shopify
site analytics

Opera


  • Grand Illusion (2019) 19’ • soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, bass baritone, piano
    DURATION
    19’

    LIBRETTIST
    Jerre Dye

    COMMISSIONER
    Chicago Opera Theater for the Vanguard Initiative

    SYNOPSIS
    In 1908, a young girl and her father go to a magic show in Chicago, where there’s more to the act than meets the eye.

    THIS A SCENE FROM
    The Transformation of Jane Doe (scene 6)

    PLACE AND TIME
    This original story takes place at the Studebaker Theatre on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, and alternates between 1908 and 1920.

    CAST
    Abigail (Soprano) - a daughter, both 9 years old and 21 years old
    Passerby/Ticket Taker/Magician’s Assistant (Mezzo-Soprano) - the memory of a passerby, a ticket taker, and the magician’s assistant
    Father (Baritone) - the memory of her father
    Magician (Bass Baritone) - the memory of a prestidigitator
    Stacks Image 5795

    AUDIO
    Please note that the opera is performed without any breaks. It has been divided below for ease of listening.

    1. No one saw it in the cards
    Chicago, 1920: Abigail, age 20, walks into the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, where she remembers a tragic afternoon when she was 8 years old.

    2. The magician’s marquee
    Chicago, 1908: In her memory, 8-year old Abigail and her father stand in front of the marquee outside the Studebaker, excited to see the French magician Monsieur Francois Miraculeaux and his beautiful assistant.

    3. Death by milk truck
    Chicago, 1920: Abigail reveals the tragic reason her father brought her to the magic show that fateful day.

    4. The magic show
    Chicago, 1908: In her memory, Abigail and her father watch the magician and his assistant perform a number of magic acts. When Abigail sees the assistant, she can’t shake the feeling she’s seen those eyes before.

    5. Vanished…gone…where to?
    Chicago, 1908: In her memory, Abigail asks her father what happened to her mother.

    6. No one saw it in the cards (reprise)
    Chicago, 1920: Abigail reprises her opening aria, wondering why her father concealed her mother’s death from her for so many years.


    PERFORMERS ON AUDIO
    Chicago Opera Theater Young Artists:
    Abigail - Samantha Schmid
    Passerby/Ticket Taker/Magician’s Assistant - Emma Ritter
    Father - John Mathieu
    Magician - Ryan Stoll
    Piano - Josh Quinn


    PHOTOS
    From the world premiere performance of Grand Illusion (Music by COT Vanguard Emerging Opera Composer Stacy Garrop, libretto by Jerre Dye, Directed by Amy Hutchison) at COT's 2019 Gala, April 28th, 2019 at The Blackstone Hotel. Performed by COT Young Artists: John Mathieu (Baritone), Josh Quinn (Pianist), Emma Ritter (Mezzo), Samantha Schmid (Soprano), Ryan Stoll (Bass-Baritone). Photos by Eric Kirkes.

    Stacks Image 5793

    Stacks Image 5778
    Stacks Image 5780

    Stacks Image 5787

    Stacks Image 5918
  • The Goth Chapters (2019) 15’ • mezzo-soprano, vln, vc, pno

    DURATION
    15’

    LIBRETTIST
    Jerre Dye

    YEAR COMPOSED
    Originally composed in 2007 as Ars Poetica; revised in 2019 as The Goth Chapters

    COMMISSIONER
    Ars Poetica, was originally commissioned by Peter Austin and Dorie Schwertz for the (now defunct) Music in the Loft concert series.

    ORDERING SCORES
    Inkjar Publishing Company
    Click here to
    email Inkjar Publishing Company

    STORY
    Our hero, Penelope, works in a comic book store. She’s in her 20s/early 30s. She was a total outcast in high school and found her escape inside Goth culture. She was a wild child. She loves all things Victoriana (with a decidedly dark twist). The comic book store is her sanctuary, now. Though she’s a little more set in her ways now, she still has trouble divorcing herself from her more wild and carefree youthful days. 

