Star Fire

music by Anthony Ritchie, a chamber opera, Opus 68

The characters in 'Star Fire' are based on those in the TV series 'Star Trek', and have proved popular with school audiences. The music requires a professional level of performance, and includes several ensemble sections as well as solo passages.

Programme Note

Star Fire was commissioned by Class act Opera for performance in primary and intermediate schools (up to about age 12-13). The performers themselves are of professional standard, but it is designed for a young audience.

The five characters are accompanied by piano:

Captain Kork - baritone/bass
Mr Spockly - tenor
Lieutenant Digital - soprano
Dr Lantern Jaw - baritone
Mahu - mezzo soprano

It can be performed using a small, portable set suitable in schools.

The libretto by well-known playwright Stuart Hoar is quirky and pacey, and parodies those familiar characters from the TV series 'Star Trek'. Star Ship Kiwi has struck trouble and been forced to land on a alien planet. During their adventures, the irascible Dr Lantern Jaw is captured by an Android. The resolution of this predicament leads to an enviromental theme (power-saving).

The music for Star Fire is demanding, and avoids being condescending to children. It is through-composed, but also includes some extended solo passages and ensemble numbers. Stylistically, there are links here with the 'minimalists'.

Star Fire was first performed in 1996, and subsequently toured through New Zealand in 1998, with Class act Opera.