Ronald Kidd - November 2018

Operas, Cantatas, and a Brass Journey

Some people are surprised to learn that, in addition to books and plays, I write the text for operas and cantatas. These are done with my close friend renowned composer, trumpeter, brass teacher, and baseball fan Anthony Plog.

Children's Operas

Tony and I have written two operas for children. How the Trumpet Got Its Toot, based on my story, was premiered by Utah Opera, and Tony has just adapted the piece for orchestra and narrator for performance at young people’s concerts. Santa’s Tale, a comedy based on my children’s play, tells the story of how Santa Claus, his sidekick Blitzen the reindeer, and a little girl named Molly save the spirit of Christmas. 

Our next project will be a children’s opera based on my novel Sammy Carducci’s Guide to Women, about a boy who thinks he’s an expert on girls.

Two Cantatas

I’ve also edited the text for two of Tony’s cantatas, written for orchestra or wind ensemble and voices. Magdalene tells the tragic, inspiring story of women who have been victims of prostitution and sex trafficking. The cantata uses their own words.   

God’s First Temples is an account of the first great battle of the environmental movement, over the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite. The text uses the words of Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir.  

Driving Mr. Tony

Besides composing, Tony tours the world giving master classes for trumpet and brass players. He lives in Germany, but sometimes his travels bring him close enough that I’m able to tag along. 

Last year I accompanied Tony on an East coast tour in which he gave master classes at the Juilliard School of Music, Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, and the New England Conservatory. This past October I served as his driver for a quick swing through the South, to Memphis State and the Universities of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

A highlight of the Southern trip was our two days at the University of Georgia, where host Philip Smith shared stories of his decades as principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic. 

I was fascinated to learn that Phil started out in the Salvation Army Band, following in the footsteps of his father, and he continues a passionate interest in brass band music.

When Phil arrived at UGA, he started a brass band, and we sat in on a rehearsal that featured some amazing playing. Here’s a link to their music.

Thank you, Phil. And thank you, Tony! 

Click here for more information about our operas and cantatas.

Now Available

  • Lord of the Mountain
    The “big bang” of country music in 1927 at Bristol, Tennessee.
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  • Room of Shadows
    Edgar Allan Poe returns and gets the glorious death he deserved.
    Read more
Learn about my books, plays, and music at
Download a sampler of chapters from three of my latest books.

Copyright © 2018 Ronald Kidd, All rights reserved.

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