Restless NYC/Experiments in Opera
Composer Aaron Seigel
Based on Yellow Flowers in the Antipodean Room by the celebrated New Zealand author Janet Frame, Rainbird tells the story of a middle-aged family man in New Zealand named Godfrey Rainbird who gets hit by a car and is pronounced dead. After the funeral arrangements have been made and his belongings have been cleared from the house, he wakes up in the morgue. What ensues is the emotional struggle of the Rainbird family, not in accepting Godfrey’s death, but, rather, his resurrection. Now a symbol of death, he is ostracized by his community and his family destroyed.
American Opera Projects
Composer Rima Fand (Winner of the Opera America’s Grants to Female Composers)
Librettist Karen Fischer
Designer Susan Zeeman Rogers
Precipice, an object theatre/chamber opera, sets an intimate story of one young woman's struggle to find her authentic voice in the epic landscape of America's mountain west. By drawing parallels between environmental and emotional damage, Precipice looks at how we are silenced and exiled, and at how we find our way to connection, both with each other and in the natural world.
Vicksburg Project (song cycle)
Mabou Mines/Skirball Center
Co-Created with Composer Eve Beglarian & Writer/Performer Karen Kandel
Twelve interlocking songs that trace women’s experiences in Vicksburg Mississippi during four different eras: the Civil War 1860s, the Jim Crow/Great Migration 1910s, the Civil Rights 1960s, and the current decade.
Barcelona Map of Shadows (opera)Mabou Mines/Skirball Center
Composer Mika Karlsson
Based on a play by Lluissa Cunille
Barcelona Map of Shadows is a mysterious story of rooming house in the an upper middle class neighborhood, and its terminally ill owner, whose dying request is to be left alone with his wife. In 5 perplexing scenes by turns comic and tragic, he and his wife ask their tenants - a french teacher, a second string soccer play/security guard, and a young pregnant immigrant - to leave. It is also a story of the city itself, on the brink of losing its identity to globalization. The characters identities are far from fixed, their shifting subjectivities undo the social codings of high and low, masculine and feminine, center and the margin. Far from being a story of nostalgia for a city mourning its own loss, it instead transports you to those mysterious, marginal, concealed spaces that exist in the realm of everyday urban life where identity is always elusive and enigmatic.