Waters Rising

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Waters Rising

A Short-Story Musical (or mini-opera)

libretto by Kendra Preston Leonard

Both the story and the music for this short opera were inspired by conversations and improvisation sessions with inmates at the Walker State Prison in Georgia (U.S.A.) Thanks to concerts presented by Arts Capacity, the men at this prison had become passionate about serious, concert music. Wishing to help write an opera that would tell their story “to humanity”, the task of crafting this musical became a serious endeavor in 2021. The inmates not only helped with the creation of the libretto (executed by Kendra Leonard), and the music, they also created all of the set pieces and props out of discarded cardboard from the prison, and some of them sang in the chorus at the premiere.

Waters Rising tells the story of Hector, a man among many citizens of a city that has just been hit by a hurricane. In a moment of desperation, Hector steals a boat to escape the rising waters. When his boat capsizes, he is rescued by the very man from whom he stole the boat. This is a story of redemption, grace, social justice, and climate change. 

duration: 20 minutes


Hector – Tenor
George – Baritone
Chorus (4-part)
4 Soloists in the Chorus: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, & Bass

String Quintet or String Orchestra


Additional information

Year Composed

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