TODAY IT RAINS
Music by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed
Based on an original concept by Mark Campbell
today it rains
premiere PRODUCTION AVAILABLE FOR co-production / touring
Today It Rains is a new chamber opera inspired by a real event in the life of American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. On the rainy morning of April 29, 1929, O’Keeffe boarded a train in New York with fellow artist Rebecca Strand, leaving behind her tumultuous marriage with Alfred Stieglitz and yearning for escape and creative fulfillment. Three days later, she arrived for the first time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, inspired by the power of the area’s landscape and ready for new artistic experience.
Duration 75' / no intermission
Commission Co-commissioned by Opera Parallèle and American Opera Projects. The score has been commissioned by Opera Parallèle in part through the OPERA America Opera Grants for Female Composers program, made possible through the generosity of The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. The libretto has been commissioned by AOP with support from the New York State Council of the Arts.
Premiere March 28, 2019; Z Space, San Francisco, CA; Opera Parallèle and American Opera Projects; Nicole Paiement, conductor; Brian Staufenbiel, director.
Roles (8) Georgia O’Keeffe · mezzo-soprano ; Alfred Stieglitz · baritone ; Aubrey · tenor ; Beck · soprano ; 4 Ensemble · sop/mez/ten/bass
Instrumentation (11) string quintet ; flute (doubling alto) ; clarinet in b flat (doubling bass clarinet) ; bassoon ; horn in f ; 2 percussionists (marimba, vibes, drums, gongs, other smaller items)
Development artists / partners Blythe Gaissert, Daniel Belcher, Marnie Breckenridge, Peabody Southwell, Sarah Moulton Faux, Robert Hoyt, Cree Carrico, Heather Johnson
Publisher Bill Holab Music / Staged performances of this work require licensing through the publisher.
Partner website: https://operaparallele.org/today-it-rains/
“Today It Rain [is a] compelling and often beguiling new chamber opera [that] boasts a richly evocative score by composer Laura Kaminsky and a libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed that at its best offers a deft mixture of humor and pathos… “Today” treads with suave assurance through the fields of both sexual and artistic politics… Kaminsky’s music keeps finding new sonic possibilities with economical resources. A series of jangly percussion interludes, a vocal quartet serving as a gentle, sweetly blended Greek chorus, a lush string chorale at just the right moment — all of these and more serve to underline key dramatic points with delicacy and skill… Kaminsky shows a blessed willingness to write dramatic music with a strong rhythmic backbone… [A] powerful operatic journey with Georgia O’Keeffe.”
– San Francisco Chronicle
“[A] strong evening of both music and emotional theater… Composer Laura Kaminsky uses the rhythms of the rolling train and her own penchant for jazz gestures and harmonies to spice up the score. An 11-piece orchestra paints its own picture of conflicting emotions, and ably reflects excitement for adventure, and regret over separation from a spouse. The hubbub and noise of New York is spiky with dissonance; the silence and open spaces of New Mexico are lush with a sort of casual beauty… In Today It Rains (a phrase from a letter to Stieglitz) Kaminsky isn’t afraid to write real melodies, whether it’s one of several soliloquies for Georgia or scenes with Beck that deftly deal with sexual politics and balancing an artist’s life with marriage… Similar to As One, Kaminsky’s newest opus should have a long and vivid life with small opera companies across the land.”
– Seen and Heard International
“[A]n imaginative production that emphasized a strong score and thought-provoking story… "Today it rains" comes from a heartfelt goodbye O'Keeffe wrote to Stieglitz. The subtlety of its meaning makes a fitting title for an opera that touches briefly, but with insight, on many relevant aspects of a great artist's life.”
– The Bay Area Reporter