1st Act of LUDLOW at University of Colorado’s New Opera Works

The University of Colorado’s New Opera Works Program, run by Leigh Holman, presented Act I of my newest opera Ludlow in three workshop performances from June 1- 3, 2012, with director Beth Greenberg and music director Robert Spillman. 

Ludlow is based on the verse novel by David Mason. The action takes place in the early American West, during the 1914 coal-mining wars of southern Colorado. In protest of brutal working conditions, scores of miners went on strike and erected a tent colony in Ludlow. The colony was burned by The Colorado National Guard and more than a dozen innocent people, mostly women and children perished in the Ludlow Massacre. 

In the opera Ludlow, a contemporary Poet tells the tale of the Greek immigrant Louis Tikas. Like others, Tikas arrives in southern Colorado and finds work in the dangerous coal mines. He falls in love with Luisa Mole, an orphan of Mexican-Welsh descent. As Tikas discovers the harsh realities of mining work in America, he becomes a reluctant union organizer.

Events unfold, as we see that the opera’s storyteller — the Poet — is also searching for his identity in the vast American landscape. The opera weaves in-and-out of the historical events at Ludlow while revealing the Poet’s similar quest for identity and roots.

Librettist David Mason has said, “we are all hyphenated-Americans.” Whether poet young girl or coal miner, how does one become anchored to the land? How does one find fulfillment?

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to attend as planned, but I was able to Skype into several rehearsals. I had no worries, as the show was in great hands with the talented students, Beth Greenberg and Robert Spillman. Librettist David Mason was also in attendance. This workshop was a wonderful opportunity for me — it was so exciting to see the characters come to life off the page — and I was absolutely thrilled with the results. I wish to thank everyone who was involved, but I am especially grateful to Leigh Holman, for allowing me this wonderful opportunity.

Here are a few excerpts from the production, and here is a link to an article from The Daily Camera

I also wish to thank the University of Colorado music faculty for presenting a  beautiful recital of my songs on May 25, 2012.