By Afton Wooten
Laura Bowler and Laura Lomas’ new opera “Blue Woman” will be performed at the Royal Opera House as the featured work in its 2022 Engender Festival.
“Blue Woman” changes the narrative of sexual assault in opera to the perspective of the woman and the aftermath of violence.
In a press statement, Lomas noted that “Throughout the process, Laura and I maintained an open dialogue, sharing research and ideas as well as early sections of text and composition. This felt necessary to ensure that the conceptual ideas of the work were held by both the libretto and the music.”
Bowler’s score includes four cellos that double the four vocalists. There are also elements of electronic music to reiterate distress, anger, and resilience. Jamie Man conducts along with musical director Jessica Cottis. Katie Mitchell directs soprano Gweneth-Ann Rand, mezzo-sopranos Rosie Middleton and Lucy Schaufer, and contralto Elaine Mitchener.
This production will take place during the Engender Festival running July 6- 11. There will be resources provided for sexual assault victims through the support of Rape Crisis.
The Royal Opera House’s networking program Engender connects women and non-binary people in all roles of opera through educational events and professional development.