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LUCY: A MEMORY OPERA

Music by John Glover
Libretto by Kelley Rourke

About the Work Creators Video/Audio Gallery Press Performances

ABOUT THE WORK

"...in Kelley Rourke's and John Glover's haunting new chamber opera... 'Lucy' becomes a potent exploration of the divide between human and animal." - Milwaukee Mag

"An incredible triumph ... Nothing in the world of opera, however, could possibly prepare anyone for the absolutely mesmerizing Milwaukee Opera Theater production of 'Lucy' that opened Friday night." - On Milwaukee

Inspired by true events, Lucy tells the story of psychologist Maurice Temerlin who, along with his wife Jane, adopted a day-old chimpanzee in the sixties. Naming her Lucy, their intention was to raise her "as much as possible as though she were a human being". Lucy learned to dress herself, eat with silverware, make tea for guests, look at magazines, communicate through sign language and enjoy cocktails. As Temerlin struggles to hold on to memories of a happy, albeit unconventional, family life, documentation from the experiment challenges him to come to terms with the project's ultimate consequences.

Lucy: A Memory Opera is a multi-media work of music-theater for baritone and chamber ensemble in one 70-minute act. Incorporating music and original projection design, the monodrama is told from the point of view of Dr. Temerlin, Lucy's human father. Inspired by dramatic song cycles including Janacek's Diary of One Who Disappeared and Schubert's Winterreise, the work is suitable for performance in recital spaces, small to medium sized opera houses, and contemporary art performance spaces. The work is scored for baritone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, toy piano, and piano (2 pianists required).

Learn more about the opera at www.lucytheopera.com

Commissioned and premiered by Milwaukee Opera Theater. Originally developed under the title Our Basic Nature, Lucy: A Memory Opera was developed in part with generous grants from Meet The Composer's MetLife Creative Connections program.

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ABOUT THE CREATORS

gloverJOHN GLOVER
(composer)
A composer by trade, John Glover has composed music for theater, opera, and the concert hall. Commissions from organizations and musicians including the American Conservatory Theater (War Music), Baltimore Opera (Huck Finn: A Children’s Opera), and violist Liuh-wen Ting (Life-Cycles) have distinguished him as an emerging voice in contemporary music. John has received numerous awards, fellowships and grants for his music from organizations including the Thornton School of Music at USC, and the American Music Center. He received his undergraduate training in composition with a focus in saxophone performance from Indiana University and his master's degree in composition from the University of Southern California. John also writes notes, articles, and online courses for organizations such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Glimmerglass Opera, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Carnegie Hall, and Opera America. He currently lives in New York City where he co-curates the music/art series NewYorksoundCircut at the Brecht Forum and is operations manager for the American Composers Orchestra. www.johnmakesnoise.com

kelley rourkeKELLEY ROURKE
(librettist/dramaturg)
Kelley Rourke's adaptation of The Elixir of Love for Sir Jonathan Miller's recent production at English National Opera was praised for its “crackingly witty translation” (The Independent), "brilliantly updated" (Opera Brittania) which “communicates vividly without mashing the music” (Financial Times). Other adaptations include Orpheus in the Underworld for Glimmerglass Opera (2007); and The Magic Flute (2005) and The Abduction from the Seraglio (2004), both for the In Series (Washington, DC). Rourke is dramaturg at Glimmerglass Opera, where she has been on staff since 1994. She has created supertitles for more than 50 operas, which have appeared at such companies as the Metropolitan Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and New York City Opera, among others. Kelley has held various positions at OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, since 1998, and is founding editor of the organization's magazine. She is program annotator for the Vocal Arts Society, and she serves on the board of the Cherry Valley Community Facilities Corporation.

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VIDEO/AUDIO

 

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PHOTO GALLERY

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PRESS

April 8, 2017 - WASHINGTON CLASSICAL REVIEW
Opera review: "UrbanArias’ “Lucy” presents an intriguing, disturbing new opera"

April 3, 2017 - DC THEATRE SCENE
Opera review: "Lucy, the latest short opera from UrbanArias"

April 2, 2017 - WASHINGTON POST
Opera review: "Lucy the chimpanzee’s life makes for compelling art at Atlas"

November 10, 2014 - JOURNAL-SENTINEL (MILWAUKEE)
Opera review: "Milwaukee Opera Theatre delivers an evocative world premiere in 'Lucy.'"

November 10, 2014 - JOURNAL-SENTINEL (MILWAUKEE)
Opera profile: "Milwaukee Opera Theatre delivers an evocative world premiere in 'Lucy.'"

November 8, 2014 - ON MILWAUKEE
Opera review: ""Lucy" is an incredible triumph for Milwaukee Opera Theatre"

November 8, 2014 - MILWAUKEE MAG
Opera review: "Monkey Business : Milwaukee Opera Theatre's lush and poignant "Lucy.""

November 6, 2014 - WUWM MILWAUKEE PUBLIC RADIO
Opera profile: "Remember Radiolab's Episode On Lucy The Chimp? Well, Now It's An Opera"

November 15, 2010 - MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO "RADIOLAB"
Opera profile: "In 'Our Basic Nature,' a radio story fit for an opera"

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AOP PERFORMANCES

December 10, 2010
Concert reading of scenes
The Greene Space at WNYC
44 Charlton Street, New York, NY 10014
MUSIC DIRECTION: Jocelyn Dueck
PERFORMANCES BY: Andrew Wilkowske, Redshift

OTHER PERFORMANCES

April 1, 2, 7 and 8, 2017
Presented by UrbanArias
Atlas Performing Arts Center, Arlington, VA
www.urbanarias.org/performances/2016-17-season

November 7-9, 2014 - WORLD PREMIERE
Presented by Milwaukee Opera Theater
Tenth Street Theatre, 628 N 10th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233
Featuring:
Andrew Wilkowske - Baritone
Christopher Zemliauskas - Music Director
Erik Pearson - Projection Designer / Stage Director
And REDSHIFT ensemble

November 15 & 16, 2010
Nautilus Music Theater presents Workshop of scenes
Nautilus Music-Theater Studio, St. Paul, MN (11/15)
Sateren Hall, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN (11/16)
MUSIC DIRECTION: Jocelyn Dueck
PERFORMANCES BY: Andrew Wilkowske, Redshift.

August 6-10, 2010
Workshop of scenes
Cherry Valley, NY
MUSIC DIRECTION: Jocelyn Dueck
PERFORMANCES BY: Andrew Wilkowske, Redshift.

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