Seven short, new operas at Peabody focus on 'Women's Studies'
One of the cool programs at Peabody (at least it looks cool to an outsider like me) is Opera Etudes, which gets grad student composers creating new works for performers at the conservatory. At 7:30 p.m. tonight, May 4, you can catch seven premieres -- one-act operas, about 15 minutes each, linked together by the theme "Women's Studies." (The perspective of those studies tilts a bit on the male side; only one of the composers and three of the librettists are women.)
The operas will be performed performed in English. Some will have piano accompaniment, others will be backed by instrumental ensembles. Roger Brunyate, director of Opera Etudes, has done the staging for three of the new pieces. Oh, yeah -- the performance is a steal. Free admission
Plot descriptions from the seven operas suggest a very provocative evening in store:
Joshua Bornfield's "On Your Own Time" (he wrote the libretto as well as the score) addresses sexual harassment in the workplace. Jon Carter provided music and text for "Missed Connections," which is inspired by personal ads on Craigslist and involves "a married woman who has started to question her sexuality."
Zhangyi Chen's "April Showers," with text by Elizabeth Dow, focuses on
Jake Runestad's "The Toll," with text by Elizabeth Reeves, takes off on the Cinderella fairytale, the challenge of " 'happily ever after,' and what compromises must be made in order to attain it." And "Cheated," with words and music by Jeff Zeiders, revolves around a woman who discovers her husband is unfaithful.
PHOTO OF EMILY KOH BY WASIN PRASERTLAP PHOTOGRAPHY FROM EMILY KOH.NET