Second Nature
Composer: Matthew Aucoin
Composer Bio: Matthew Aucoin (b. 1990) is a composer, conductor, poet, and pianist. Aucoin’s next opera has been commissioned by the new works program of the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater. A 2012 graduate of Harvard College (summa cum laude), Aucoin is currently the Solti Conducting Apprentice of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he made his conducting debut last February; he has also served as an Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. Aucoin’s third opera, Crossing, will premiere at the American Repertory Theater in May 2015, directed by Diane Paulus. His fourth, Second Nature, an opera for young people commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago, premieres in Chicago in August 2015. Recent and upcoming performances of Aucoin’s orchestral and chamber works include performances by the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, pianist Benjamin Hochman, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, the SOLI Chamber Ensemble, the Gramercy Trio, violinist Keir GoGwilt, and pianist George Fu. Aucoin studied composition with Robert Beaser at Juilliard, where he received a graduate diploma. He is Composer-in-Residence at the Peabody Essex Museum. In the 2013-14 season, in addition to his CSO debut, Aucoin made conducting debuts with Juilliard Opera (Eugene Onegin), the Rome Opera Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (in a public rehearsal featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma), while also serving as a cover conductor at the Metropolitan Opera (The Nose) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Così fan Tutte). An accomplished poet, critic, and essayist, Aucoin’s poems and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Yale Review, The Harvard Advocate, The Colorado Review, and Plain China; his advisor at Harvard was the poet Jorie Graham. He has served as guest lecturer on music and literature at the New York Shakespeare Society and New York University’s Casa Italiana, and has hosted classical music radio programs for New York’s WQXR.
Librettist: Matthew Aucoin
Premiere Date: August 19, 2015
Description: Second Nature is set in the not-so-distant future, when the environment has deteriorated and humans have decided it’s safer to live in zoo-like habitats that protect them from the outside world. Encouraged by the other animal inhabitants, two young children dare to explore the world outside the walls to see if there is still something worth saving. 
Character List (Major): Lydia (mezzo soprano)
Jake (tenor)
David/Bonobo (bass baritone)
Elder Constance (mezzo soprano)
Elizabeth (mezzo soprano)

Length: 00:50
Total Acts: 1
Orchestration: Piano
Contact: Matthew Aucoin
Composer Web Site:
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