Shared by Cherry Duke, @utepopera
Director of Opera
Professor of Practice
Opera UTEP has commissioned a new opera, based on Aesop’s Fables, which will be premiered March 27 and 28, 2023 in Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall. The words and music are by
acclaimed Black female composer Maria Thompson Corley. Dr. Corley will visit UTEP for the premiere and will also participate in several on-campus discussions and events open to the public.
In the 30-minute musical drama (called, THE FOX AND THE COOKIE), Grandma and Grandpa entertain their grandchild withs four fables of the Fox’s trickery. In the end, the family and the animals whom the fox tricked confront the fox about his behavior, and all enjoy Grandma’s cookies, together. The story explores themes of bullying, kindness, forgiveness, and sharing.
The public is invited for the two premiere performances and are encouraged to bring the young people in their lives!
The opening show on Monday, March 27 will have a reception with the composer and the cast after the performance, and after the Tuesday, March 28 performance, there will be “talkback” when the audience can talk with the composer and the creative team.
For those interested in learning more about the creative process, there will be a “Meet the Composer” session on Monday, March 27 at 12:30 p.m. in Fox Fine Arts Center and a “Lunch and Learn” session on Tuesday, March 28 at 12:00 p.m. in the UTEP Student Union.
The Tuesday event will feature a performance of Dr. Corley’s song, “I Am Not an Angry Black Woman,” performed by music major Abeni Merriweather, followed by a panel discussion of Black, female voices and social movement.
Opera UTEP will also give back to the community by presenting this opera for El Paso area children in special performances at UTEP and in elementary schools following the premiere.
This project is supported by interdisciplinary collaborators at UTEP, including the Center for Community Engagement, Women and Gender Studies, African American Studies, the
Department of Theatre and Dance, the Department of Art, the Department of Music, as well as the The Aaron and Sylvia Wechter Family Excellence Fund.