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What Magic Reveals


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.

DURATION
19’

LIBRETTIST
Jerre Dye

YEAR COMPOSED
2019

COMMISSIONER
Chicago Opera Theater for the Vanguard Initiative

THIS IS RELATED TO…
The Transformation of Jane Doe. Both pieces share about 10’ of overlapping material, but this is a stand-alone opera.

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
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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 What Magic Reveals (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.

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