Touched by an Angel
Concert Aria for soprano and orchestra (2011)
by Ron Hannah


Duration: about 8 minutes

     There is a lady in my life who has a big voice and a heart to match. She is Andrea Mellis. We have been friends for decades, and were married in 2013. I have written several things for her, most notably the rôle of Blondine in my chamber opera, Mademoiselle Fifi; a song cycle entitled Morning's Minion, based on poety of G.M. Hopkins; and the title rôle for Hypatia: a Play with Songs, the opera and the play both based upon libretti by Rowland Holt-Wilson. Rowland was Andrea's former partner (and a good friend of mine as well), who died in 2002. And the writing continues: since our nuptials, I have written several more works for her - song cycles, works with chamber groups, and she and I have even collaborated on an opera of our own.

     On a visit in late 2011, during which she and I heard the Lions Gate Sinfonia of North Vancouver, a conversation with its conductor, Clyde Mitchell, turned to her perhaps singing Beethoven's "Ah! Perfido" with the orchestra. Then it wended its way to


having me write a similar work for soprano and orchestra. I swallowed hard, well intimidated by that towering example, and agreed to try. Later we chose a lovely poem by Maya Angelou, quite different in its atmosphere and subject from the Master's, and not long afterward this work resulted, with which I am well pleased. In addition, Andrea says it sits well for the voice. Writing for solo voice with orchestra is not something I have attempted often, and striking that balance between giving the music the surge and power the poem demands while not overpowering the voice, is a delicate matter which I trust I have handled effectively.

     The full score can be obtained by clicking above, and parts are available by sending me an email. My only restriction, should you perform this piece, is that you inform me so that I can keep this website up-to-date. Oh, and no doubt there are bean counters out there who will get all exercised over copyright. So be it. Copyright is about money and I doubt that money will ever be a large consideration where this work is concerned. And, one day the copyright will expire and my work will shine forth.