The Wizard of Oz - ballet scenes
(Orchestral suite: Three Portraits of a Witch)

In 2005, the Harford Ballet (Joppa, MD) commissioned me to write music for their upcoming production of "The Wizard of Oz." They needed music to go with three scenes involving The Wicked Witch of the West (including the evil neighbor, Ms. Gulch, who comes back in Dorothy's dream as the Wicked Witch.) They gave me very specific information about what was going on on stage, including timings of what was happening when. I visited a ballet class one day and played them MIDI files of some sketches I had made to go with the various characters, often with more than one sketch per character. I let the dancers choose the themes they liked (and their reactions were remarkably unanimous.) I also got to watch them improvise dance moves to my sketches. I took their ideas back to my studio and set to work writing the actual ballet score. This company is made up of children, and from the videos you'll see how remarkable they are. This project was an absolute pleasure, from the very beginnings through the final performance.


Gulch's Tirade (Wild Ride on a Broomstick) Auntie Em's wicked neighbor, Miss Gulch, comes to take away Toto.




Wicked Witch of the West (Black Magic) The Wicked Witch of the West does her "angry dance", Glinda, the Good Witch, gives the magic ruby slippers to Dorothy, which she now uses to dance.




Scene in the Witch's Forest (Witch's Nightmare) The Wicked Witch summons her winged monkeys and then her Winkies. She does another angry dance. Dorothy splashes water on her, and she melts.



The Harford Ballet Company
Anthony Rivera, Conductor
Melanie Ortt, Choreographer

Recorded by Wert Productions