Compōs-It Opera

If you were around the Cohon Center Studio Theater on Friday night or the Alumni Concert Hall on Saturday evening, you may have heard the graceful lilts of a harp and sharp powerhouse vocals drifting down the hall — that was Compōs-it’s New Works Opera Festival. Featuring seven operas written, composed, and performed by students, Compōs-it’s second festival was even more successful and vivid than the first.

According to their website, Compōs-it is “a proto-opera company focused on rapid-prototyping new works of musical drama and facilitating student collaborations.” Founded originally by Artistic Director Russell Henry Holbert and Executive Director Josh Brown in 2017, the second Compōs-it festival began with a lineup over triple in size — from two operas to seven. It was a weekend full of excitement, heartfelt emotion, and student ingenuity, featuring stories of a girl falling in love with a star to a petrified Russian government worker faced with a drastic decision.

“This entire festival has been an amazing opportunity to get to know people and their working styles, and see people who might not have generally considered themselves writers or composers by study or degree to just kind of ‘do a thing.’ And that’s really the ethic of this festival, the ‘Do the thing!’” said founder Josh Brown.

Deed of Trust – by Russell Henry Holbert
Music Director: Andrew Hook
Stage Director: Sydney Roslin
Starring: Ben Cherington, Colleen Michelle McGovern, Megan Mateosky, Sophie Carpenter
Regenesis – by Ziyu Wang & Daniel Burns
Music Director: Evan Neely
Stage Director: Rachel Pospíšil
Starring: Kristina Marie & Jacqueline Tardanico
An Empirical Setting of Memory – by Clayton Brown & Brennan Brown
Music Director: Jordan Speranzo
Stage Director: Maxine Ewing
Starring: Alyssa Vieau & Jun Yang

On Our Street – by Zach Ritter & Sydney Roslin
Music Director: Alexander Chen
Stage Director: Nora Gair
Starring: Alex Aks, Erica D'Ancona, Ian Young, & Kaya Giroux
PETROV – by Ivan Plazacic & Alex Taylor
Music Director: Caleb Glickman
Stage Director: Padra Crisafulli
Starring: Joseph Sandler

Starsong – by Elliot Yokum & Sarah Florence Barker
Music Director: Emma McAlister
Stage Director: Kai Huizenga
Starring: Anna Sophia Boyd, Emily Gallagher, & Taylor Troyer

Virgula Divina – by Karen Brown & Jessica Lanay Smith
Music Director: Edward Leonard
Stage Director: Padra Crisafulli
Starring: Daniel Brennan, Hannah Wolfe, & Jacqueline Tardanico