A Majora’s Mask Opera

Hello internet,

The current look of the blog is a temporary solution for a better presentation, but given the sudden boom around my first uploaded demo, I feel I should clarify what this is all about.

On the 28th of November 2011, after a long period of planning, and with the 25th anniversary of Zelda in mind, I started composing and writing an opera of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

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Now as I’ve said in the first forums I posted about this, I have avoided reducing this to medley form. I develop on every relevant theme, taking them as bases to be grown on and to make a complete and organic work, instead of a patched-up musical track.

I have my original work as examples of what I can do, and I am usually not one to make these kinds of adapted projects, but Zelda is something that has always fascinated me, and Majora’s Mask is the one that always dug deepest.

Now, setting something like this to stage requires some modifications in order to bring out the drama and the message(s) in full and allow for a stable adaptation, instead of the many flaws that arise from taking a game structure into a dramatic set without the necessary reconstruction.

That reconstruction does not change the story’s core concepts at all, but it alters something quite important for those who take refuge on the heroic deed of a single individual (Link).

*prepares for the flame*

I have put enough thought on this (took me a while), and there is a difference people have to understand exists between media.

A book is a book. A movie is a movie. A game is a game. A stage drama/opera is a stage drama/opera.

The intensity of a stage drama comes from the concentration of the attention in a specific character or group of characters and the things that affect them. They can be related to something bigger, obviously, but it still has to restrict itself to a group that is small enough to build up the amount of weight it needs.

The reason a game like Zelda can’t be adapted to stage at 100% in every single aspect is because a game is built as an interactive medium. A game like Zelda lives on diversity and exploration.

I chose Majora’s Mask for a reason: In all of its diversity, Majora’s Mask has the ability to captivate through the personal anguishes of the inhabitants of a dying world. Now, turning it into a never-ending list of equally important woes would be static and unimportant, and here is the key issue: So would turning a mute heroic character into a chore-handler for a world with living, thinking and feeling individuals.

For what I suggest, I ask for understanding from the part of the community in that I am convinced that I can heighten the theatrical power of such a world and what it is experiencing through this simple yet key modification:

Link is absent.

It is a what-if cautionary tale to the world of the audience (like Ikana was to the rest of Termina) telling of Termina’s fate without the intervention of a savior, a Deux Ex Machina in Hylian form.

The core concepts remain the same, as I’ve said. The story revolves around promises, the whole world’s mechanic and sense is exactly the same.

But this little big change allows me to make a humanistic injection of character build-up in the largest and best known side-quest of all Zelda games: Kafei and Anju.

By centering the story on Kafei and Anju, I can make it that Kafei’s quest for the retrieval of the Sun Mask and the fulfillment of his promise comes out of his own accord, his own effort, and provide a fluid narrative of his tracking of Sakon and his treasure. The struggle of a last promise in a world fated to be destroyed.

Don’t think Skull Kid and the mask Salesman will be undermined, on the contrary, I expect the Salesman to be a very important guide to the events in Termina and cross paths with Kafei later on, as he is the one responsible for taking the mask to avoid disaster and then having Skull Kid steal it from him.

As I said above, a game is a game, and a game’s diversity is made for interaction. In an opera, that diversity becomes harmful. It becomes dispersion. My aim is to make a big, serious and most of all effective work out of Majora’s Mask, and you can take my word on the respect I have for canon. So much that instead of modifying or harmfully cutting Link’s diverse actions to adapt the work, I would rather make it keep its sense simply by letting Termina exist nearly unchanged.

Although you could say that this fits into the newly-revealed timeline, in which there are two branches where Link does not go to Termina (I didn’t know that when I started this), I understand and humbly accept all the flaming that might erupt from the anti-official-timeline-canon-centered community. However, I am sure of my abilities to make a bittersweet cautionary tale out of Majora’s Mask for our own world to see. Zelda fans or not. And if it wishes, to compare to our own dangerously decreasing sense of trust and faith in people.

I ask of you the same sort of trust: What concerns me in this project will not disappoint.

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Having said this, I am sorry for the long post, but I feel this clarification is necessary for those who weren’t already aware of it.

The opera will be divided into 3 acts, one for each day, and they will obviously not obey to the “one set per act” common rule. It’s the 21st century, we can perfectly well loosen up some things without ditching professionalism. I have taken that into account as I write.

I have recently completed Act I, and am currently at the beginning of Act II. I will post updates as this goes on.

In case you haven’t clicked the link at the top of the post, I leave you with the first demo (details in the description on YouTube). You can find instrumentals from the opera in my channel as well.

Cheers!

P.S: I will soon be opening a Facebook page for the project, so stay sharp.

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21 Responses to “A Majora’s Mask Opera”

  1. Enmanuel Says:

    This is amazing, i ll be looking forward to your work!

  2. I will be keeping a eye on this project! :D Best wishes!

  3. Parabéns. Eu gosto bastante de Majora’s Mask também e espero muito disto.

    Assisti e reassisti seu demo 4 vezes. Mal posso esperar por mais. Parabéns novamente e continue com o bom trabalho. Espero uma aprovação da Nintendo a qualquer momento ;)

    A Academia de Amadores de Música parece um lugar fascinante se tem pessoas como você.

  4. Bud Gaines Says:

    I have to say, I just watched that demo and read the blog, and even with Link being absent as it was put, this looks to be extremely interesting and entertaining. Majora’s Mask is one of my favorite Zelda’s. Only behind A Link to the Past by a couple of nostalgia and sentimental value. I can’t wait to see how this turns out, best of luck on this and I hope it is well received by the community on here and with the Zelda Community. I really enjoyed the opening demo for this, great job to all people involved in it. Once again, Best of luck on this venture!