    In
    Chapter 1: Heedless/Headless, Penelope has stepped outside the comic book store on an emergency coffee break. She has just met a dashing stranger while checking them out at her register. She paces excitedly while drinking a Kombucha and eating Red Vines. It’s late summer. It’s hot. She is invigorated by this chance encounter.

    One week passes.

    In
    Chapter 2: Bitten, Penelope has just walked into her house after another clandestine date with the stranger from the comic book store. She might be a little tipsy. She carries a bundle of black roses. As she sings, she removes her coat and puts on her robe and fuzzy house slippers.

    One week passes.

    Chapter 3: Our Insides takes place in the morning. Penelope’s lover is asleep beneath the blanket next to her. She realizes for the first time that she is in way too deep. She knows that it must end. At the end she gets dressed and leaves for work.
    One week passes.

    In
    Chapter 4: Keepsake, Penelope walks home from work. The scars of the break-up still linger. It’s getting dark. She wears an overcoat and a scarf. It’s cold, now.


    AUDIO
    Please note that the audio below is of the music in its original Ars Poetica version. While the text is incorrect, the audio will give you a good idea of the sound world for the chapters. Please note that the movements in The Goth Chapters have been re-ordered; the ordering below reflects this change.

    Buffy Baggott, mezzo-soprano, and the Lincoln Trio
    From The Billy Collins Suite, Cedille Records CDR 90000 115
    Available from
    Cedille Records

    Chapter 1: Heedless/Headless
    Chapter 3: Our Insides
    Chapter 2: Bitten

    Chapter 4: Keepsake
  • The Transformation of Jane Doe (2019) 86’-90’ • soprano, 2 mezzo-sopranos, tenor, baritone, and bass-baritone with chamber ensemble
    DURATION
    86’-90’

    LIBRETTIST
    Jerre Dye

    COMMISSIONER
    Chicago Opera Theater for the Vanguard Initiative

    SYNOPSIS
    It’s New Year’s Eve in Chicago, 1919. Just before the stroke of midnight, an anonymous woman leaps from the rooftop of a downtown hotel. The next morning, a young reporter named Abigail lands her first, major story, uncovering the identity of this mysterious jumper. The deeper Abigail descends into the complexity of Jane Doe’s story, the closer she comes to unearthing her own personal truth. THE TRANSFORMATION OF JANE DOE is an opera about truth, illusion, and one woman’s journey in a rapidly changing world.

    PLACE AND TIME
    Chicago, January 1, 1920, with flashbacks to April of 1908 (inside the Studebaker Theater) and December 31, 1919 (outside and on top of a hotel).

    CAST
    • JANE DOE (mezzo-soprano) - mid 40’s; free spirit

    • ABIGAIL DABROWSKI
    (soprano) - early 20’s; aspiring journalist, 2nd generation Polish Chicagoan

    • OSKAR DABROWSKI
    (baritone) - Abigail’s Father, mid 40’s; poor health, 1st generation Polish Chicagoan

    • MAGICIAN (MONSIEUR FRANCOIS/EUGENE CLEGHORN)
    (bass-baritone) – late 40’s; a magician, a seasoned showman
    and DEWEY BARON - Abigail’s boss, a newspaperman, loud, abrasive

    • HOTEL MANAGER (tenor) – mid 40’s; British, tightly wound
    and CHARLIE - a drunk reporter (non-singing role)
    and
    PASSERBY/AUDIENCE

    • NIGHT MAID (mezzo-soprano) - late 20’s; working Mom
    and PASSERBY/TICKET TAKER/AUDIENCE

    • CHORUS
    – choral parts can be covered by principals if there isn’t a designated chorus


    INSTRUMENTATION
    flute doubling on piccolo and alto flute
    b-flat clarinet doubling on bass clarinet
    violin
    viola
    cello
    double bass
    grand piano (preferred)