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Comic Opera in One Act Conceived by Dean Anthony Music and Words by Michael Ching Premiere Produced and Directed by Dean Anthony for Janiec Opera Brevard Music Festival 2013 Amarillo Opera 2013 Southern Utah University 2013 Ithaca College 2013 University of Central Florida 2014 Microsopic Opera Pittsburgh 2014 Speed Dating Tonight!Is conceived as a show that can be easily produced by young artist training programs, colleges, and university opera programs.

Vocal demands of the opera are not strenuous—rather the show is an exercise in characterization. The waitress usually works the day shift, so although she’s been working at the bar for a while, she’s never met the bartender who works evenings.

The centerpiece of the opera is a series of 90 second “dates” which can be put together in whatever order or key desired. The SPEED DATING Coordinator arrives and greets the staff and prepares for the event to begin. The atmosphere is excited and charged–they are here to sign up for the Speed Dating.

Cast: Bartender (B or Bs Br); Cocktail Waitress (M); Busboy (mute); Dating Coordinator (M or S); A varied number of daters—up to 26. Some are eager, some are reluctant, some are downright worried. The Speed Dating Coordinator then introduces herself and sets the rules–daters can use their names and/or numbers.

The women (or the men) will take a place at one of the cocktail tables and the men (or the women) will rotate through. THE DATES According to the choice of the producers, we hear a series of dating monologues and duets. Another character is unhappy with the scene and eventually leaves (not before singing about that unhappiness).

The music in this scene is written in a variety of keys and the sequence is left to the producers.

Somewhere in this succession of dates, there is a duet “Order up” between the bartender and the cocktail waitress. The dates have a large variety of characters–the flirt, the ditz, a dancer, a shy origamist, a fire control officer, a wealthy person trying to live a quiet normal life, a fitness fanatic, a bassoon player, a character with a “checklist”, a steampunk girl. This develops into a large ensemble, reflecting the various states of mind of the daters.

The plan is to have a book of fifty daters to choose from, not all of whom will be in the show. THE FINALE The cocktail waitress and bartender observes the scene with a certain sympathy to the daters. One of the daters can’t seem to stop playing with their hand held device resolves to try one more date, but if it doesn’t fly, they are going to leave.

They sit down and admit they have “OSD”–“Obsessive Screen Disorder” The dater they are with asks for their phone number and sends them a text.

They are clearly made for each other and it’s love at first byte–each communicating through their smartphones, even though they are right across the table from each other.

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