Friday, March 5, 2021

Announcement of New Opera—What Price Paradise

Encompass New Opera Theatre and Nancy Rhodes celebrating Women's History month sent out the first publicity on the work-in-progress opera What Price Paradise with libretto by Karren LaLonde Alenier and music by Janet Peachey.


Encompass on the Home Front…
Celebrates Women Librettists
and Composers
       New Visions/New Composers

Our developmental program fostering new opera is featuring


 by librettist Karren LaLonde Alenier, composer Janet Peachey

A new chamber opera that unfolds the turbulent love story of Jane and Paul Bowles, ex-pat writers and composer living in Tangier, Morocco. Despite their pursuit of extramarital lovers and acting out of deep-seated conflicts, their creative lives made them devoted to each other. The music draws from international settings that range from the medina of Tangier to a brothel in Guatemala to a New York hotel, and an island off the coast of Ceylon.   

Karren Alenier is a poet, writer, and librettist. Through New York’s School of Visual Arts (1982), she studied with Paul Bowles in Morocco. They worked on her poems about Gertrude Stein, which became part of her opera with William Banfield, Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On. Encompass premiered the opera in 2005, directed by Nancy Rhodes. Her interview with Bowles was published in Gargoyle magazine and in conversations with Paul Bowles. Alenier is author of seven collections of poetry. Looking for Divine Transportation was the 2002 winner of the Towson University Prize for literature. The Anima of Paul Bowles was the 2016 top pick at Boston's Grolier Books. Her eighth collection How We Hold On launches Spring 2021.


Composer Janet Peachey has written music for opera, ballet, orchestral, chamber, piano, and vocal. She has received grants for composition from the National Endowment for the Arts, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and Meet the Composer.  As a Fulbright grantee in Vienna, she studied at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, where she earned DIPLOMAS in composition and conducting.  As Artistic Director of Capital Composers Alliance, Peachey produced concerts of works by Washington-area composers: she was Vice President of Programs for American Women Composers. Her music has been published by Arsis Press. Peachey teaches at The Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

WHAT PRICE PARADISE  is the second opera Encompass has developed with librettist Karren LaLonde Alenier and we are looking forward to presenting scenes from the opera. Stay tuned!

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