Opera Excerpts

“Regina coeli laetare” from Cavalleria Rusticana
For Soprano (or Soprano Saxophone), Organ, and Symphonic Winds (6:16)

Composed by Pietro Mascagni (1890)
Arranged by William V. Johnson (2015)

“Vesti la Giubba” from Pagliacci
For Tenor (or Trombone) and Symphonic Winds (3:11)

Composed by Ruggero Leoncavallo (1892)
Transcribed by William V. Johnson (2015)

“Au fond du temple saint” from The Pearl Fishers
For Tenor (or Trombone) Duet and Symphonic Winds (6:00)

Composed by Georges Bizet (1863)
Arranged by William V. Johnson (2017)

Ruggero Leoncavallo, 1910

My love for opera began as a music student at Indiana University where we performed an opera almost every Saturday night. It was there that the music of Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Mozart, Richard Strauss, Bizet and many others left an indelible mark on my career as a musician, conductor and educator. As a conductor, I have loved working with wind orchestras on the wonderful Lucien Cailliet arrangement of Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral (from “Lohengrin”), the Earl Slocum transcription of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro Overture”, Mark Hindsley’s transcription of Wagner’s “Rienzi Overture” and many others.

Pietro Mascagni, 1903

Pietro Mascagni, 1903

As a professor emeritus, I have rekindled my attraction to opera by becoming a member of the Board of Directors of Opera San Luis Obispo, a professional opera company in the city of San Luis Obispo, California. Recently our company has performed Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida,” Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana”, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci”, Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme” and “Madama Butterfly.”

Georges Bizet, 1875

Georges Bizet, 1875

Each of these arrangements are designed to be performed with an opera singer or they can be performed with a solo wind instrument(s).

Wind band arrangements for “Vesti la Giubba” and “Au fond du temple saint” have not yet been recorded. The following sound files were computer generated by Sibelius music notation software.

“Vesti la Giubba”

“Au fond du temple saint”

The video clip below is “Regina coeli laetare” performed by The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Alumni Concert Band, June 5, 2016. William V. Johnson, Conductor; Lauren Wasynczuk, soprano saxophone; Paul Woodring, Organ.

Preview Score for Regina coeli laetare

Purchase Regina coeli laetare - $30

Purchase Vesti la Giubba - $10

Purchase Au fond du temple saint - $20