This process took two years, but after I finished I felt like I had something worthwhile. I played what I had for various people and found the opera was quite moving for them. This thing I had created as a teenager (with some badly needed polishing up and rewriting), and arranged as an adult, proved to be something that people enjoyed listening to.
So I took the next step. I recruited a cast of singers from several college campuses in the Salt Lake City area and produced a recording of the entire opera--all two and a half hours of it. I took the master recording and had CDs manufactured from it. The entire opera consumed
every bit of room on two entire CDs.
So now General Prophet Joseph Smith, a contemporary opera written by myself, D. Michael Martindale, based on historical events leading up to the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, exists on a double CD set. I knew with the limited resources I had to produce the opera as a musical recording, that I could never match the high studio quality of a Michael MacLean or Kurt Bestor with their hundreds of thousands of dollars to pour into their projects. Therefore I went for a warm, intimate sound, as if the opera were being performed live on stage before your eyes. From the somber words of Joseph despairing over what to do when his friends, his colleagues, even his wife, demand he return to Nauvoo--although he knows it will be to his death--to the humorous and irreverent croonings of a tavern full of drunks in Carthage; to the gentle petitions of the wives
of the men in Carthage jail as they pray for their husbands' safe return, General Prophet Joseph Smith will entertain you, inspire you, perhaps even bring a tear to your eye.