Delayed Performance Due to a Virus

Delayed Performance Due to a Virus named corona. The virus has a solar allusion:

corona (meaning “crown” in Latin derived from Ancient Greek κορώνη (korōnè, “garland, wreath”)) is an aura of plasma.  Many stars share this concept surrounding our Sun. The Sun’s corona extends millions of  miles into outer space. Solar eclipse,  highlights it; but it is also observable with a coronagraph.  Spectroscopy measurements indicate its strong ionization.  Plasma temperature can be in excess of 1000000 kelvin,[1]  That makes it a lot hotter than the surface of the Sun.

Our Delayed Performance was about Cleopatra

Co-incidentally, Cleopatra wore a crown. This, as stated, is the Latin meaning of  “corona”. She was the ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra in turn  reforms Octavian who will wear the crown as the enlightened ruler of Rome. In his transformation, he becomes Augustus Caesar. Our opera is about their  crucial historical meeting.

Delayed performance
Before the corona virus, our new opera was scheduled for March 23, 2020.

Cleopatra seems to have her own timing and her own way. As soon as it rescheduled, we will send out notifications. We are simply waiting for the corona fuss to clear up. Then we will reschedule her with a date and place. We already had a staged reading in New York late last August.  Our poster, pictured above, relates to the Glenridge Performing Arts Center.  Below is a fun internal link. It is about our opera:

Theatrical Phoenix is Beginning to Fly- a Brief History



Theatrical phoenix

Theatrical Phoenix is Beginning to Fly- a Brief History

A Theatrical Phoenix is Beginning to Fly- a Brief History.  It took wing in New York as a staged reading.  This was at the oldest summer vocal training camp in America: The Seagle Music Colony.  Our singers had won auditions with the New York Metropolitan Opera.  Other prominent opera companies were represented.  Among the people who have tested their work at Seagle have been Stephen Schwartz and Pulitzer Prize winners. Patra is now scheduled in Sarasota.

Theatrical phoenix will fly here.
Patra, our new opera, will have a concert presentation Monday March 23, 2020. at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center.

We have been  riding on a phoenix for this experience. Our opera, entitled Patra, has “Wings of Song”. This new opus emphasizes the importance of meaningful and healthy relationships between men and women. The show highlights  rulers of two great empires, Rome and Egypt.  For Egypt we have Cleopatra; for Rome, we have Octavian.  He, through Patra’s influence, decides to become the future Augustus Caesar.

Image result for picture of the Seagle Music Colony in NY state
Seagle Music Colony has a theatrical and operatic tradition going back over a century. Our opera, Patra had its New York appearance on this stage on Schroon Lake.

Theatrical Phoenix is  Scheduled for Sarasota

Sarasota is famous for opera.  A marquee, only, from the Sarasota Opera House is pictured below and to the right. .  Our new opera, however, will be presented in concert version at The Glenridge Performing Arts center.  Immediately above/right is a photo of the setting . We will even have a professional “snake” dance. Our dancer also portrays the Egyptian goddess, Aset.

Our first staged concert was at the Westcoast Black Theater in Sarasota

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Sarasota has its own Opera House
Image result for picture of the new West Coast Black Theater Building
Westcoast Black Theater photo. Sign shows what’s happening there. 

The story of Octavian and Cleopatra has its own thrust. It is an engaging  opera comique.  Sharon, as the  librettist, not only offers a cornucopia of hope in this lifetime; but also gives ancient instructions on how to be reborn to a high position. Make your reservations at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center today. Contact info is on featured picture.







Something Old, Something New

Something Old, Something New is featured in our new opera Octavian and Cleopatra

Something Old, Something New is featured in our new opera Octavian and Cleopatra   It was a labor of love for Sharon and David Ohrenstein. Incidentally, it only has two spoken words for dramatic effect: When Cleopatra and Octavian see each other for the 1st time, they speaks each other’s names. . The opera was written under great difficulty and many obstacles.

  • There was no funding and little time.
  • We were raising three small children.
  • We had no spare income for the opera.

So How Did we Do It?

Sharon starred as Cleopatra, She also wrote the story and libretto. David played the piano for the world premier. He also composed the music. They were the moving company for the props and costumes that they mostly assembled by themselves. The work took almost two years. They often worked on the opera nightly until 1 or 2AM. In this regard, had they not have been married, the opera would never have been written.

So what’s Something Old, Something New?

