Give Me Room

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Available for purchase after its premiere in 2023; commissioned by Opera Tennessee.

A Musical (chamber opera) celebrating women’s equality and weaving together diverse musical genres from the Baroque through 1920’s Jazz, 1960’s gospel-protest anthems, and contemporary art song. The libretto & book, by Gaye Jeffers, was written in a flurry of activity after almost three years of research and digestion of letters, diaries, and conversations with relatives of citizens of Tennessee, on whom this work dwells, who were closely involved in the fight for women’s suffrage in the early 1900’s and the subsequent vote to ratify the 19th amendment which took place in Nashville, TN. The unusual construction of this Musical with its alternation between musical styles of various decades, helps to highlight the timelessness of the struggle for equality which continues to be a cultural catalyst for each generation. This work features simple staging requirement, parts for a “pick-up” chorus of women of all ages, and a small orchestra which make it both light-weight and more easily produced in an unconventional or public space. 100 minutes.

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