Dan Welcher, composer and director
Lucy Schaufer and Ellie Jarrett Shattles, mezzo sopranos
Matthew Smith, projection and lighting design
In this world premiere performance of Welcher's one-act opera based on the famous novella by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a woman has been locked away by her husband in a rented farmhouse after the birth of their child because of her “hysterical tendencies”. The child has been removed, and the woman (unnamed) is forbidden to read, write, or see people for three months. This was known as the “rest cure” for post-partum depression, and was the predominant course of treatment in the late 19th century when this book was written.
Mezzo-soprano Lucy Schaufer made her LA Opera debut in 2004 as Erika in Vanessa, then returned in 2006 as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. Her most recent and future engagements include Jenny in Knussen’s Higglety Pigglety Pop at the Aldeburgh Festival and at the Barbican; Suzuki in Madame Butterfly with New Zealand Opera; the Drummer in The Emperor of Atlantis and Ma Moss in The Tender Land with Opéra de Lyon; George Benjamin’s Upon Silence with the Settembre Musica Festival in Milan and Turin, Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro with English National Opera; Baroness Schraeder in The Sound of Music at Central City Opera; and a contemporary music concert with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group at the Aldeburgh Festival. Her first solo recording, Carpentersville, co-produced with ABC Classics in Australia, was released in the spring of 2013, and was the Editor’s Choice in Classical Music Magazine in July 2013.