Sophia’s Forest is a 70-minute chamber opera by composer Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch, currently being developed through a generous grant from the The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia. The opera focuses on the imaginary landscape of a 9-year old girl named Sophia, a new immigrant to this country, exploring the ways in which children use their imaginations to deal with trauma. At the center of the work is a multi-piece sound sculpture, which functions both as a musical instrument and as a character in the drama, a surreal creature or confidante imagined by the child. Design and construction of the sculpture is being led by architect Simon Kim and engineer Mark Yim, of the University of Pennsylvania, and engineer Youngmoo Kim, who directs Drexel University’s ExCITe Center. Directed by Brian Staufenbiel, conducted by Nicole Paiement, and featuring soprano Kiera Duffy and the Aizuri Quartet, the opera will premiere September 8 and 9, 2017 at the Black Box Theatre of Drexel’s URBN Center Annex.
Lembit Beecher, composer and producer
Hannah Moscovitch, librettist
Brian Staufenbiel, director
Nicole Paiement, conductor
Kiera Duffy, soprano
The Aizuri Quartet
Sound Sculpture design and engineering team led by Youngmoo Kim at the Drexel University ExCITe Center with consulting from Mark Yim and Simon Kim at the University of Pennsylvania
Principal engineer Richard Vallett
Initial prototypes by Laura Allan, Justin Rivera, and Kate Wisniewski
Major support for Sophia’s Forest has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.