A periodic feature of the Peabody Opera program is an event showcasing new operatic works written by Peabody composers, known as Opera Etudes. This year, composer Stephen Edwards contributed his work to the program: a one-act comic opera in three scenes reflecting on the disturbing and tragic life of (the title character) Typhoid Mary and Dr. George Soper, the discoverer of her condition. I was cast in the role of Dr. Soper, alongside my colleague Cynthia Elkins, who performed as "Typhoid" Mary Mallon. The production itself was immensely fun; Stephen Edwards' libretto was packed with delightful one-line zingers and chuckles. Learning the music of a composer-colleague as it was being written provided a unique challenge, one that, I believe, enhanced my musicianship and accelerated my growth as a performer by leaps and bounds. I hope to perform this work again, as it has proven to be a rich source of athleticism for mezzo voices!
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