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Music by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed
Film by Kimberly Reed

About the Work Creators Video/Audio Gallery Press Performances


The story of Today It Rains is an original idea, but is based on a real event. The opera starts on April 29, 1929 when Georgia O’Keeffe boards a train in New York bound for Santa Fe, propelling herself away from her tempestuous marriage with Alfred Stieglitz.

O’Keeffe’s experiences on the train, her friendship with fellow traveller Rebecca Strand, and her reexamination of the past help prepare her for a more fulfilled life as an artist when she arrives at her destination four days later. Scenes in the opera include: the departure from New York where O’Keeffe is suddenly beset with self-doubt about her decision to leave Stieglitz; Toledo, where the windows of the dining car suddenly become paintings hung in the 291 Gallery in which O’Keeffe and Stieglitz first met; Topeka, where O’Keeffe shares a flask with a young jazz musician whose rehearsal on a saxophone helps her understand the importance of trusting spontaneity and intuition. Like any train journey that covers many miles, the past and the present are blurred, memory becomes reality and the boundaries between sleeping and waking get erased.

Today It Rains is performed in one act of about 80 minutes in duration. The cast numbers between 8–10 singers and the orchestra, between 14–16 players. As befits Opera Parallèlle’s artistic vision and that of the creative team who followed the same approach with As One, a significant part of the production will include a projection design that reflects not only O’Keeffe’s memories but the evolution of her creative inner life.

Today It Rains represents the third opera from the creators of AOP’s very successful As One and marks the first commission of a full-length opera by the highly regarded San Francisco company, Opera Parallèle, who will also premiere the work in 2019. Opera Parallèle will develop Today it Rains with American Opera Projects, who also commissioned and premiered As One.

Commissioned by Opera Parallèle. Developed in association with American Opera Projects. The libretto has been commissioned with support from the New York State Council of the Arts.
Image: Rebecca Allan, Winter Rain, Santa Fe 2016, watercolor on paper, 7 x 12 inches

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Laura Kaminsky is a composer with “an ear for the new and interesting” (New York Times), whose music is “full of fire as well as ice, written in an idiom that contrasts dissonance and violence with tonal beauty and meditative reflection.” (American Record Guide) Recent/Upcoming Commissions: As One (chamber opera for Sasha Cooke and Kelly Markgraf); Oboe Concerto for Orchestra of St. Luke’s; and Piano Quintet for Ursula Oppens and the Cassatt Quartet, and a new chamber work for Cygnus Ensemble for the Morgan Library and Museum. The Crossroads Project, a multi-media collaboration on climate change recently featured on NPR, has been touring the US since 2012. Grants and awards: the NEA, Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Opera America, NYSCA, Aaron Copland Fund, Chamber Music America, American Music Center, USArtists International, CEC ArtsLink International Partnerships, Likhachev Foundation, Kenan Institute for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, North Carolina Arts Council, others. She is Composer-in-Residence at American Opera Projects and professor in the School of the Arts Purchase College/SUNY.

Mark Campbell's most known work is the libretto for Silent Night (2012 Pulitzer Prize; composer Kevin Puts). It premiered at Minnesota Opera, was broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances and is being produced by an unprecedented number of companies over the next two years. Mark’s other operas: The Manchurian Candidate, As One, The Other Room, Later the Same Evening, Volpone, Bastianello/Lucrezia, Rappahannock County and A Letter to East 11th Street. Awards include: Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, two Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYFA Playwriting Fellowship, three Drama Desk Award nominations, Rockefeller Foundation Award, Domenic J. Pellicciotti Prize and Jonathan Larson Foundation Award. Upcoming premieres: Burke+Hare (Julian Grant, Music-Theatre Group), The Shining (Paul Moravec, Minnesota Opera), The Trial of Elizabeth Cree (Kevin Puts, Opera Philadelphia), Dinner at Eight (William Bolcom, Minnesota Opera).

reedkimberlyKIMBERLY REED
(co-librettist, filmmaker)
Kimberly Reed, filmmaker and writer based in New York City/Newark, has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, NPR, Details magazine, and The Moth Radio Hour. One of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” and a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) fellow, she has had fellowships at Yaddo and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Reed's first opera, As One, recently opened to critical acclaim at BAM. Reed directed and produced Prodigal Sons, a “whiplash doc that heralds an exciting talent” (SF Weekly); premiering at Telluride Film Festival, it has been shown at 100+ film festivals and on television worldwide, landing on multiple Best-of-the-Year lists and garnering 14 Audience and Jury awards, including the International Film Critics’ FIPRESCI Prize. Reed was producer/editor/writer for Paul Goodman Changed My Life and is currently working on Dark Money, a documentary about Citizens United and campaign finance reform.

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Opera Profile: "Opera Parallèle Commissions Work About O'Keeffe"

December 18, 2015 - BROADWAY WORLD
Opera Profile: "Opera Paralléle Co-Commissions World Premiere of Georgia O'Keefe Opera TODAY IT RAINS"

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World Premiere Production - 2017
Produced by Opera Parallèle

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American Opera Projects, Inc. • 138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.398.4024 •