In Our Own Voices is chamber opera written by Westerly composer Eliane Aberdam as a gift to the Westerly Community on the occasion of the town 350th anniversary. The libretto (script) written by Sarah Carleton contains seven-scenes and tells the story of two women separated from their birth families and adopted by families of a different race. They struggle to overcome feelings of rejection and worthlessness as they undertake journeys to meet their respective birth families. The topic of transracial adoption is complex, and the story illustrates how race and racism impact adoptees.
The opera 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 and Massachusetts. Shadow artwork will be projected during scene transitions.
The show will be followed by a short Q & A led by the librettist –Carleton herself the sibling of five interracial adoptees. Music and storytelling can be a source of healing, and have the power to inspire change, by helping us learn to hear others’ stories with more compassion. Refreshments will be served.
The production of In Our Own Voices was 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