My latest book, "Thyme Will Tell," is now available in English as BoD, again with Krystyna's illustrations.

Robber Thyme is a leading member of the Robbers’ Guild of his German home town. Suddenly he finds himself in uncharted territory. His Guild sends him to Houston, Texas, so that he may study and practice the most advanced methods of crime. Indeed he can learn a lot from H-Town's Siblinghood of Robbers (originally called Brotherhood, but you can’t have a name like that anymore). For example, when robbing the passengers of an interurban bus service, make them sign your general terms and conditions first, lest you will find yourself at the wrong end of a lawsuit. Talk to call center agents without using expletives, or the Siblinghood’s HR department will reprimand you. Keep kidnapping victims in good shape, otherwise their families will sue you for damages. Acknowledge the superiority of the jury system. And do not expect that religious freedom means you can have a day off every week just for nothing. Robber colleagues from all over the world help Robber Thyme to get his feet on the ground in the new environment. So do Amanda the sassy Armadillo and Ildefons the Iguana with his ear trumpet. The result is a depiction of life in contemporary life in Houston, Texas.

Preface by Barrett Sills, Principal Cellist, Houston Grand Opera

$ 15

ISBN 1539186598

The German version, "Thymian in Texas".

Photo: Achim Kaufmann The chamber opera "Two Cells in Sevilla" with music by my father Walter Steffens is probably the first opera ever where a son wrote a libretto for his father. It is about a monk in a cloister, and a nobleman in debtors' prison, who are underfed by the cook who is in charge of both their institutions. She is an avid reader of romances, thus both the nobleman and the monk realise they have to write stories for her. So they start competing for her attention, and develop two characters for her, Don Juan and Don Quixote. A servant is part of the action, representing a giant subdued by Don Quixote, and later delivering a letter by Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff. The world premiere was a co-production of the Greenbriar Consortium and the Round Top Theatre Forum with performances in Houston (1 Nov. 2016) and in Round Top TX (5 Nov. 2016).
Mary Carol Warwick is the composer for the opera project "Gálvez of Gálveztown. The Unsung Hero Sings" with my libretto. It will tell the story of Bernardo de Gálvez, a crucial figure in the American War of Independence. After public readings from my libretto in Houston (Rice University), Galveston TX, San Antonio TX and Washington DC, the following step was a showcase presentation of the first two scenes with singers and pianist at Rice University on 5 April 2017. This project is inspired and supported by Los Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez.

Photo: Chuck Alexander

"Gallery Talks" will be a song cycle with music by Clare Glackin. My texts describe how figures and objects on paintings feel about their museums, the artists who painted them, and their own life. The first piece, "Unfinished Lucrtia" on an unfinished painting by Guido Reni (Capitoline Museums, Rome), was first performed at Houston's Rice University, Shepherd School of Music, 13 April 2016, by Abigail Fischer, mezzo soprano and Jeanne Kierman Fischer, piano.

 

More of my content in English

My earlier opera projects (page in German)