Text blocks in opera score

I have some questions about text blocks.
I have copied out an opera pasticcio with elements of melodrama (spoken texts).
a) there can’t be text-only flows
b) I have seen ben wiggy‘s video on how to make an opera score:

c) I have written out all music into individual flows
d) there is text (recited between the flows)
e) there is text during the music
f) I try to make it all in Dorico, so I can take advantage of it’s automatisms. Thus avoiding manual tweaking i.e. overrides.

For e) I have decided to use system text Shift+Alt+X. I am aware that in the parts I will need fine tuning (manual system breaks), so the text stays in the same line.

For the text blocks in between the flows I would start trying to make a set of individual Flow Header Templates.
Some text blocks are just one line, some are 3 or 4 lines, some 10, 20 or even half a page.
My question: how to best create those Flow Heading templates?
I would make a text frame of a certain hight with a token {@FlowOtherinformation@} on top and the token {@FlowTitle@} at the bottom.
The top text frame would be a of a certain height. Is there a way to cover for all possible text block heights?
Thank you for a little help.

1 Like

For e): are you using system text because it needs to appear in all parts?
For d): if this needs to appear only in the score, why not use local text frames in Engrave Mode? Flow headers are ok, but since you will need this to be different each time, you could get a very high number of headers pretty quickly.

e) yes, they’ll need to be in the parts - as it’s sort of free recital, players need it to feel more confident and not just rely on the conductor.
d) you are probably right, for the parts it will be probably sufficient to only add the last two sentences of the text blocks. They’ll use that as a cue and can relax until that line turns up. That way I will only need two different flow headers, one with two lines of text and one without. The parts are not dependent on the complete texts.

The priority, which I think you are respecting, is to avoid as much as possible using page overrides. Whether to use custom flow headers rather than custom page templates --some of which might include actual text (making them really custom) rather than using text from Flow: Other Information– may in some cases be a toss-up. At least now one can use mark-up in Other Information, which is a real plus.

I hope that in good time @dspreadbury and his team will come up with an even more inspired solution to such situations, as that would benefit both musical theater scores and academic worksheets.