Opera & Chamber Music
Ella Que Llora (15")
Music by D. J. Sparr
This monodrama for soprano and chamber wind ensemble was loosely inspired by the myth of La Llorona, or the Weeping Woman. According to folklore from Central and South America, La Llorona is the ghost of a woman who drowned her children and now wanders along the banks of a river, looking for them and weeping. While the figure is often framed as an antagonist in popular culture, Ella Que Llora leaves it to the audience to decide whether the woman’s actions were accidental or not.
Premiered: October 2019, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Music by Reinaldo Moya
Set against the framework of the Mexican repatriation efforts of
the 1930s, this chamber opera tells the story of Luis Garzón, a
Mexican musician who immigrated to Minneapolis in 1886 and
opened a small Mexican grocery store, or tienda, in St. Paul in
the 1920s. Shifting between Luis’s shop in the 1930s and his
early years in America, Tienda explores the immigrant
experience: what must be left behind—and what cannot be
forgotten—on the journey to a new home.
Premiered: May 2019, Schubert Club of Minnesota
Music by D. J. Sparr
This monodrama for soprano, chamber ensemble, and electronics traces the emotional journey of a woman as she struggles to conceive a child. Interweaving traditional fertility myths with key moments in the woman's experience, Nullipara explores the varied and often devastating impacts of infertility, which currently affects more than 6 million women in the United States.
Premiered: July 2018, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble
Bessie and Ma (60")
Music by Douglas Buchanan
Commissioned by the Sackler Music Composition Prize
Inspired by historical events, Bessie and Ma tells the story of two trailblazing figures from the early 20th century: Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman, the first female African-American aviator, and Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, the first female governor of Texas. Framed by the moments leading up to Bessie's death in 1926, the opera interweaves significant moments from each woman's life.
Premiered: March 2019, University of Connecticut
Better Gods (60")
Music by Luna Pearl Woolf.
Commissioned by Washington National Opera, Francesca Zambello, Artistic Director
Told through the eyes of an American journalist, Better Gods is the story of Queen Lili'uokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii, who fought to preserve her people's culture when the island was annexed to the United States. Scored for 6 singers and chamber ensemble.
Premiered: January 2016, Washington National Opera
"The story of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy got an intriguing retelling...[with]...a tight, precise libretto by Caitlin Vincent..."
- Steven Mark, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
"The story, as told with brutal honesty through Caitlin Vincent's stirring libretto, is a bold choice to be told at the Kennedy Center..."
- Keith Tittermary, Broadway World