The Copper Queen was selected as the winner of Arizona Opera’s inaugural commission initiative, Arizona SPARK.
The Copper Queen focuses around the cultural lore of a real woman in Arizona history, Julia Lowell, who lived at The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, Arizona during the first decade of the twentieth century. Julia’s ghost is alleged to haunt the hotel ever since her tragic suicide. The opera’s narrative is split between Julia’s own time and a century later. This structure allows a contemporary character in the opera, named Addison Moore, to experience revelations of Julia’s tortured life and afterlife along with the audience.
Service Provider is an original one-act chamber work commissioned by the Washington National Opera for the 2015 American Opera Initiative. The Washington Post hailed the piece as “the crowd pleaser” at its Kennedy Center premiere. Urban Arias premiered Service Provider at the Signature Theatre after it was selected by Fort Worth Opera’s 2017 Frontiers showcase. It has subsequently been seen at UrbanArias, Opera Memphis, Virginia Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Lake George Music Festival, Westminster Opera Theatre, and Texas Christian University.
Service Provider details the erosion of modern romance by our obsession with mobile technology. When a loving couple goes out for their anniversary dinner at an elegant restaurant, the evening descends into farcical disaster as the incessant cell phone usage ultimately unmasks the fractured reality of their marriage. The twenty minute opera is scored for soprano, mezzo, tenor and baritone, accompanied by twelve instruments. (clink here for more accolades of Service Provider)
The video below was recorded at the 2018 Lake George Summer Music Festival.
John de los Santos constructed the libretto for When Adonis Calls from the poems of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard. The opera was first selected as part of the 2015 Fort Worth Opera Frontiers Showcase and presented in concert by operamission in NYC. The piece was staged as part of Opera America’s 2017 New Works Forum. It had its world premiere on May 11, 2018 at the Asheville Lyric Opera, and was then given a new production in Chicago by Thompson Street Opera in December of the same year.
When Adonis Calls is the story of an accomplished author struggling with writer’s block who is contacted by an eager young fan interested in both an artistic and personal correspondence. What follows is a sensual game of literary discovery that leads the two into realms of unbridled eroticism, demons, and secret longings. Their writings culminate in a meeting in the flesh that transcends beyond what either of them imagined when they first put pen to paper.
When Adonis Calls blends a ninety minute score of romantic lyricism with dance and a fresh perspective of operatic storytelling. The piece utilizes an ensemble of two baritones, string quartet, percussionist, and two dancers.
Carmilla, composed by Robert Paterson
Currently in development
Inspired by Joseph Le Fanu’s 1872 novella, Carmilla is a tale of nightmarish seduction and resilient courage. A restless young woman named Laura Havencroft longs to escape the drudgery of her sheltered upbringing and a pending marriage to a man she can’t stand. When a beautiful stranger calling herself only “Carmilla” arrives, she introduces Laura to new philosophies, languages, and sensations. As the two women grow closer, a series of disturbing events occur in the village, and suspicions arise that a vampire may be the culprit. As Laura falls in love with Carmilla, she must confront the terrible reality of her dangerous paramour and embrace her own true nature.
The Shower, composed by Scott Bradley Joiner
World Premiere: The Vienna Summer Music Festival, 2019
Baby showers are meant to be fun and exciting affairs where the guests shower the mother-to-be with gifts and well wishes. In this new one act opera, the shower is for a hopeful woman, named Heidi, who is eagerly expecting her first child. But as the games are played and the cocktails refilled, the party takes a chaotic turn as friendships are tested and secrets are revealed.