Work-in-Progress Concert

Winter’s Child

January 13 & 14, 2015 at Trinity St. Paul’s Chapel

Set in a Southern gothic landscape, Winter’s Child reveals a world of rough earth, quiet prayer, and a mother’s fight to change her youngest daughter’s fate. This new opera, composed by Ellen Reid with text by Amanda Jane Shank, juxtaposes the worlds of the House, a quiet and folky space rigidly controlled by ‘Mama,’ and The Lake, a lush mystical expanse that holds ‘Child’s’ sisters.


Esteemed conductor Julian Wachner leads an ensemble and a 9 member women’s choir, their musical voices uniting to become the voice of The Lake, with whom Mother has made a Faustian deal. During each of her four pregnancies, Mama had a terrible craving for the flowers that grew by The Lake. She was allowed to take them as long as she would one day return what belonged to the water. Years passed and Mama forgot about her promise until each of her daughters were taken before their 15th birthdays—by bath, wash, and rain. On the eve of her fifteenth birthday, the last remaining daughter, Child, is visited by the ghosts of her three older sisters. Child is forced to confront her family’s past, her hunger for a future, and a bargain her Mama made long before her birth.


Produced by Beth Morrison Projects.


Photos by Noah Stern Weber.