Trapped In A Mind With A Friend of Mine - A New Opera
Trapped in a Mind with a Friend of Mine is about a man named Owen who accidentally receives a package intended for Martha, a woman in his apartment building that he had been wanting to become closer to but couldn't because of his shyness and depression. As a result, Owen builds this idealized version of Martha who is manifested in Owen's reality and on stage. Owen builds a relationship with Idealized Martha and learns about what he really wants both in his mind and in reality.
This creation of Lauren's is an ambitious one that gives a fresh perspective on depression. I was very happy to have the chance to take this libretto and compose to it. As a result, this opera gives us the opportunity to two, large outstanding issues: sympathy with depression and the direction of opera and classical music. The title speaks to how Lauren eloquently brought the audience inside the issue of depression: by taking them inside the mind of a man who suffers from it. As I composed the piece, I brought in elements from different worlds that my compositional life has lived in, resulting in a piece with Romantic and Contemporary classical elements as well as elements from pop culture. By bringing in so many elements from familiar and accessible music, I believe this opera can show how opera as a form can appeal to more people and grow its audience.
Who are we to take on such a portfolio of challenges?
I am Andrew Dewey, Composer and Conductor. I am an alum of Carnegie Mellon (BFA '17) and a current student in the Advanced Music Studies program. My time as an undergraduate was spilt between writing my music and producing the concerts to let my works, and others, be heard. I music directed musicals, produced new works concerts, and wrote a massive, six song cycle (https://soundcloud.com/andrew-dewey/sets/the-helpless-song-cycle). I feel the last four years have been years of learning and preparation to take on the task of composing and producing an opera.
Lauren Wimmer is a second year MFA Dramatic Writing candidate in the School of Drama. She has written plays and sketch comedy, but has loved musical theatre and the ways music influences her work. During her time in graduate school, her goal has been to take risks. Therefore, writing in a new medium has been a thrilling learning experience for her. She feels she has gained knowledge of contemporary opera and the structures they can take.
Fun fact: the word opera comes from the Italian word for "work." That's because there is such a diverse set of talents that have to put their skills into making an opera. Once the score is complete, we are nowhere close to done. Not only do vocalists and pit musicians have to be put together to bring the music from the paper to the world, but directors, designers, and technicians need to be brought on board to build a world for the audience to be brought into. The $4,500 goal will be put toward supporting the directors, designers, musicians, and technicians that will make this work possible and giving them the resources to create their visions for the show.
And in the end? Your contributes results in an evening of professionally produced new music by the greatest creators and technicians at Carnegie Mellon, all for your enjoyment! We invite everyone to the premiere in early May to see this large-scale work come to life.
We greatly appreciate your support,
Composer/Producer of Trapped in a Mind with a Friend of Mine