A Most Dangerous Man
EVOCATIVE and EMOTIONAL SOUNDSCAPE
"From the outset, one of our goals with A MOST DANGEROUS MAN was to use the ensemble to evoke the emotional and physical environment of the characters, to create vocal textures that create a unique atmosphere. I feel like we have achieved that with the opening (“Executive Jet”), where the ensemble sound-world both represents the Reuthers’ airplane and also underscores Walter’s hopes for the future. The eerie textures also presage the plane crash that ends the scene.
"Other places in the score the ensemble captures the sound of a streetcar when Walter and May first meet, the world of a factory assembly line, and the multi-layered cacophony of the Battle of the Overpass. And their role in “Mississippi Freedom”—as Greek chorus and emotional underpinning to Fannie Mae Hamer—seems clear to me.
"But I want to make sure we have woven them into the piece and made full use of the variety of ways they can help evoke the physical world and expand the emotional world of the characters. There is a central tension in the union movement—and in Reuther’s leadership of it—between the individual and the collective, and I want to be sure that we are fully exploring that tension in the ways we use the ensemble to help tell the story."
NOTE: The excerpts below represent the style and dramatic approach to the work, though some text and music has been revised since this recording. A complete score and libretto is available upon request.