Festival Opera: SalON Demand!


Opening Festival Opera's 2021 Season, soprano Carrie Hennessey and pianist Jennifer Reason bring their special brand of joyous synergy to the digital recital stage.

“And Yet She Persisted” explores the powerful and diverse world of female composers. You will bask in beautiful melodies and harmonies crafted by Pauline Viardot and Amy Beach. Composer Libby Larsen unmasks the infamous gun wielding Calamity Jane that we perhaps picture in our minds with settings of intimate and honest letters to her daughter toward the end of her life. Jane is revealed in her soaring truth, strength and vulnerability. Julia Seeholzer’s cycle “Portraits of Disquiet” was originally composed in reaction to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. She could not have known that it would feel even more potent in our present day. As a trans-woman who was raised in the Mormon tradition, the poet, Kendall A. remains off the grid quite purposefully. The first song of this groundbreaking cycle is deeply personal, a letter to her mom and dad. The second piece follows as a community outcry for the devastation of Ferguson in 2014. Kendall heightens the drama with quotes directly from Dante’s Inferno in Italian. Barbara Strozzi’s Lagrime Mie, a baroque lament is musically quoted in Seeholzer’s opening line. Her scope broadens even further In the third song, to encompass the wonder and the great tragedy of life; of humanity marching forward through space and time.