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The Transformation of Jane Doe


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.

DURATION
90’

LIBRETTIST
Jerre Dye

YEAR COMPOSED
2019

COMMISSIONER
Chicago Opera Theater for the Vanguard Initiative

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

• JANE DOE
(mezzo-soprano) - mid 40’s; free spirit
and SECRETARY #1

• NIGHT MAID
(mezzo-soprano) - late 20’s; working Mom
and SECRETARY #2/TICKET TAKER

• HOTEL MANAGER
(tenor) – mid 40’s; British, tightly wound
and NEWSROOM WORKER/USHER

• OSKAR DABROWSKI/YOUNG OSKAR
(baritone) - Abigail’s Father, mid 40’s; poor health, 1st generation Polish Chicagoan
and CHARLIE - a reporter

• 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

• CHILD ABIGAIL
(nonspeaking) - a supernumerary role; Abigail as a 9-year old
and NEWS GIRL (nonspeaking)

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

WORLD PREMIERE
A semi-staged concert performance
Chicago Opera Theater Young Artists
Joachim Schamberger, director; Josh Quinn, conductor
4/19/20 (SUN), 3 PM
Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Center
Northwestern University
70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL
Tickets are $20.
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