The happy places we find ourselves in thanks to Dorico

Another of my regular “thank you, team!” posts.

Since last October I was composing my first own opera, a 40 min chamber work with two singers. Although I was arranging musicals regularly in Dorico over the years, this was my first musical theatre project where I was solely responsible for the finished score.

So here’s the deal:
16 flows, 16 players, 40 min of music with a lot of special workarounds for contemporary notation, partly composed on paper, partly directly in Dorico. Dorico, although surely slowing down at the end, was always responsive and stable on my old Intel Macbook Pro from 2018.

And not only that: it’s stable internal logic about the rhythmic placement of graphical objects such as lines, glissandi, playing techniques, texts etc. allowed me to literally spontaneously create a second A4 sized score with around 190 pages yesterday in merely 2h. And it’s legible. CAN YOU IMAGINE?

The opera will be performed in October, and I just cannot wait :slight_smile:


Congratulations Sacha! It looks beautiful. I love your engraving. Nice work, and I hope it will be a great success.


Looks beautiful! Can you post a few more pics of the inside pages?


I hope lots of new and converting users can see this! This is the chief reason for doing things “the Dorico way”. When all the right tools and methods are used, layout is generally a breeze.
Congrats, Sacha!


Thanks so much! Sure thing!

I am not really experienced in vocal engraving, but I am still somewhat happy with how it turned out. :slight_smile:

And by comparison the first page in A4, which is really the worst format to engrave in, but alas, these were the conditions put upon me:

(it’s a screenshot, as I had to hand in the scores for the singers today)


Thank you so much, and that’s exactly the point.

I really didn’t do a lot regarding manual tweakings, maybe a handful adjustments in engrave mode and one spot where I needed to adjust note-spacing. In a whole 90 pages work. So this is just careful selection of the engraving, layout, notation options as well as obviously some page template and font design.
Sure, the experience helps in finding the right settings, but for me it was incredibly important to stay flexible. I was busy composing pretty much until deadline.
Until the end I was switching flows around, all in all I have 7 page template changes, and 4 of them are for the title page and front matter. (That’s to say: I basically did not intervene manually at all)

In the end, creating the A4 version was just duplicating the A3 layout (which started out as a B4 format until 6 days ago, btw) and re-placing system and frame breaks. I think I have around 5 note spacing changes?

All this was just possible because of doing things the Dorico way :sunglasses:

I don’t say there’s no room for improvement in my engraving, but getting this result with like … no work is pretty amazing.


Congrats! Very happy for you, and wish you great satisfaction and success with your work. You did a great job with what looks to have been a not-so-easy fomatting. Yea Dorico -and you!:slightly_smiling_face:


I’m curious about this : did you change to A3/A4 because they’re far more available? I’ve noticed how nice it would be to print scores to B4 but I can’t find any affordable paper at this size…

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I prefered B4 for either score and part, but A3/A4 was the (suggested) requirement.
I thought about ignoring that, knowing that B4 would be better, but I couldn’t find a quality copy shop with B4 printers and enough paper in stock in time for the deadlines in Düsseldorf (anyone knows any?).
The one I used offered to print on A3 and then cut it, but the cost would’ve been the same of A3 and at this point I decided to just go with the requirements, and I know their quality in A Formats to be very good.

I find it extremely hard to get B-Formats printed in Germany, although they are clearly superior for music notation. Usually it’s “print on A3 and cut afterwards”.

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Sincere congratulations! And thanks for sharing.

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I would love to hear your opera! Congratulations!


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Congratulations on the scoring and the premiering of your opera.
Also curious to hear it.

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Thanks for the kind words everyone. I think it might be recorded. I will try to remember to post a link here if available. :slight_smile: