I got a heartbreaking phone call yesterday and thought I'd share.
As you may have read, I've been working for the past few years on a new opera. As an instrumental composer, I'm not terribly familiar with writing for voices, so I've been looking for someone with a choral background to take a look at what I've done and make suggestions for making the piece more appropriate for singers. I thought I'd found that help when I contacted a professor at my alma mater. She sounded excited to help but just couldn't seem to find the time in her busy, busy schedule for me. Things got worse when she learned that I don't have a college degree in music composition (never mind the fact that I've had more success as a composer than a lot of graduates who have Composition degrees). "Call me in a week," she said, "We'll work something out." That week was extended to two, then two more, and on and on.
It's been three months now and she called yesterday to say that she is going to be out of town for the summer and that I should try calling her in October. She kicked me around for three months and now it looks like she has no interest whatsoever in spending just a few hours looking over my score. The part that upsets me most is that she has a copy of my piano score and a rough Finale recording, which will sit in her office. I should have asked for it back.
I'm determined to get this thing done, so I contacted two other professors. One seemed genuinely interested, but can't scheduling anything until mid-July (better than October!). The other hasn't responded yet. I'm not getting my hopes too high - this isn't the first (or even the second) time that people at this esteemed university have failed to follow through on their promises. It seems endemic.
I'll write more on what happend next, but I am determined to have someone look at this piece. I am determined to whip it into shape, and I am determined to get it produced on a stage.