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Article Published: 19 Jan 2022

On Disc

Blind Injustice
By Scott Davenport Richards and David Cote
Siren Records

Blind Injustice explores the true stories of six individuals who were tried, wrongfully imprisoned, and freed by the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP). It premiered at Cincinnati Opera and was developed in collaboration with OIP director Mark Godsey, the Young Professionals Choral Collective, and the six exonerees. Conducted by John Morris Russell; stage direction and dramaturgy by Robin Guarino.

By Schott Wheeler and Cerise Lim Jacobs
New World Records

Naga is the story of a young Buddhist monk who renounces everything to find nirvana but is tempted to abandon the path when he encounters two passionate snakes designating Hindu and Buddhist deities. Soprano Stacey Tappan and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo play the roles of Madame White Snake and Green Snake. Carolyn Kuan conducts; Beth Morrison is the creative producer.

The Chronicle of Nine: The Tragedy of Queen Jane
By Arnold Rosner and Florence Stevenson

Megan Pachecano plays the title role in this story depicting the tragic life of Queen Jane, whose reign lasted for merely nine days before she was overthrown by Mary Tudor and beheaded. Rosner’s score was finished in 1984 but never performed until 2020, when conductor Gil Rose, Rosner archivist Carson Cooman, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Odyssey Opera brought it to life.

La Reine de Saba (The Queen of Sheba)
By Charles Gounod, Jules Barber, and Michel Carré
Odyssey Opera

Balkis, Queen of Sheba, arrives in Jerusalem to meet her betrothed, King Solomon, but finds herself drawn to Solomon’s master architect Adoniram instead. Inspired by Gérard de Nerval’s book Le voyage en Orient, the U.S. premiere of this opera features Kara Shay Thomson, Dominick Chenes, and Kevin Thompson.

Orson Rehearsed
By Daron Hagen

Take a fictionalized look inside Orson Welles’ mind in the final minutes of his life in this 60-minute film composed and written by Daron Hagen. Tenor Omar Mulero, tenor Robert Frankenberry, and baritone Robert Orth take turns playing the title character. Roger Zahab conducts the Fifth House Ensemble and pianist Peter Marshall.

Songs for Murdered Sisters
By Jake Heggie and Margaret Atwood

This 25-minute song cycle for baritone and piano was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra for baritone Joshua Hopkins and features new poetry by Margaret Atwood. The piece was inspired by the murder of Hopkins’ sister in 2015 and traces his journey through grief, connection, and transformation.