There have been operas written about Cleopatra. No one, to our knowledge, has written one about Octavian and Cleopatra. I really believe it took Sharon’s genius to find the story. That’s something old, something new. Below is a list of some of the existing Cleopatra operas:

"My Lily of the Nile" Ghost of Julius Caesar with Cleopatra David Powers; Sharon Lesley“My Lily of the Nile” Ghost of Julius Caesar with Cleopatra
David Powers; Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein

In our opera the captain of the guard falls in love with Cleopatra.
The Captain  is supposed to guard Cleopatra. He falls in love with her. 

So what has happened since? We say never give up. There is tremendous interest in our writing. People are looking for something different including:

  • An opera filled with beautiful arias in the same manner that Richard Rodgers wrote for Broadway musicals.
  • A meaningful story with a transformation. In this case:  Octavian goes from being a low and debauched character to the 1st emporer king of Rome. He was renamed Augustus.
  • Placing women on a pedestal. As the new king Augustus did for Cleopatra.

We have the full performance on video. We still need backers. That hasn’t changed. But the times have dramatically changed over the last 20 years. People are looking for meaning and beauty in opera. Our Octavian and Cleopatra offers exactly that. Be the 1st to have the new sound of the 21st century in your home town!

Tempus fugit so keep yourself young

Mozart – the “Graveyard Key” in his Opera Don Giovanni


Mozart- the “Graveyard Key” in his Opera Don Giovanni. Mozart’s graveyard key is the key of four sharps. Why? As per Alfred Einstein (not Albert) in his book, Mozart, His Character, His Work,, the key of 4 sharps surpasses the number of sharps or flats used in all the other major numbers in the opera. It is “beyond the pale” so to say.Einstein discusses how the of key signatures are pivoted by D major of 2 sharps; and D minor of one flat… with their related keys. A related key signature differs only by one sharp or flat from the primary key or keys.

Beethoven also uses the key of four sharps for a great contrast, though not of a graveyard import. In his Waldstein piano sonata No.21 opus Opus 53 in C major (key no sharps or flats),the opening theme has a vibrant and youthful rhythmic pulse which is contrasted by a second or “sub theme” that is beautiful in a lyrical way to the max.


The featured picture here is not the grave scene from Mozart’s Don Giovanni; rather it is the Ghost scene from our opera, The Cup of Cleopatra, posted as a product on this website.The two ghosts are played and sung by David Powers,on the left, as Julius Caesar’s ghost; and Joseph Fast as the Ghost of Marc Antony. They are singing about how to keep Cleopatra alive. You can view excerpts of the our performance at the Palladium Theater on our products page at the top of our Oh yes, all operas, including ours, need backing and financial assistance; otherwise, culture can come to a clashing stop, and then where are we?


I’m will be blogging more about key signatures because of my upcoming original book to be posted as a product on this website ( entitled Music Under the Zodiac. As a long time composer, who has encountered so much resistance and negativity to my writing of music, I welcome the age of websites and computers as a way of taking ones work directly to the public. -David



Octavian and Cleopatra Robby May; Sharon Lesley
The English opera”Octavian and Cleopatra” book and lyrics by Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein, music by David Ohrenstein 
Robby May as Octavian and  Sharon Lesley as Cleopatra – set against the backdrop of the Great Pyramid



          LOVE CONQUERS ALL IN OUR OPERA: OCTAVIAN AND CLEOPATRA where musical styles take turns.  The Roman point of view, through militaristic music, alternates with exotic and beautiful Egyptian melodies sung by Cleopatra and her ladies in waiting. Whereas the Roman style is more “foursquare”; the music of Cleopatra is languid, sexy and touches the heart.  As an unwilling Octavian becomes totally taken with Cleopatra, his angular Roman style changes to the Egyptian. At the end, he sings the beautiful aria, She was Egypt’s Queen as he recalls  her alluring charm and  female virtues.  In a subplot, a Roman captain is sent by Octavian to guard Cleopatra.  The captain also falls in love with her and plots his own escape with her. . The Captain’s hardened ways of war disappear in the presence Cleopatra as he sings the melodious aria of love which closes act one, In the Darkness.  The opera burned the midnight oil for two years and became a labor of love between the husband-wife team of lyricist-book writer Sharon and composer David.  Sharon has currently been orchestrating the work.  Look  on our website entitled   under the heading of “Stage”. Then click on the Octavian and Cleopatra drop down for more information.