UCLA Department of Music and the
Committee on Fine Arts Productions
University Symphony Orchestra
Music Director and Conductor
and the UCLA Opera Workshop
The Ballad of the Sleazy Palace Cafe
February 20, 1980
Overture to Il Barbiere di Seviglia
(The Barber of Seville) (1816)
Gioacchino Rossini (1792 - 1868)
Symphony No. 1 in B Flat Major
Op. 38 (“Spring”) (1841)
Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Andante un poco maestoso; Allegro molto vivace
Scherzo: Molto vivace
Allegro animato e grazioso
“The Ballad of the Sleazy Palace Cafe”
A Music Drama
Libretto by Peter Belfiore
Music by Paul Reale
(World Premiere Performance)
The Ballad of the Sleazy Palace Cafe by Paul Reale
The noted young American composer, Paul Reale, was born in New Jersey. He received his Master’s degree in composition at Columbia University, where he studied with Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening, and a Ph.D. in 1970 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a student of George Rochberg and George Crumb. Reale first came to UCLA, where he teaches composition, as an Assistant Professor of Music in 1969, and was appointed Associate Professor in 1976.
The Ballad of the Sleazy Palace Cafe is the second Reale composition to be commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts; the first, The Waltz King, was premiered by the UCLA Opera Workshop in 1976.
The following notes were submitted by the composer: “Sometime in the summer of 1976, I was having a long conversation with Peter Belfiore (the eventual librettist of the opera) concerning a work which I was sketching at the time. It was to be a sort of chamber drama which featured a fortune teller who could reveal details of her client’s past, often to their considerable distress.
“As we discussed the piece, the bare framework for another and far grander dramatic work took shape. Peter had been reading Joseph Conrad’s Victory, and somehow the character of the Cafe Owner from that novel became fused with the fortune teller of my sketch. The owner of the cafe would have the power to reveal unsavory details of his clients’ lives: enter a man and a woman who, out of romantic necessity, begin to fall in love after they meet in the cafe. Suddenly we are made painfully aware of the fact that these two have been married, had a child, and were divorced, through revelations made by the owner. Later these revelations would be converted to actual scenes from the past.
“With this skeleton, Peter set to work on a libretto which was delivered to me in the beginning of 1977. An award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1978 acelerated the creation of the piece, and in February 1979, the first draft was completed. Later additions included setting the time of the opera on Christmas Eve to allow for a background of a religious ceremony, and the intrusions of a chorus of drunks, a kind of Greek Chorus mockery.
“One last note about the nature of this piece: it is conceived as entertainment, and in that vein the musical materials are intended to be accessible and tuneful. This is contemporary music with a small “c”; in other words, the counterpoint of musical styles and ideas creates the multi-dimensional and often surreal effect. It is also intended to demonstrate that new music need not be obscurant, ugly, noisy, and totally serious.”
Samuel Krachmalnick, in his fourth year at UCLA as the Symphony’s Musical Director and Conductor and Director of the UCLA Opera Workshop/Theater, has been Professor of Music and Director of Opera and Symphony at the University of Washington in Seattle. His distinguished career has led him to conduct Broadway hits as well as symphony concerts and opera productions all over the world.
Born in St. Louis, Mr. Krachmalnick received his diploma in conducting from Juilliard in 1952 and then served two years as a teaching fellow at the Conservatory, assisting his teacher, Jean Morel. Twice he received a fellowship in Orchestral Conducting at Tanglewood where he studied with Leonard Bernstein. He also won the Koussevitsky Memorial Prize and the Frederic Mann Prize in conducting at Tanglewood.
Krachmalnick has served as musical director of the Boston Fine Arts Festival, the American Ballet Theater, and the Stadttheater in Zurich where he was first conductor for three years. He was associate music director of the Metropolitan Operan National Company, and a member of the conducting staff of the New York City Opera Company. More recently, he served as music director of the Harkness Foundation and permanent guest conductor of the Harkness Ballet.
On Broadway, Krachmalnick conducted such works Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Saint of Bleecker Street, Marc Blitzstein’s Reuben, Reuben, and Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. He has also served as musical director and conductor for numerous television programs including “Omnibus” and the NBC “TV Opera”. He has recorded three complete operas: Candide, Blitzstein’s Regina, and Moore’s Carry Nation. Krachmalnick has also received a TV “Emmy” for musical direction of the Carlysle Floyd opera “Markheim” for the PBS network.
Chorus of Women
Yoav Steve Paskowitz
Chorus of Drunks
Mary Ann Sereth
* UCLA Faculty Member
Scenic and Lighting Design
Men’s Chorus Director
Publicity and Program