MASKS AND PROOF OF VACCINATION WILL BE MANDATORY FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR PERFORMERS
THE PRIESTESS OF MORPHINE, a monodrama by composer Rosśa Crean and librettist Aiden Feltkamp, will be performed once again at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago on March 12th & 13th, 2022. The piece pays tribute to Marie-Madeleine, the Jewish lesbian erotic writer and poet whose literary body of work covered topics of Sapphic themes as well as her own morphine addiction. During her peak of popularity during the Third Reich in World War II, the Nazis deemed her work to be degenerate and therefore sought to destroy it.
On THE PRIESTESS OF MORPHINE, composer Rosśa Crean and librettist Aiden K. Feltkamp create a beautifully haunting portrait of a Gertrud Günther, a young Jewish lesbian caught between her two selves during the Third Reich, who bravely sought her inner truth and passions while forced to live in the shadows.
The monodrama’s unusual story is matched by a unique ensemble. Two sopranos represent each side of Gertrud’s life—one mature and narrative, the other youthful and poetic—as the instruments weave unexpected textures and moods. The vibraphone is pushed to its musical limits to create unusual sounds, and the violin and cello float between traditional and percussive styles. Rounding out the ensemble’s ethereal sound is a brief yet powerful scene with the mysterious waterphone. The opera lulls listeners into a sensual, dreamlike state to explore the young woman’s suffocating trauma with an eye towards healing.
Performing the work will be the Chicago-based new music ensemble SOUND OF FOOLS, including sopranos Jessie Lyons and Katherine Bruton, Ben Zucker on vibraphone, and Crean themself as conductor and waterphone.
THE PRIESTESS OF MORPHINE, presented by SOUND OF FOOLS
March 12th, 2022 @ 7PM and March 13th, 2022 @5:30PM
The International Museum of Surgical Science
1524 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60610