To prepare for the premiere of "The Grapes of Wrath," Ricky Ian Gordon's full score for the opera had to be broken down into individual parts for the orchestra musicians, the conductor and the singers. That's a job for a music preparer, someone behind the scenes who takes one voice at a time from a complicated score and makes it legible for one musician at a time.
Bill Holab is one of the best in the field. He's arranged and prepared music for years with the Chicago publishing house G. Schirmer and now on his own with his company, Bill Holab Music. His client list includes prominent contemporary composers like Michael Torke and Osvaldo Golijov. Classical Music Host Alison Young spoke with Bill Holab while he was in St. Paul for the Minnesota Opera premiere of "The Grapes of Wrath."