The Three Feathers Premiere, October 17, 2014

The Three Feathers, my first children’s opera, was commissioned by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. The premiere is scheduled for October 17, 2014 at 7:30 pm with additional performances on October 18 and 19, 2014, at the Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg, VA. Please click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

The story is based on a Grimm’s fairy tale, and is brilliantly retold by librettist Dana Gioia. The opera takes place in two worlds, each a reflection of the other. Dana writes: “The upper world is a kingdom of daylight, reason and reality. The underworld is a kingdom of shadows, dreams and magic. Each world has its king. Each king is surrounded by a court that challenges his rule — rather ruthlessly in the upper world, quite comically in the underworld. Each world has a lead character — Princess Dora in the upper world (since she will bring in the new rule as her father prepares for his own departure), and the Frog King in the underworld. The opera explores how these two kingdoms, which is to say reality and dream, meet and influence one another.”

I started composing the opera in April 2013 and completed the orchestrations in June 2014. Scored for a chamber orchestra of 16 players, the music follows the dramatic arc of the libretto and is thus tuneful, dramatic and appropriately spooky.

Director Beth Greenberg will bring these mysterious and fanciful worlds to life, and Scott Williamson, of Opera Roanoke, will conduct. The production is a collaboration with Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts, Opera Roanoke and the Blacksburg Children’s Chorale.