Roger Ames featured on “Writer’s Voice”

Composer Roger Ames talks about writing music for voice and about his latest projects, including “Laudate Dominum” and a musical adaptation of How Green Was My Valley.

Listen to the interview at :

Roger Ames

When Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Ames was commissioned by film and theater director Mirra Bank and her husband, playwright Richard Brockman, to write a piece for a group of talented teenage musicians, he was thrilled. Not only because writing music is his passion in life, but because he also loves working with young people (he’s director of vocal activities and composer in residence at Great Neck North High School).

The piece was commissioned for Bank’s and Brockman’s Playhouse Project, which mentors young musicians by offering them instruction and performance opportunities without charge. The Playhouse Project is named after the Elizabethan style theater (and home) Bank and Brockman own on Huntting Lane in East Hampton, Long Island. When WV host Francesca Rheannon arrived for the interview, the orchestra was in the soaring performance space, rehearsing Ames’ piece a homage to Leonard Bernstein entitled, Laudate Dominum. She repaired with Ames to an adjoining room, where the rehearsal sounds occasionally filtered through the walls.

Roger Ames has written numerous operas and musicals for American opera companies, Off-Broadway, London Fringe, and the Hartford Stage. He won a Pulitzer Prize for Requiem for Our Times, which set Anne Sexton’s poetry to music. Other works include In Memoriam: Warsaw 1943 and Martin Guerre. He’s currently working on a musical based on Richard Llewellyn’s book HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY. WV spoke with him about writing music for lyrics and the similarities and differences between writing words and writing music.

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