Joe St.Johanser

composer of contemporary operas, art songs and chamber works:

Considerable sponsorship and funding is available for a first performance of 'Space Opera'

listen to 'Space Opera' recording and download libretto

His music is sophisticated but approachable, giving much pleasure to audiences and performers alike. Works include six full-length stage works, two choral ballets, one oratorio, over forty songs and chamber works. Many of the songs with piano and chamber works are eminently suitable for recital performance.

Click buttons above for information about each work and for music sales.

Responses from audiences and critics alike have been extremely positive. Listen to his music and peruse the scores on this site or watch video on youtube

Joe's composition style is post-modern classical. He creates and makes extensive use of memorable melodies and motifs. His particular strengths are orchestration, graceful vocal writing and dramatic structure (he is a singer and actor himself). He has the rare ability to be able to create large scale stage works and never bore an audience. He particularly admires (he would say 'sits at the feet of') Puccini, Janacek, Britten, John Adams, Bernstein and Richard Rogers.

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Click button above for a catalogue of his works. Below are some collages of photos from recent performances of his stage works.You may listen to examples on youtube.

The Tempest - an opera by Joe St.Johanser

'The Mandarin's Dilemma' - A contemporary black comedy musical. Premiere performance at the Nomad Theatre to excellent reviews.

'What an excellent production ‘Mandarin’ was. Solos and ensemble work were nearly flawless, the Chorus playing a major part in the success.

This musical deserves to be staged again in other theatres'.

'remarkable achievement of this production for St. Johanser and the company alike.'

The Tempest - an opera by Joe St.Johanser

'The Tempest' - A contemporary classical grand opera. Much appreciated by the audiences at Guildford Opera's premiere performance.

Of 'The Tempest', his second opera, one reviewer (Words and Music) said

'Everything about this production was excellent with many striking touches. The highly effective set was a wrecked ship bedded in real sand; the tops of the ribs curling over gave the impression of huge breaking waves... the small orchestra (under Francis Griffin) played the music beautifully; it was atmospheric, attractive and served Shakespeare’s text and its range of emotions well... The casting of Ariel as 3 spirits was a master stroke, each subtly characterised and responsive to Prospero and weaving trios with beautiful and ethereal sound... Prospero, who commands the magic island...(Tim Baldwin)... was outstanding and totally in command of the drama and music - a truly powerful performance.',

Through the Looking Glass -  a musical drama by Joe St.Johanser

'Through the Looking Glass' - St.Johanser's third full-length stage work - here are stills from the film made at Woking Dance Space and published on DVD

Through the Looking Glass - a musical drama by Joe St.Johanser

'SPEM' - St.Johanser's first full-length stage work

Of 'Spem' one reviewer said 'When I heard the first violin humming the main theme of the first movement I knew Joe had a hit'