Men I'm Not Married To
PREMIERE: Feb. 18, 7:00p ET
The video premiere will go live here
A Talkback session will follow the premiere of this opera.
Go behind the scenes, ask questions, give feedback, and learn about the process of bringing the new operas to life in unique and challenging circumstances with the Creative Team and Artists.
ABOUT the OPERA
FRANCES, an understated working girl a la any Clara Bow character early on in the movie.
MILDRED, in the spirit of Sophie Tucker before she got very rich or famous.
EVELYN, less of an ingenue than she appears to be, a la Olive Thomas.
FREDDIE/CHARLIE/MORTIMER, their unchosen dates, all played by one performer.
All characters are in their twenties.
TIME: Summer 1924.
PLACE: The powder room of a young couple’s wedding reception.
Frances, Mildred, and Evelyn, bridesmaids all at their friend Willhemina's wedding, commiserate over the atrocious bridesmaid dresses and the men they are not married to. Adapted from the text by Dorothy Parker written nearly 100 years ago illustrates how some things never change.
COMPOSER & LIBRETTIST
Lisa DeSpain is a Utah-native, New York City based composer of musical theatre, opera, and concert works known for her American sound.
She is the recipient of a 2018 Discovery Grant from OPERA America in support of her first opera, THAT HELL-BOUND TRAIN. She is the winner of the Opera Kansas 2020 Zepick Modern Opera Commission and the Utah Opera “Spike 150” Opera Commission (NO LADIES IN THE LADY’S BOOK,) with her librettist Rachel J. Peters. Lisa was also a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and writer-in-residence at the Eugene O’Neil Musical Theatre Center for her original musical STORYVILLE created with Oscar Award-winning lyricist, Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Commissioned by a wide range of ensembles, Lisa has composed works for The United States Air Force Band of Flight, the Cassatt String Quartet, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Copland House/Hendrick Hudson High School, New York Choral Society, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, pianist Scott Holden, and the women's choir Bella Voce.
Lisa collaborated with Memphis-born choreographer Donlin Foreman (Buglisi-Foreman Dance,) creating a triptych of blues influenced dance score; Mean Ole' World, Rise & Fall , and Song with premieres at the New Victory Theatre (NYC), Joyce Theatre (NYC) and Jacobs Pillow.
A force in the musical theatre education world, Lisa is the go-to arranger for Broadway educational choral works including HAMILTON, ONCE, AMERICAN IDIOT, NEXT TO NORMAL and more.
Lisa was the first jazz composer awarded a Copland House Residency. Living and composing in Copland's home profoundly impacted her artistic mission. Inspired by Copland's legacy, Ms. DeSpain strives to explore and expand the boundaries of the American musical language, to create artistic works uniquely identifiable as American.
She is a Professor of Music & Theatre at LaGuardia Community College - CUNY (City University of New York) www.lisadespain.com
Rachel J. Peters
Rachel J. Peters (Librettist) writes all manner of works for the stage, primarily operas that sound like musicals and musicals that sound like operas. Her operas include Rootabaga Country (Sarasota Opera), Companionship (Fort Worth Opera), The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Royce Vavrek (Oberlin Conservatory), No Ladies in the Lady’s Book (Utah Opera; published by E.C. Schirmer) and Staggerwing (Opera Kansas Zepick Modern Opera Competition winner) with Lisa DeSpain, Steve (Boston Opera Collaborative), Everything Comes to a Head with Margi Preus and Jean Sramek (Lyric Opera of the North/Decameron Opera Coalition), and Pie, Pith, and Palette with Marvin J. Carlton (The Atlanta Opera). On the horizon is the world premiere of Lesson Plan starring Stephanie Blythe and Laquita Mitchell (On Site Opera),
Musicals include Only Children with Michael R. Jackson (NYU Tisch), Tiny Feats of Cowardice with Susan Bernfield (NYC Fringe Festival), Write Left with John Walch (Playwrights Horizons Theatre School), Tomato Red (UC Irvine), and Octopus Heart (NYU Steinhardt). Scores for plays include the critically acclaimed Stretch (a fantasia) (New Georges) and Tania in the Getaway Van (Flea Theater) by Susan Bernfield, Transatlantic by John Walch (Arkansas Rep), and The Bacchae (Asolo Rep Conservatory).
Her concert mini-monodrama, Ethel Smyth Plays Golf in Limbo, was performed at Semperoper Dresden and continues to enjoy performances all over the US. Other concert works include If You Can Prove That I Should Set You Free (Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire), Jack's Vocabulary (Hartt SPASM), I Live Here (Galapagos Art Space), Canon I (Two Sides Sounding), And Then (BayPath College), and Fronds: The Wisdom of Fanny Fern (Walt Whitman Project); more are forthcoming.
Rachel’s extensive catalogue of art songs and cabaret songs has been performed at Lincoln Center, Second Stage, National Opera Center, Symphony Space, Ars Nova, Joe's Pub, and cabarets and theatres nationwide. She is a contributor to the new generation of The AIDS Quilt Songbook. Additionally, her music can be heard on Michael R. Jackson’s Dirty Laundry and Zachary James’s CALL OUT albums.
Rachel has held residencies as composer and/or librettist at Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Yaddo, Brush Creek Arts, and Soaring Gardens Artists Retreat. She has received Anna Sosenko Assist Trust and multiple ASCAPlus awards; OPERA America awarded Female Composers Grants to Sarasota Opera for Rootabaga Country and to composer collaborator Leanna Kirchoff for their opera Friday After Friday. Rachel is a proud alumna of New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio, American Opera Projects' Composers and the Voice, and a frequent fellow at the John Duffy Institute for New Opera. She holds a double B.A. summa cum laude from Brandeis University and an MFA from New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Rachel originally hails from St. Louis and currently lives in Brooklyn, a borough with an exceptionally high concentration of opera composers. www.racheljpeters.com