In Our Own Voices is chamber opera written by Westerly composer Eliane Aberdam as a gift to the Westerly Community on the occasion of Westerly 350th anniversary. The libretto (script) written by Sarah Carleton contains seven-scenes that explore the story of two transracial adoptees, Brooke and Olivia, as they search for their birth parents. Their stories reveal the complexities that transracial adoptees often face in dealing with racism, loss, and identity.
The opera (60 minutes) will be presented twice on November 2, 2019. The first production (avant-premiere) will take place at 2:00 PM in the Westerly Library Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
In Our Own Voices will feature Yuriko Nonaka, Devon Russo, Joyll Smith Lamphere, and Norma Caiazza (singers) and Manabu Takasawa (piano), Jane Murray (oboe), and Consuelo Sherba (viola), all professional musicians from Rhode Island, except Yuriko Nonaka (Massachusetts).
The concert in the library will be followed by a short Q & A led by the librettist –Carleton herself the sibling of five transracial adoptees. Through her own experiences she has found music and storytelling to be a source of healing and a powerful way to help us listen to one another’s stories with greater compassion. Refreshments will be served following the Westerly show.
The production of In Our Own Voices is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Music Department at the University of Rhode Island, the Westerly Credit Union, the Westerly Library, and the Cercle Bernard Lazare of Grenoble. Incidentally, November is Adoption Awareness Month.
Duration: 60 minutes
Content Warnings for this production: This performance includes depictions of racism and suicide.