This was, without a doubt, my most fulfilling operatic experience to date.
Morning Star was composed by Ricky Ian Gordon, to the libretto of William Hoffman. I’ve known Ricky for 6 years, so when he asked me to create the role of Esther, I didn’t hesitate in responding yes. The show centers around an immigrant family in New York, and the horrific Triangle Factory Fire, which sparked the labor movement.
While the opera was incredible by itself, it was truly the hearts of my colleagues that made it such a special experience. Everyone arrived with an extraordinary willingness to share and be open to telling a true story. Even the first rehearsal brought tears to our eyes- the music is stunningly beautiful and often sad. The cast found such joy in working with each other, and that joy expanded to include the stage crew as well as our creative team. Every singer will tell you that Tech rehearsals are the worst, but this time was different- we were all happy to just get to hang out and help each other work towards greatness.
And greatness was achieved. When you have Ricky Ian Gordon composing, it’s difficult to avoid greatness, but the Chicago Tribune also testified that Morning Star will be remembered (and hopefully performed again soon!). Here’s a link to the article: