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Character Background 3: Jasper, The Dead Guy

09 Feb

As we prepare to begin composition of the 3rd Act (in about 2 weeks) it’s becoming time to address the one character in the entire Opera who is in all 4 Acts, present in all 4 generations the show encompasses. Jasper. Who, ironically, died before the opera even begins.

At the moment i’m leaning towards 3 of the 4 generations being in love with him (Annabel, Byron and Priscilla). In any case, who is he?

Jasper comes from a family with a very respected name who was once extremely well off, but who has, within the past few generations, watched their fortune ebb away. The family name is still worth something, but there is not much behind it anymore.

Because of this, Jasper has been raised with a great deal of pressure to rescue the family name and fortune and restore the once proud line to the status they deserve. Unfortunately, Jasper really doesn’t care about all of this. He is quite content to settle down on the family’s country estate far outside of New Camden and pursue his passion for horticulture. He is interested in creating small scale food forests on limited land which can produce massive amounts and varieties of food which a family or individual can live off of indefinitely.

This is all well and good, but his family still wants their fortune back, while he argues that he can feed them and future generations and  money need not be so great of an issue. These discussions never go well, and despite his convictions, he has been raised from birth to shoulder the family expectations, and so cannot just walk away. His mother uses a potent blend of guilt and pity which Jasper, although aware of and despises, is unable to emotionally resist.

His marriage was carefully arranged while he was still in his early teens, something that he resents.  He met Annabell shortly before the wedding and was quite taken with her, although he only saw her one night. He forgot her soon afterwards.

The marriage is an unhappy one. He sees his wife as vain and shallow. She is actually quite industrious and focused, however she too is from a family with good name but waining fortune and has fully bought into the need to make as much money as possible over the course of her life in order to restore the two families’ greatness. She has less than no interest in Jasper’s interests and is disgusted with him for his reluctuance to go out and make his fortune.

He finds himself able to spend less and less time on his life’s passion, and is pushed into being a stockbroker. Interestingly enough, he has a sharp mind for it, the same logic that makes him a brilliant horticulturalist also makes him capable for being a successful stockbroker, but instead, he is complete failure at it. This is because he subconsciously sabotages himself. His resentment for his mother and wife comes out in his deliberate attempts to fail at the money making business.

The only good aspect of his otherwise miserable life is the birth of his daughter, Fay, who he loves deeply. Alas, while she is still a young child he is involved in the accident that kills him.

He is naturally somewhat surprised and not particularly pleased when he finds himself brought back from the dead by Annabel, and far less so when he is brought back later by Edgar, but the notion of seeing his daughter again calms him somewhat. Thus he remains trapped once again in the mortal coil.

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11 Comments

Posted by on February 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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11 responses to “Character Background 3: Jasper, The Dead Guy

  1. giulas41

    February 10, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Talking about steampunk and Jaspers…Did you ever see this one??? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vORsKyopHyM

     
  2. paulms

    February 10, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Yeah. I named the character after him as a homage to it. It’s on my list of posts to do.

     
    • giulas41

      February 10, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      It’s a really beautiful work this animation!!!

       
      • paulms

        February 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm

        It’s drop dead gorgeous.

         
  3. Cynthia

    June 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Question: I noticed on bandcamp that Jason is listed for three characters. Who sings as Jasper? 🙂

     
  4. paulms

    June 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I do, but i’m not supposed to and i’m not happy with it. I made some bad decisions all around with both casting and having the part as a high tenor. When the singers brought in to sing Jasper didn’t work, my fault ultimately, i was at the end of my time in London and so had no choice but to come back, transpose the part to fit my voice and sing it myself. It’s not that i’m a horrible singer, but for this kind of thing i really don’t have the voice for it and am not fit to sing on the same stage as Lauren, Jason and Kayleigh. The part is best served by a singer of equal ability. Also, since my name is already clearly all over the thing i don’t think i need to be listed again.

     
    • Andrew Jerome

      July 22, 2012 at 1:23 am

      You do yourself a discredit, sir; I feel that the voice you used for Jasper is absolutely wonderful, and most fitting. At the end of my first hearing, I found myself most captivated by Jasper’s voice – all throughout the acts, he only spoke – and then at the end, he erupted with a unique and unprecedented spiel of raw emotion that really took me aback. It was really a wonderful result, despite your misgivings about it.

       
      • paulms

        July 22, 2012 at 1:37 am

        Ah bless you.

         
  5. Justin Blackwell

    August 24, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Hi, first off I absolutely love your work. But I’m very curious, how did Annabel and Edgar know they revived Jasper? I imagine it would be hard to know if you got the right soul (before he started singing of course) or got a soul in the doll at all.

     
    • paulms

      August 25, 2015 at 3:31 am

      well, thats the thing… while annabel and edgar actually did revive jasper,min general its hard to ever know if you got the right soul. Whos to say how many did and didnt?

       
  6. Phoenixflame

    June 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Small question–how much older is Fay than Edgar? She’s a child when Jasper dies and Annabel marries soon after he “dies” again? Just asking because that is an interesting side to their relationship, and gives more reason Fay’s so frustrated by Edgar’s inconsistency.

     

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