Photo Credit: Steven Laxton
SEVEN SISTERS, a chamber opera
Music: Justine F. Chen
Libretto: Stephanie Fleischmann
Director: Aya Ogawa
Dramaturg: Cori Ellison
GRANTS: 2021 OPERA America's New Works Exploration
2020 OPERA America's Opera Grants for Female Composers
An unflinching, epic, funny exploration of the dysfunctions of family and the fallout of growing up Taiwanese-American. Juxtaposing the intensely personal with the sweeping presence of the universal, this boldly theatrical new chamber opera veers from the sublime awkwardness of caustic satire to wildly lyrical moments of emotional expansion, weaving together sounds ranging from the glamour of old Hollywood to Taiwanese folk music; Chinese Opera; kinetic, pulse-racing rhythms; and a haunting emotional resonance rooted in the timeless struggle for agency and voice. Framed by the ritual of a Taiwanese funeral, and threaded through with the myth of the Pleiades reimagined, Seven Sisters looks at the hard truths of a culture that demeans and disempowers women and asks: How does the next generation move beyond this legacy, bridging a cultural chasm that privileges silence?
- Libretto Reading Workshop Preview available upon request
- PV workshop available upon request
Sister 1: Lyric Soprano Sister 2: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano
Sister 4: Soprano Sister 5: Mezzo-Soprano
Sister 6: Soubrette Sister 7: Coloratura Soprano
Maggie/Young Matriarch: Spinto
ORCHESTRATION: 3 vln/ 3 va/ 3 vc/ 1 db/ 1 perc
The development of SEVEN SISTERS received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers Program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
JUSTINE F. CHEN
COMPOSER AND VIOLINIST
SO EXCITED to announce the long-awaited WORLD PREMIERE production of my opera with librettist David Simpatico, THE LIFE AND DEATH(S) OF ALAN TURING!! March 23, 25, 26 2023!
Get your tickets here!
TREMENDOUS GRATITUDE to the amazing, wondrous performers in our workshop of SEVEN SISTERS at Manhattan School of Music 4/8/22!
BRAVI to the terrific students of UMD's prestigious School of Music and Maryland Opera Studio, in their phenomenal performances of my residency concert 2/12/22!!
THANK YOU to THE Divine CROSSING and Donald Nally performing the world premiere of my SHALLOW BREATH AND STEALTH on WRTI.ORG 12/19/21!
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