This is fairly obvious I know, but, well, actually, the way I’m writing this opera is quite different from the way I write most pieces. Usually, although I know what’s going to happen in each part of the piece, I write it from beginning to end.
With this opera, it’s all been written in the wrong (but right) order. You start with the most important bits first, and leave the most incidental music until later. One of the last bits I wrote was a little section really quite near the beginning - a kind of recitativey passage for Amy. Writing this last, I was able to subtly refer to all the music that was going to come in the opera (which tied in very well with the dramatic purpose of the words in this section).
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that really. It makes me wonder whether I should experiment with composing shorter, purely instrumental pieces in this way.