Tuition & coaching in voice (singing & speech), vocal health
piano, music theory, keyboard harmony

piano solo, piano accompaniment. Perth, Western Australia

../images/095Lindahl_Piano_Keyboard.jpg






John Joseph Jones

Pipedream

An opera

Music by Kevin Fenner. Libretto by John Joseph Jones

Libretto published by Hovea Music Press

Introduction - Synopsis
DRAMATIS  PERSONAE - List of Scenes

How did Pipedream come to be?

Introduction


The opera is a reconstruction in poetry and prose of the true story about the building of the Western Australian Eastern Goldfields' pipeline at the end of the nineteenth century in which the part played by engineer C.Y. O'Connor is central.

The vision of Premier John Forrest in addressing the gold miners' critical need for water is developed through the genius of O'Connor, guided always by his personal integrity. Concurrently, Lady Elvire Forrest actively espoused the drive for women's franchise. The many conflicting interests in land development affected by the dam and pipeline and the greed of contractors fighting for commercial gain were fuelled by a rapacious press. The combination of persistent, scurrilous attacks worried O'Connor until, no longer able to retain his stability, he took his own life before the water was turned on in Kalgoorlie.

Synopsis

Commencing outside the Government House in a street scene, Jade Field, the wife of a pipeline worker, sings a summation of action preceding the beginning of the opera after which the story moves inside and develops in the office of the Premier John Forrest with a dialogue between Forrest and O'Connor that introduces the two main characters and Forrest's wife Elvire. The action then moves to a remote location near Kalgoorlie where a group of Aboriginal women are lamenting their rape and the loss of their waterholes to brutal, drought-stricken gold fossickers. At the close of this chorus the story moves to the home of a pipe-joint caulker Ted Field, with his family and wife Jade. Then follows the male chorus of pipe-joint caulkers.

In the home of O'Connor, Susan Laetitia, the wife of O'Connor holds centre stage with her aria ONCE A LOVER, NOW A WIFE in preparation for the re-entry of O'Connor who sings adoringly in a duet HOW BEAUTIFUL YOUR NAME.

Mundaring pumping station echoes with the sturdy ballad of Fred Lead, duty engineer who talks with O'Connor and Forrest before the scene changes to the lascivious trade in prostitution solicited by the ladies in the ballad LOVE'S PLEASANT EXERCISE which merges into an earthy two-up scene related through the active ballad THROW THE PENNIES. From here the action crosses to a water-condensing plant at Coolgardie where a male and female chorus bandies niceties with the condenser foreman about the cost of water and Elvire renders her aria WE ARE EQUAL TO OUR MENFOLK.

The next three scenes continue in the Goldfields with THE DRYBLOWERS' DUET engaging us in the trials of the dusty dryblowers' lot and their golden dreams. These hopeful expressions are balanced by the evidence of despair mingled with deep compassion in THE NURSES' QUARTET in which we share the agonies of cholera victims. This harrowing recounting of an all-too common digger's fate is followed by a visit to a desert location where the awesome determination and devotion to their animals by a team of camel drivers is witnessed in the performance of THE AFGHAN CAMEL DRIVERS' PRAYER.

Mundaring weir again becomes the action scene with the rousing male chorus SHOVEL AND MIX sung by the concrete mixers on site which leads into a press interview with Forrest and O'Connor, culminating in O'Connor's aria IRELAND I LOVE THEE in which in isolation he comforts himself by recalling the beauty and value of his native land and upbringing.

In dramatic counterpoint we visit O'Connor's home again to hear the loving thoughts of Laetitia expressed in her aria OUR BLESSED HOME which seems to transcend time and reach out to O'Connor in a last endeavour to save him from his own hand as in the moments before his death he answers Laetitia affirmatively in his poignant aria I LOVE YOU ALL, sung amongst the turbulent waves which claimed him.

LET THE WATER OVERFLOW celebrates the achievement of the water being turned on in Kalgoorlie by Forrest, an accomplishment that O'Connor's many vehement critics had repeatedly refused to acknowledge would happen. The male and female chorus is ebullient as the water literally overflows.

The opera concludes with a pathetic yet brave epilogue in the voice of Jade Field who exposes the dilemma of the deaths of the workmen and the value of the work they did in realising the vision of Forrest through the genius of The Chief, O'Connor.

DRAMATIS  PERSONAE
In order of appearance

Jade Field
Chinese Wife of Ted Field

Sir John Forrest
Premier of the Independent Colony of Western Australia

Charles Yelverton O'Connor
Engineer-In-Chief, to the Colony

Butler to Sir John Forrest

Lady Margaret Elvire Forrest
Wife of Sir John Forrest

Aboriginal Women in Chorus
and Chorus Lead Singer

Ted Byfield
Pipe Joint Caulker

Betty, Tom and Dave
Children of Ted and Jade Field

Pipeline Caulkers Men in Chorus

Susan Laetitia O'Connor
Wife of C.Y. O'Connor

Pipeline Foreman, Ned

Government Official
Attendant upon Sir John Forrest

Fred Lead
Steam Engineer

Love's Pleasant Exercise
Madam and Quartet

Throw the Pennies
Male Quartet

Men and Women of Kalgoorlie
Male and Female Chorus

Foreman of Water Condensing Plant
at Kalgoorlie

Dryblowers' Duet

Four Nurses in Quartet
at Bush Hospital

Afghan Camel Drivers at prayer
in Desert

Concrete Mixers, Male Chorus
at Mundaring Weir

Pressman interviewing Forrest and O'Connor
at Mundaring Weir

List of Scenes
Scene Page  Scenario

ACT 1
  1  8 Goldfields water pipe scene opening - all cast except
   Ted Field and C.Y. O'Connor

   WHERE  NOW THE LIVING  WATER  FLOWS
   Jade Field

  2  9 Government House. Forrest, O'Connor, Lady
   Forrest, Butler

  15 I  SING  YOUR  PRAISES
   Lady Forrest

  3 17 Desert
   ABORIGINAL  WOMEN'S  CHORUS

  4 18 Ted and Jade Field's shack
   Ted, Children - Betty, Tom and Dave

  22 BECAUSE  OF  ME
   Jade Field

  5 23 Pipeline
   A  PIPE'S  NO PIPE
   Pipe Caulkers' Chorus Male

  6 24 Home of O'Connor
   ONCE  A  LOVER  NOW  A  WIFE
   Susan Laetitia

  26 HOW  BEAUTIFUL  YOUR  NAME
   Duet: C.Y. O'Connor and his wife, Susan Laetitia

  7 28 Pumping Station / Pipeline Mundaring.
   RECITATIVE
   Forrest, O'Connor, Foreman, Official

  8 34 STEAM  SONG
   Fred Lead, Engineer. Ballad

   End of Act 1

ACT  2
  9 36 Kalgoorlie
   LOVE'S  PLEASANT  EXERCISE
   Female Quartet and Madam

 10 38 Kalgoorlie
   THROW  THE  PENNIES
   Male Quartet

 11 40 Coolgardie Water Condensing plant
   WE  WOULD  RATHER  HAVE  WATER
    Female and Male Chorus, Condenser Foreman

  46 WE  ARE  EQUAL  WITH  OUR  MENFOLK
   Lady Forrest

 12 47 Goldfields
   DRYBLOWERS'  DUET

 13 49 Goldfields' Bush Hospital
   NURSES'  QUARTET

 14 50 Desert
   AFGHAN  CAMEL  DRIVERS'  PRAYER
   Male Chorus

 15 51 Mundaring Weir Wall
   SHOVEL  AND  MIX
   Male Chorus - Concrete Mixers' song

 16 53 Mundaring Weir Wall - on site.
   Press Reporter, Photographer, Forrest, O'Connor,
   Ned.   Press interview / allegations. Recitative

 17 58 Bushland
   IRELAND  I  LOVE  THEE
   O'Connor

 18 59 At O'Connor's home
   HURRY  HOME  MY  LOVE
   Susan Laetitia - Recitative

  60 OUR BLESSED  HOME
   Susan Laetitia - Aria

 19 61 Beachfront
   I  LOVE  YOU  ALL  (Death Aria)
   O'Connor (with Demons and Angels)

 20 63 Opening of Goldfields' Water Supply
   LET  THE  WATER  OVERFLOW
   Male and Female Chorus

  64  WHAT  A  WELCOME  YOUR  JOYOUS  WORDS  CONVEY
Sir John and Lady Forrest, recitative, solos and duet

 21 67 Epilogue
   Outside Govt. House, Forrest arriving in coach

   WHERE  NOW  THE  LIVING  WATER  FLOWS
   Jade Field, Widow

FINIS

John Joseph Jones 1995


Works by John Joseph Jones published by Hovea Music Press

  • Poetry As Such No.1 and No. 2
Three Poems of Celebration
Summertime Poems

  • ...where eucalypts green-tip the sky: musical settings by Margaret Dylan Jones
Tuart Forest, Ludlow
Interceptor
Yellow Tingle Tree

  • Synopsis of Pipedream, the opera about C.Y. O'Connor.
My page About John Joseph Jones

Other sites with more information about John:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Joseph_Jones_(writer)
http://wapedia.mobi/en/John_Joseph_Jones_(writer)

Hovea Music Press 2002 & M D Jones 2010


The Piano Pages

The Singing Site
Reviews & Resources



How to tune,
repair etc
your old piano
eBooks &
Free Reports


Find your piano's
Age & Value


The Singing Zone
Per Bristow's
 home study
voice method

Click on the links above or phone me on 0414 374 701 (new from Sept 2010).
Email: margaret over at mixmargaret.com (replace ' over at ' with @)

Mix Margaret Dylan Jones, MusB(UWA),
DipEd, LTCL, ATCL, AMusTCL, AMusA
I'm an androgyne.  Read all about me. See all my music qualifications
(c) Margaret Dylan Jones 01 September 2010   Document made with KompoZer