Xavier Grad has World Premiere of First Opera

Based on the events of September 11, 2001 | July 15, 2008

Doug Geers, a 1990 Xavier University English and music graduate, will premiere his first opera this fall at New York City's acclaimed La Mama ETC Theatre. Calling: An Opera of Forgiveness was conceived by Wickham Boyle based on her book A Mother’s Essays From Ground Zero. Calling will open September 12, 2008 at La MaMa’s First Floor Theater on East Fourth Street in New York City, and will run until September 28.

 

Calling depicts reconciliation, both musically and thematically, among a small group of people in lower Manhattan on and after the day of September 11, 2001. The theme is “Finding harmony in dissonance.” Each of the three protagonists has a distinct musical voice. Their voices come together for reconciliation by the finale. The protagonists are: The family, represented by one downtown family, their children and friends; the workers, both rescue and those in the Towers; and the Antagonists, who are never seen, but are a musical presence.

 

Geers had worked with Boyle previously and they collaborated to transform her book into an opera. “I was living in Manhattan on 9/11 finishing my doctorate at Columbia,” Geers said. “I knew people who worked in the buildings. One of my former students died in the second tower. It was very personal here.”

 

Geers, born and raised in Cincinnati, began composing music with computers after his father brought home an Atari 800 in 1983. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in both English and music from Xavier University, a Master of Music from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a Doctor of Musical Arts at Columbia University. He uses technology in nearly all his works, with a variety of sampled and synthesized sounds, human voices, traditional musical instruments, and sonic transformations. He has received a Fulbright Scholarship, two Jerome Composers Commissioning Project awards, a McKnight Composer Fellowship, the 2000 Roth-Thomson award, among others. Geers is an Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Director of Electronic Music Studios at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Minneapolis.

 

Information about and video clips of Calling can be found at this site: www.callingtheopera.com

Information about donating to the opera’s production can be found at www.callingtheopera.com/donate.html