No Harm, No Foul (An Operatic Scene)

Vocal Solo and Piano • Story by Craig Vire and Music by Stephen Hill •  ca. 10:25

No Harm,
No Foul


 

Stephen Hill

SARAHTIM Music Publishing

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Cody Jorgenson - Baritone
Ellen Sommer - Piano
Omaha Conservatory of Music

Program Notes

 

No Harm, No Foul - Based on a true incident and written by Craig Vire

(Craig is a college friend from my time in Arkansas. A Christian minister and an Avid runner, he wrote this after one of his runs and posted it on his Blog page. I told him I would turn his little story into an “Opera Aria”.)

 

My own business is all I’m minding while running in the cool, post-rain, April air.

Puddle plodding without a care in the world.

The bliss is broken when a small skunk meanders onto the sidewalk a mere 25 feet ahead.

Call it a close encounter of the most odiferous kind.

Puny polecats possess the potential for producing a powerful and putridly pungent perfume.

This awareness, tucked away in the remote recesses of the
intellect, is accessed and elevated to conscious perception in a millisecond.

The crisis before me is presented in terms that are black and white.

If only the mind functioned regularly with such efficiency and clarity.

But I digress.
The body seizes involuntarily, attempting a mid-stride stop.

This may resemble Wylie Coyote attempting to gain necessary traction against forward momentum so as not to fall over the cliff.

Roadrunner blows Wylie a raspberry on his way down.

Skunks don’t blow raspberries. Pity.

Fortunately, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Smelled freezes too.

He-Who- Does-Not-Wish-To-Be-Sprayed can only respond with a blank stare from wide eyes.

An unscheduled exercise in breath-holding is initiated.

Just in case things go badly.

Sometimes they do.

The furry ferret with the stifling stink pauses for a prolonged period, giving me the evil eye.

An earnest if not eloquent prayer is composed during the stalemate, whispered in a tone that only heaven hears.

Pressing problems open the heart to help from a Higher Hand.

Easing into reverse, a super-slow slow-motion retreat is executed. Evacuation procedures produce the desired result.

The aromatically challenged critter waddles back into the
bushes from whence it came in a casual manner that is a credit to his species.

Tragedy averted.

No harm, no foul.

Composed - 2015

Publisher - SARAHTIM Music Publishing (Stephen Hill) ASCAP

 

Instrumentation

Voice and Piano