We zoom into today’s literary scene with composer and librettist Rachel J. Peters, who turns short stories from authors like Sheila Heti and Arthur Phillips into contemporary operas. Her work spans from absurdist postmodernism back to the American tradition of Carl Sandburg, and her influences include Nina Simone, Stephen Sondheim and Meredith Monk. A fascinating look at opera as a living form!

Featuring “Wild Beast of the Bungalow” music by Rachel J. Peters, libretto by Royce Vavrek inspired by “Mermaid in a Jar” by Sheila Heti, sung by Erica Thelen and Colin Anderson at Oberlin Conservatory and “Companionship” by Rachel J. Peters inspired by the Arthur Phillips short story, sung by Maren Weinberger and Kate Tombaugh at Fort Worth Frontiers Festival.

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