In preparing to write larger, theatrically bound pieces of music, a voracious appetite for webs of information, culled from as many fields as possible seems to take hold. (I'm speaking as a "newbie" here because I've only written one opera previously, Bang The Law.) Perhaps, it is because things like opera involve so many different features: poetry, acting, producing, directing, music, stage design, costume, psychology, history. Reasearch into everything possible seems to be called for. There is also the perennial fear of accidentally creating something too narrow or trivial. I get into a kind of trawling, sometimes directed, sometimes not, that leads to the right sort of mental and emotional fullness and wonder that overcomes stagnation, procrastination, and distraction. Opera demands collaboration anyhow so mental flexibility derived from poring over related ideas seems paramount becuse there is a certain openness and general knowledge required in working well with others with specialized talents.
I'm involved in the writing of a semi-operatic work currently so this is the process that seems to be dominant again. A couple of months back I was handed a libretto by writer, Adam Falik and agreed to collaborate on his libretto about a couple of early twentieth century art behemoths and a fictional encounter that drags them both down. In perusing some of