Bess Houdini's Vaudeville Act

This trumpet and piano work draws on musical material from my opera Diappearing Act (2008) with a libretto by Dorothy Louise. Harry Houdini's wife, Bess, was a vaudeville singer, and in the opera she has a three-aria scene in which she puts on her vaudeville costume and sings one of her songs from her old act with Harry. She expresses nostalgia, bitterness, loneliness and "the show must go on" in this scene. The trumpet takes most of the original melodic material and the piano supplies the accompaniment. There is one vaudeville tune that is quoted in interrupted fragments (Father Please Come Home), but the rest of the material is newly composed, including the "vaudeville song" In the Old Days, in the middle of the piece.


Published by Wehr's Music House

© John Carbon 2015