A Memory Opera


Lucy: A Memory Opera
scored for: baritone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, toy piano, and electronics
duration: 65 minutes
text: Kelley Rourke

Commissioned by/Premiere:

Milwaukee Opera Theater (commission and world premiere)
November 6-9, 2014 / In Tandem Theater, Milwaukee WI

Urban Arias (East Coast premiere)
April 1, 2, 7, and 8, 2017 / Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington DC

written for baritone Andrew Wilkowske, pianist Chris Zemliauskas, and REDSHIFT Ensemble
original production and projection designs by Erik Pearson
developed by American Opera Projects and Nautilus Music Theater

About the work:

Psychotherapist Maurice Temerlin’s memoir detailing his attempt to raise a chimpanzee as his human daughter serves as a starting point for Lucy, a fictional memory opera. Combining electronics with the intimacy of solo voice and chamber ensemble, the show opens with Temerlin alone in his office, some decades after he made the decision to bring Lucy into his home. As he struggles to hold on to memories of a happy, if unconventional, family life, documentation from the “cross-fostering” project both supports and challenges his efforts. The ensemble does not include a monkey.
visit the site dedicated to Lucy:


Lucy (trailer from Milwaukee Opera Theatre)
Workshop production excerpt: Lucy's vocabulary

Images from the Milwaukee Opera Theater production