Early Produced Works
Así Que Pasen Cinco Años is an
original operatic adaptation of the Federico Garcia Lorca play
of the same title and will be performed bilingually, against a
dynamic backdrop of motion, color and sound. The piece incorporates
elements of archetype and reality, representing the non-linear
passage of time and the complexity of human emotion. The story
line follows the internal journey of a young man, unsure of what
he wants as he loses his fiancé; loses his way; and encounters
figures of his own imagination, both evil and benign. While this
play was never performed in Lorca's lifetime, it represents a
rite of passage for the playwright, and his belief that, "We
must either change the theatre completely or it will die forever."
This opera was commissioned by the Fleishhacker foundation, and first performed on February 23rd, 2001. It explores the tumultuous sights and sounds of the Bay Area circa 1978 including the Charismatic Cultism of Jim Jones' People's Temple, and the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Tom Dean's score is for seven vocalists and a twenty-five piece orchestra which combines classic orchestral instruments with Afro-Haitian drums and found sounds.
1999 ARTSHIP Berthing Festival
Commissioned by Slobodan Dan Paich on the occasion
of the arrival and docking of the ArtShip in Oakland, CA. A composition
for string quartet, soprano sax, vocalist, percussion and found
sounds combining operatic and jazz traditions, performed at Estuary
Park on August 7, 1999. www.artship.org
Asi Que Pasen Cinco Anos (1995-97)
A Spanish language opera in two acts, composed by Thomas S. Dean and David Barrows, based on a play of the same title by Federico Garcia Lorca. Scored for seven vocalists, piano, acoustic guitar, cello, string bass, clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano and alto sax, and percussion. Sound designed for thrust stage with four separate audience mixes. First performed at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts on January 30, 1997.
Close Your Mind & Kiss Me (1992-93)
An original opera in two acts, composed by Guy Brenner with a libretto by David Dennison. Scored with elements of opera, jazz and rock, this production was set in the genre of 1950s science fiction, featuring live and recorded music, multi-media effects, dance and unique staging.
Mask of Thorns (1991-93)
An original opera in two acts, composed by Thomas S. Dean, David Barrows, and Kurt Schleunes with a libretto by David Dennison. Scored for eight vocalists, electric guitar, electric bass, tenor sax, vibes, marimba, sequenced and sampled sounds. Sound designed for an arena stage with six separate audience mixes. First performed at the Somar Theater on December 16, 1991, with subsequent performances at Theater Artaud and elsewhere.
The Mysterious Stranger (1989-91)
An original opera in two acts, composed by Thomas S. Dean and Kurt Schleunes, based on a short story by Mark Twain. Scored for twelve vocalists, electric guitar, cello, string bass, oboe, marimba, percussion, sequenced and sampled sounds. First performed at the Julia Morgan Theatre on May 23, 1989, with subsequent performances at Theater Artaud, Life on the Water and Intersection for the Arts.
Dick Dines Out
A song cycle with dialog, composed by Thomas S. Dean and Kurt Schleunes, with lyrical assistance by Sheldon Norberg about an average American, the American dream, and the disenfranchised. Scored for four vocalists, electric guitar, electric bass, vibes and piano. First performed at the The Lab on September 7, 1987.