PROTECTRESS: Act 1, Scene 1

The American Opera Project’s Composers & the Voice program will premiere Act 1, Scene 1 of Protectress, an opera in progress by Jessica Rudman and me, on 26 September 2021.

SETTING: the present


In this scene, the gorgon MEDUSA awakes from a horrible nightmare with a scream, causing her sisters EURYALE and STHENO to rush in. They try to comfort MEDUSA as she recounts the dream, in which she relived the trauma of her rape by Poseidon. Having achieved a partial catharsis, MEDUSA allows her sisters to change the subject to her recent interview in Teen Vogue. MEDUSA has been living openly as her immortal self and wanted to share her story with the world. Her sisters—both still posing as humans— tease her about the interview. Eventually, they wonder if ATHENA has read the story and gotten angry. The sisters contemplate that possibility while MEDUSA remembers another dream she had earlier in the week. This leads to a second outburst, where MEDUSA focuses on her patron goddess ATHENA’s betrayal: after MEDUSA was raped, ATHENA cursed her rather than supporting her. EURYALE reminds MEDUSA that she has moved on and has a full life. MEDUSA confesses that she is afraid she can’t take the nightmares for much longer, causing the sisters to vow that they won’t let ATHENA break her. EURYALE and STHENO promise to keep ATHENA from tormenting MEDUSA, realizing that they have many allies on whom they can call for help.

From AOP:
The scenes will be performed by C&V’s resident opera singers Jasmine Muhammad (lyric soprano, Metropolitan Opera), Timothy Stoddard (tenor, Bare Opera), Justine Aronson (coloratura soprano, Bang on a Can Summer Festival), and Mario Diaz-Moresco (baritone, Glimmerglass Opera), as well as guest artists Nina Riley (soprano, Bronx Opera), Victoria Davis (soprano, Washington National Opera), Sophie Delphis (mezzo-soprano, National Sawdust), Blythe Gaissert (mezzo-soprano, Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera), and Cáitlín Burke (mezzo-soprano, Wolf Trap Opera).

SEPTEMBER 26, 2021 | 3pm EDT
Tent next to the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, NY

General admission tickets are available via Eventbrite for $25

Health and Safety Protocols
All audience members will be required to show proof of full vaccination (your final dose was administered at least 14 days before the performance date). Masks are optional. At check-in, audience members will be required to show proof of full vaccination using either the NEW YORK STATE EXCELSIOR PASS or a hard copy/photo of your vaccination card alongside a form of ID. Performers will be distanced but unmasked.

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