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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
Dreaming Blue
Libby Larsen
Libby Larsen (b. 24 December 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over twelve operas. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over fifty CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory. As a vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a transitional time for American arts. A former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony.
Libby Larsen
February 26, 2002
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Dreaming Blue is the story of a child brought by family into a new culture. Unable to speak the language and not yet able to identify with the surroundings, this child is lonely, just plain lonely and just plain blue. Faced with the need to find a new way of feeling anchored, the child responds creatively to life.

In Dreaming Blue, time is suspended. It is a world where color, sound and emotion are jumbled to create a story in dream form. As the opera opens, we hear the sounds of children playing a game of catch. A young child (The Child), new to the group, is involved in the game and is soon made by the other children to enter into a garden and retrieve their lost ball. After retrieving the ball several times, the Child angrily throws the ball back to the other children, only to have it hurled back again to the garden, where it strikes and shatters a gigantic blue gazing globe. From the shards of blue glass emerge three amazing and charismatic characters -- Baby Blue, Azul and Blue Weirdo -- who lead The Child on an enchanting journey of color, wonderment and mystical exploration.
The Child (a child actor with strong speaking/movement capabilities); Voice of Child (lyric tenor, sings the voice of the child throughout the opera); Baby Blue (coloratura soprano); Azul (mezzo-soprano); Blue Weirdo (bass baritone); SSA Children
Composer's Notes:

The opera Dreaming Blue began with the words and images of a group of students from Mountain View Elementary School. The children were asked to imagine being their favorite color, and it was out of their writings and drawings that the characters of the opera emerged. The students' work was full of images of beauty, clear emotion, and simplicity of truth.

The characters that became the Voice of Child, Baby Blue, Azul, and Blue Weirdo, virtually leaped off the pages of these drawings and writings and into the libretto, where they seemed to write the script themselves. Each character took on a specific personality that ultimately directed where the story was going to lead.

-- Libby Larsen
Not Available
Child actor, SATB soloists (see opera cast, below), SSA children's chorus, rhythm chorus, drumming group, cued CD recording, and orchestra (
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