Opera Music Lovers and those who care about creating and preserving culture, please take a minute to peruse the information below and find out how your generous donation will assist in bringing a classic opera to life and make it a reality.
“A Russian chemist wanted to write an opera, and the result was Prince Igor. That composer had little formal training, but his superb talent made up for it. If a Russian composer can do it, so can an American composer.”
Opera Rostam
Don Dilworth Profile Pic 290 x 282 pix
I am Don Dilworth, that American composer. With five operas waiting for a premier, I want to do what I can to get one to the stage. -- What kind of opera is Rostam?
Why should anyone support the fundraising effort?
Well, to start with, this is an opera that sounds like music, as distinguished from many modern works that sound more like noise. This is an opera that people will gladly pay to hear and see, once it becomes known. An opera that is unperformed solely because it is not yet known. This fundraising is a vital first step in changing that.
Watch Don Dilworth Talk about this Project

The Goal of the Fundraiser

The goal is to raise sufficient funds to support an Opera Workshop, to be held at the Snow Pond Music Camp, Sydney, Maine, in the Spring of 2018. We will rehearse and record one movement from the opera with professional-quality musicians, and then approach qualified opera companies with that recording, with the goal of inspiring them to mount a full production. Nobody is going to produce a new opera unless they are convinced it is a wonderful work that absolutely should be performed. A great recording of a beautiful movement should convince them.

About the Opera Rostam

The opera tells the story of the Persian hero Rostam, as described in the classic 11th-century epic The Shahnameh, by Ferdowsi, who is the Persian's Shakespeare. His epic is almost unknown in the West and is a masterpiece, and that is why I selected it for my opera. Rostam is their greatest warrior. During his 600-year life, he spent exactly one night in the company of a woman, a princess named Tahmina, and the result of that union was his son Sohrab.

According to the story, Rostam, who was off on his military campaigns, knew nothing about Sohrab, and the latter did not know who his father was, since Tahmina had reasons for keeping it secret. The movement we are going to perform tells of when Tahmina at last informs Sohrab, who is now a young man, of his father. Sohrab is inspired with an overwhelming vision of himself and Rostam together ascending the throne. Despite the tears and pleading of Tahmina, Sohrab gathers his sword and armor and sets off to find his father.

Operas must of course tell of conflict, sacrifice, and inevitable death from conspiring events. Rostam and Sohrab meet on the battlefield in the last movement, but not until Sohrab has been mortally wounded does Rostam discover who his opponent is. He cradles Sohrab as his son dies.

A little about the works of Don Dilworth

The works of Don Dilworth to date include operas, song cycles, and chamber music. He is the composer of the well-known Annabel Lee, recorded by Joan Baez in the 60's. An arrangement of that work for three instruments and mezzo was performed in New York by members of the Metropolitan Opera in 2003. His operas include Rostam, Rasputin, The Inca, and a set of three one-acts: The Decision, The Love Machine, and Top Secret. To these may be added an operetta, The Ms Seattle Skyline Contest, with a libretto by Linda Rimel, and the ballet The Brothers of Judar, set to an Arabian Nights story. His song cycles include a set of five songs to poems of William Blake, a set of 39 songs to classical Indian love poems, and settings of Longfellow for mezzo voice and piano and for SATB chorus. Other choral music includes There is Peace, to a libretto by Linda Rimel. His chamber works include Seven Attitudes for Horn, with a version for clarinet. He has also written string quartets. He was for many years President of the Maine Composer's Forum and is represented by BMI. He holds a BS in physics from MIT.

How will the funds be applied?

The funds raised will pay for the venue, professional musicians, recording costs, miscellaneous expenses, and costs involved with approaching various professional Opera Companies and presenting the finished work.
Please enter your email address and we will send you further information and details. An email will be sent to you when our fundraiser page officially launches.
Thank You in advance for your interest and generous contribution to culture, and helping to make this long awaited dream come true.
Don Dilworth
©2017 Don Dilworth