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Robert Xavier Rodríguez

Publisher: G. Schirmer

The Old Majestic (1988)
Text Writer
Mary Medrick
Alhambra RXR
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Grand Opera
Year Composed
1 Hour 30 Minutes
off-stage chorus
Solo Instrument(s)
2 Sopranos, 2 Mezzo Sopranos, Tenor, Baritone, Bass Baritone, Bass
Programme Note
Robert Xavier Rodríguez The Old Majestic (1988)

A poignant backstage comedy set in 1930. The stock market has just crashed and the vaudeville performers at the great and ornate Majestic Theatre see that the new talking movies signal the end of an era. To provide a period flavour, the composer has included bits of popular old songs and the libretto includes fragments of actual vaudeville routines and reminiscences of celebrated vaudevillians, particularly the colorful Eddie Cantor.

View Full Score - Act II

  • 12 MAY 2017
    San Bernardino, CA
    California State University San Bernardino

    Other Dates:
    13 May - San Bernardino, CA

Most of the show's sweetness, though, comes from the performance of the music; both the orchestra, brightly conducted by David Neely, and the singers caress Rodríguez's melodic score, relishing its beauty and tenderness and sense of time gone by. In the end, The Old Majestic is just a reminder of that time gone by, a captured moment of the past. It's of a twilight not for gods but for mortals — and mortals who sing and dance and clown at that. But it's no less worth hearing for that, and the sound — oh, how sweet it is.
Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle,30/04/2004
The Old Majestic is more than a standard "Rigoletto" style opera experience. The style of the show combines the Broadway musical with an operatic ensemble that gives a truly unique swing to the numbers. The house jumps with every music genre from the lovers' duet to a ragtime jitterbug to a sultry tango, all leading to the Grand Finale, worthy of a standing ovation all on its own.
Jonathan Reynolds, The Daily Texan,01/01/0001
The Old Majestic is a fine piece of theater about theatrical life, as lived by seven vaudevillians — on the way down, out or (via Hollywood) up — and the theater manager. The action is very funny and fast, sometimes introspective, sometimes tender. Rodríguez's music convincingly and lovingly re-creates the styles of the era — not only the popular song styles that would have been heard on the vaudeville stage, but also the emerging American style of classical music, as developed by composers such as Howard Hanson and Roy Harris. Rodríguez's modernist leanings also show in the connective tissue and in the textural complexities of the score. The music is highly attractive, whether it's frenetic or meltingly lyrical, with Rodríguez's own brand of lyricism and compositional virtuosity. The production was first-class all the way.
Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express-News,01/01/0001
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