    -Bud Gaines

  5. kram1032 Says:

    Why do you KEEP mentioning the flames?
    As far as I’ve seen, next to nobody has “flamed” you for not keeping Link in.

    I think, it’s a great idea to do it that way, since
    a) it allows for a more interesting story (a hero is missing, ppl have to actually do something about the situation for themselves and potentially fail)

    b) Link, as the name implies, is the link between the player and the game. He is necessary for an interactive medium like that.
    However, since he is just that connection, most of his story and way of thinking is unknown. It’s up to the player to define that.
    For an Opera like that, where you actually need characters that are developed to at least some level, he would be difficult to maintain without seeming “bad”.
    I think, by doing so, you’ll have less enraged fans than by including him but doing it terribly wrong (as so many other fan projects before yours did) (that said, as far as I’m aware, most of them weren’t exactly professionals, so many of them did great for what was possible)

  6. I love the demo so much!
    It would be awesome if you made a really opera of this!

  7. Moblinarea Says:

    So… The moon will not actualy fall, since Link is not there to provoke Skull Kid to make it fall.

    • Moblinarea Says:

      Great piece BTW but hmm… Come to think of it, how about you change Viscen to a bass? Since Dotour seems to be a tenoir, and Mutoh a baritone (or am I wrong) Viscen sounds somehow slightly wrong being an alto or a soprano.

  8. This is absolutely amazing and I applaud your decision to keep Link out. I watched the demo before coming here and that was my first though and I was going to suggest it. I think it will flow much better without Link and it will be an amazing drama story. I hope one day I will be lucky enough to be able to view this amazing project live.

  9. Andrew Roby Says:

    I absolutely adore your Idea to adapt Majoras mask to the Stage and as for the absence of Link its not that big a deal Link is the Players “link” to the world of the game and with out a player no Link is needed. Please let me leave you with something I wrote perhaps to inspire you grand Idea further

    I just Beat Zelda Majoras Mask “Again” as the credits roll Link sit mounted upon Epona and Takes one last look up to the heavens in these mysterious woods before galloping off towards the light I wonder to myself what is it about this game that keeps me coming back. The land of Termina is a strange one filled with much mystery it’s so like Hyrule yet so different somehow twisted and demented. I often find myself returning to explore every area from The mighty mountains sleeted in snow and ice, The overgrown and wild swamp where all manor of tribalism is practiced, The Great Bay beach A vast and unforgiving ocean containing secrets of the deep, And Ikana canyon Home of the dead and wayward sprits I walk these lands hearing the moans of the forgotten and the tales of blood and battle. I find myself exploring here so often what is it about this place that keeps drawing me back The challenge the people the places creatures culture !?? There’s something about the dark nature of this land I find irresistible. I may never know what it is I’m searching for but one thing is for certain I will continue to wander this land for many years to come each time I return playing the role of the lone wandering swordsmen in green. Termina there’s something in the air both weird and wonderful!

  10. So how will it end? If link isn’t there to “save the day”, does everything fail? Do Anju and Kafei end up being Romeo and Juliet?

  11. i can’t help but be a little bummed about link not being in the story. other than that, though, this looks like it’s going to be an amazing story to be performed through opera! can’t wait!

  12. DO YOU THINK NINTENDO WILL SUPPORT THIS PROJECT EVEN IF LINK IS ABSENT? i personally love this btw

  13. Keep it up, dude, it’s gonna be a great opera! Been following you for weeks, I also posted for the Song of Storm poll, but somehow the comment got lost!

  14. Joseph Murse Says:

    I had one quick question. At the ending of Demo #1 When the music rises to drown out the endless arguing. I believe I hear Viscen say something about “It’s her job to ensure the ?seperation?/?cooperation? of…” That sounds like it might be a reference to Madame Dotour, who as yet hasn’t been mentioned. From a line that’s not spoken in the demo, which is… “I wonder what Madame Dotour would have to say about this…” or something like that.

    Really the question I wanted to ask what is Viscen saying while the music drowns them both out? I can understand some of the beginning and the end but the middle part is very difficult to ascertain.

  15. i very much looking forward to this opera, and perhaps buying a score when it comes out so i can learn some kind of baritonish role for fun times down the road :P I am really glad that masterpieces like zelda are finally getting a rendition that glows with its musical strength highlighted. im liking it very much. Best of wishes.

  16. Regarding the absence of Link, why not just explain it away with the audience assuming that role in the opera the same way they do by controlling Link in the game? It’s clever and very fitting. The only reason Link can do what he does is because of his special abilities as the Hero of Time, but without that he is just as vulnerable as any of us to Termina’s tragedy. The audience gets to experience events the same way Link can, but unlike Link, they cannot really interfere in a way that would affect the story as positively as he could since we lack the time travel required to fix anything. Thus the first cycle (where Link was fairly powerless and couldn’t even leave Clock Town properly as Deku Scrub) plays out and the world ends, or however you see fit to end it.

    See, Link supposedly being absent easily fits within the narrative of the opera.

    • I’m afraid I don’t understand your question. There are no explanations needed when someone is simply not there (and remember, the opera is for everyone, acquainted with Zelda or not), and the part about the audience’s role being Link’s is what I mention in this post exactly.

  17. This is so awesome! MM revolves around the beauty of music, but evidently it lacks spoken dialogue, so for you to construct an opera where alot of the narrative is sung will be tremendous! Good luck to you!

  18. Reblogged this on sanctum of philosophy and commented:
    This looks (and sounds) brilliant!

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