California Mystery Park
(Soundtheater/Opera 1980)

©  1980 Carson Kievman All Rights Reserved

Music & Libretto by Carson Kievman

Additional Material:
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
from COLLECTED POEMS, Harper & Row. Copyright 1917, 1945
(Adapted by permission of The Millay Estate)
"Alice's Restaurant Training Manual"
(Adapted by permission of Alice Brock)

Review/Music; American Operas in Progress by ALEX ROSS, New York Times April 24, 1993

"California Mystery Park," is an ambitious drama detailing domestic crisis and inter-racial tensions in Postwar America. The central characters are a World War II veteran and his estranged Japanese daughter; in the two scenes presented Wednesday, the drama took place mostly over the phone, with mean-spirited relatives joining in as a chorus. Mr. Kievman delights in multilayered textures in which as many as a dozen people (among them Ron Raines, Diane Kesling and the mellifluous Stephanie Park) recite and sing simultaneously. Mr. Kievman demonstrated considerable virtuosity in shepherding disparate elements together. If the primary emotional themes could be kept distinct this opera might have a powerful effect." [Writing about a workshop of two scenes from "California Mystery Park" presented by American Opera Projects, NYC

An Imaginary Interview

Reading at American Opera Projects, NYC April 1993. John Yaffé, conductor; Carson Kievman, director;
Stephanie Park, soprano; Ron Raines, baritone. (Singers & MIDI accompanyment) (recorded from audience)

Recorded with Finale using Garritan Sounds (MIDI)

Prologue - Birth Patrol

Reading by Florida Philharmonic Orchestra (Philharmonic Forum)
James Judd, conductor (recorded from audience)

Prelude - Letters between an estranged father and daughter

Recorded with Finale using Garritan Sounds (MIDI)

Love Letters, Phone Calls & Discourse
[audio coming soon]

CMP Opera Summary

Libretto/Storyboard by request and Full & Piano/Vocal Score by request


Examples of scenic renderings from Libretto/Storyboard

- CMPphoto2

CMPphoto3 -CMPphoto5

"Carson Kievman is a composer of extremely original music, which is rare" Olivier Messiaen, composer

"I have been familiar with Mr. Kievman’s work since 1978, when I produced his brilliantly innovative musical work for the theater, WAKE UP, IT’S TIME TO GO TO BED! I feel that Mr. Kievman ranks among the foremost modern composers in his understanding of both the components of musical composition and in the particular demands of a theatrical music work. Mr. Kievman has the somewhat rare ability to translate the dramatic and emotional contexts of his works to his audience in a powerful and profound way musically. This strong combination of Mr. Kievman’s innovative technical abilities as a composer with his powerful emotional and dramatic sense make him an artist very worthy of consideration"
 Joseph Papp, producer

Example of Carson Kievman's music fully realized with orchestra & chorus:
Symphony No. 2(42) - Resurrection (excerpt from 4th Movement)

Commissioned by the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death
Polish National Radio Symphony Katowice / Polish Radio Choir of Krakow
New Albion Records (1996)
Sym2 Cover


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