series of lectures and books on Libertaria: The Virtual Opera, I start 2014 wondering where I should spend my creative efforts. To be honest, once production finished I had an album project, classes to teach, and a Christmas flu to get over, so life has not slowed down, it's just diverged in its efforts. 

My brain is scattered in its myriad of options. I do want to finish the novel Libertaria (sneak peak below) and perhaps start on the graphic novel series for the story, and I suppose that would be enough considering the usual teaching load plus "real" life with my family. Yet, after running on fumes for the last year, it feels strange to be without any real deadlines or pressing matters. Yes, I have a few events I need to plan for like a presentation at an upcoming music festival and a local Buffalo Women and Arts festival (more details to come), but somehow I feel drained, creative juices either stagnant or simply dried up. 
Leonard Bernstein
What do I do?
And then, of course, there are questions of "What are you doing next?" which is something like "Are you having another one?" after a mother has just birthed her third child. 

English: russian Composer Igor Stravinsky Русс...
Brooding Composers Unite
I wonder if Stravinsky or Bernstein or Wagner or Beach ever felt this way? Creative numbness perhaps is the best description. (I'm guessing Cage had more hallucinogenic ways of dealing with the afterbirth of a large music production). I'm tempted by a dozen ways to expand on the opera, including creating a full scale acoustic production (twice as long in length) or perhaps a smaller ensemble version for an opera workshop, but maybe that is like preparing a toddler for the Ivy League, presumptuous and somewhat pointless given the number of outside factors that can affect success. 

So I think I will let the production ripen a little longer and hope in a short while that the musical synapses in my mind will begin firing again for my next masterpiece. (And let's hope that after this post, I can finally go back to some much-needed sleep!)

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