St. Peters, Missouri, native Thomas Morse wrote his first orchestra composition while he was a student at Ft. Zumwalt High School. He was just getting started.
“It was a long road,” said Morse. “I was taking music classes in composition at Lindewood College at night while I was in high school. Then I went out to Los Angeles and pursued another degree. Started writing film music and became interested in writing an opera.”
After scoring more than a dozen feature films and television shows like “The Amazing Race”, Morse’s opera, “Frau Schindler” made it’s world debut March 9 in Munich, Germany. Inspired by “Schindler’s List” — the Steven Spielberg film masterpiece — Morse’s opera tells the story of Emilie Schindler, Oskar Schindler’s wife, and her role in saving the lives of more than 1000 Jews during World War II.
“It was an enormous responsibility," Morse said. "Every day I asked myself, who am I to even touch this story of this significance. Her story was more psychological and it gave us sort of a window into the way people thought during those times and now they were able to turn things around in their minds to kind of look the other way as these horrible things were going on around them."
Morse started research for “Frau Schindler” ten years ago.
“I had been alone in a room basically for three years composing this thing, “ said Morse. “To see it physically come to life was a magical experience. It was received very well, especially by the audience. I’d say the reviews were 50-50. In Munich, telling this story, I’ll take it.”
After six performances in Munich, Morse said future productions of “Frau Schindler” are in the works for the U.S. and Europe.