Opera

Listen to Pauline's Aria at Tapestry Songbook X. As Merk falls asleep, his daughter Pauline finds the words to express her love.

HAJAR

libretto by Elisabeth Mehl Greene
soprano x 3, mezzo-soprano, tenor x 2, baritone, bass

Hajar combines the Jewish and Islamic stories of Hagar/Hajar into a modern tale of a Syrian refugee mother and her son trying to reach safety in America. Hajar confronts the immigration crisis in the United States and worldwide, challenging the acceptance of policies that resist compassion. Hajar is the winner of Maryland Opera Studio's composition contest and was a finalist in the Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition. 

Listen to a scene excerpt from Part II.
Several days walk from the border. Hajar, Ismail, and other Syrian refugees wait to meet a smuggler who will take them across to Turkey. 

Listen to a scene excerpt from Part II.
In the Turkish refugee camp while Ismail sleeps, Hajar re-reads an email from Bram, recalling their love, and imagines him there with her. Ismail wakes up from a nightmare, Hajar soothes her son and remembers the hand of God calming her own fears. Then, Hajar and Ismail receive some good news.

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

libretto by Norman Yeung and Elisabeth Mehl Greene
soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor x 2, baritone

Where Are We Going? is an original opera in ten vignettes which take place in various cities around North America, interlinked by the mobile urban lives of recurring 20-30-something characters, Josie, Del, Ming, Charles, and Zain.

The Guitar/Portland scene is available from Canadian Opera Resource

CE QUE RACONTE LE CONTE / HOW THE STORY GOES

libretto by the Elisabeth Mehl Greene
soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone

Comedic French-English bilingual opera for young audiences playfully deconstructs fairytale tropes with a princess, a prince, and dueling narrators who vie for control of the narrative.

READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN

libretto by the Elisabeth Mehl Greene and Mitra Motlagh
soprano x 3, mezzo-soprano x 4, baritone

Azar Nafisi's bestselling memoir adapted as a chamber opera, with a cast of eight singers, accompanied by flute, saxophone, piano, and cello. The libretto, co-written with Iranian-American poet Mitra Motlagh, retells Nafisi’s experiences teaching Western literature after the Iranian Revolution, first in the classroom, and then in secret to a group of young women students. 

RLT_Color_clip.mp3

Listen to a scene excerpt from Act I: Lolita - Colors
AZAR & STUDENTS. Arriving at Azar's house, the students begin to reveal vibrant modern clothing below their chadors, discussing their longing for displays of color in Tehran.  

OPERA SCENES

Merk's Dream 4.5'

libretto by Nick Carpenter
mezzo-soprano and tenor

The last conversation between the loving but aging father and his mentally challenged adult daughter on the eve of her departure for an institution. 

Available from Canadian Opera Resouce

Lost and Found  3'

libretto by Sharon Bajer
mezzo-soprano and tenor

A seduction plays out in fragmented English as two travelers try to find a common language.

Available from Canadian Opera Resource

lost_clip.mp3

Listen to an excerpt from Lost and Found
SHE is lost, looking for the train station, HE wants her to stay, but keeps saying the wrong thing. They finally arrive at a word they both know.  

Guitar/Portland 3.5'

libretto by Norman Yeung
soprano and baritone

A singer-songwriter about to leave Portland to be an indie artist in New York City discovers her boyfriend has something to say about this.  

Available from Canadian Opera Resource


The Theory of Everything 6'

libretto by Sheldon Rosen
mezzo-soprano and tenor

A man hits on a woman in a restaurant, whom he mistakenly takes to be the author of a book on string theory.

Available from Canadian Opera Resource


Naila and Lolo 4'

libretto by Anusree Roy
soprano and tenor

A 9-year-old Indian girl, Naila, leaves for Pakistan at start of the Indo-Pakistani war of 1947.

Available from Canadian Opera Resource

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