By Matthew Recio and Molly Korroch
Nearly every family in today's society has watched a loved one struggle through the stages of dementia or Alzheimer's. It isn't easy for anyone to watch the person you once knew slip away. Fear and uncertainty pepper every interaction and it can put serious strain on families and friends. Science is struggling for effective treatments, let alone an actual cure. Families are desperate to preserve the person they know and love, and In Memoriam tells the story of the Adams and their search for an alternative treatment.
Sophie enters her mother, Hannah, into a clinical trial in which a team of doctors and scientists will try and supplement her missing memories with a database of stock of replacement memories. But questions about the validity of the study arise, both with the methods and the scientists themselves. Perhaps most importantly, how much of Hannah's memories can be supplemented before she isn't the mother Sophie knows any longer.
In Memoriam raises many questions: Do we want to be aware of how much we've lost? How do loved ones cope with caring for a loved one with dementia? Can science go too far? With music by Matthew Recio and libretto by Molly Korroch, In Memoriam explores these questions his inventive, dynamic, and emotional score.
Composer and performer of various mediums, Matthew Recio’s evocative compositions generate a vivid imagistic experience for listeners. His collaborations with dancers, artists, writers, and filmmakers offer a full spectrum of auditory and visual sensations. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Ithaca College School of Music with a B.M. in music composition and music education. While at Ithaca he received the Charles F. Hockett Music Composition Scholarship, which is awarded to one senior composition major each year. He was chosen to partake in composition master classes under the direction of David Rakowski, Steven Mackey, Sebastian Currier, Andrew Thomas and Melinda Wagner. His principal teachers have included Dana Wilson, Eric Ewazen, Claude Baker, Don Freund, Aaron Travers and Sven-David Sandström. He recently graduated with his M.M in composition from Indiana University’s Jacobs School and will be starting his doctorate this Fall at Indiana where he was awarded the Jacobs Fellowship Award.
For three consecutive years his work was recognized by the Smadbeck Dean’s Prize Competition at Ithaca College for his works Canvas Sketches, Metamorphosis,and Italian Visions. His choral work, Through a Lens, received honors through the American Choral Directors Association at Ithaca College. His work has recently been selected for performance at both the 2014 and 2015 Midwest Composer Symposium to represent Indiana University in the chamber division for his works Sea Calls and How to Survive Vesuvius. His clarinet work, Sea Calls was featured at the 2015 University of Nebraska Kearney New Music Festival. At Indiana University he was a part of the Hammer and Nail Contemporary Dance Collaboration with his work Falling Out of Grace, and featured in the New Voices Opera Exhibition for 2014 and 2015. He was also a featured collaborator for the Double Exposure Live Film Scoring Initiative in 2015 and 2016. Matthew was the winner of the 2015 IMTA Opus young artist composition competition of Indiana where he was recognized this past October at the state festival for his string quartet, Clutch of Venus. He is also the winner of the 2015 Quartet Nouveau composition competition (resident ensemble of the California Chamber Orchestra). His choral work, How to Survive Vesuvius was showcased at the 2016 ACDA convention in Boston this past February in a masterclass with Ēriks Ešenvalds and NY based vocal ensemble C4. He was selected as one of three finalists in Michael Kerschner's Young New Yorker's Choral composition competition and will have a new work premiered with the ensemble June of 2016. He was the first prizewinner of the 2015 NOTUS choral composition competition for his work How to Survive Vesuvius. That same choral work was also a winner of Brett Scott’s 2015 Cincinnati Camerata choral composition competition. Recently, Matthew has been selected as a finalist for the 2015-16 Morton Gould award for his choral work “They Say Memories”.
In the past he has been chosen to participate in the Atlantic Music Festival as well as being selected as an emerging composer for the IMANI Winds chamber festival in New York City. In 2015 he was selected as a composition fellow at the Valencia International Performing Arts program of Spain where his clarinet piece, Sea Calls, was performed by Ausiás Morant. This past summer he was awarded a residency composer position at the Norfolk Chamber Series hosted by the Yale School of Music. He was also selected as a composition fellow for Donald Nally’s award winning choir, “The Crossing” for this past summer as well.
Molly Korroch (Libretto) is a writer living in Washington, D.C. where she is pursuing a master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Ithaca College. (It’s a long story.) Molly has worked writing both copy and editorials for several businesses and publications including Groupon, Focal Upright, PureWow, Grid Magazine, and Williamsburg Magazine. The original idea for In Memoriam came as a question: “What if our brains only held a finite amount of information?” The question grew into a story during a conversation on a back porch in Northern Michigan. Then somehow, through a tangled mess of late night phone calls and scribbled edits, her question now makes its way to you in the form of an opera.
Cast of In Memoriam
Jennie Moser (Sophie), soprano, is a native of Brevard, NC. She recently completed her Bachelor of Music at Northwestern University, where roles included Amy March (Little Women), Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), Mme Silberklang (The Impresario), and Mrs. Hayes (Susannah). Moser previously attended the Aspen Music Festival and School as a member of the Aspen Opera Center, and spent a season with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, where she sang First Lady in Die Zauberflöte and covered The Queen of the Night. Most recently, she appeared with IU Opera Theater as Niece 1 in Peter Grimes. Ms. Moser has also appeared on the concert stage as the soprano soloist in Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, and as the soprano soloist in the premiere of David Lang’s a house, both with the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble at Northwestern. Ms. Moser is a student of Costanza Cuccaro.
Megan Wilhelm (Hannah), soprano, is currently completing her Performers Diploma at Indiana University in Vocal Performance. At IU she has performed as the Soprano Soloist in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem as well as in the world premiere of A Vietnamese Requiem by P.Q. Phan with NOTUS, and has appeared as Aunt Eller in Oklahoma! with the IU Opera Theatre. She performs frequently with Reimagining Opera for Kids. She is the 2016-17 recipient of the Wilfred C. Bain Opera Scholarship. During her undergraduate studies at The University of Houston, she performed the role of Second Lady in The Magic Flute. She has also been a Young Artist for the Miami Summer Music Festival, Songfest, and the CoOperative program and has performed with Le Chiavi di Bel Canto and Dolora Zajick’s institute for Young Dramatic Voices. She is currently studying with Tim Noble.
Tenor Darian Clonts (Peter), a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is in the first year of his doctoral studies at the Jacobs School of Music. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 2012 from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. In the summer of 2016, Clonts attended the Utah Festival of Opera & Musical Theater where he sang the role of Mingo in its production of Gershwin's Porgy & Bess. He joined the Atlanta Opera for the 2012-2013 season and performed in its productions of Bizet's Carmen, Verdi's La Traviata, and Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri. Clonts has been seen in the IU Opera Theater as Le Remendado in Bizet's Carmen, Scientist in Menotti's The Last Savage, and Parpignol in Puccini's La Bohème. He has also previously appeared at IU in Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri, Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Strauss's Die Fledermaus as a member of the chorus. He is a student of Brian Horne.
Connor Lidell (Dr. Ansello), 24, is in the final semester of his Masters in Music at IU where he studies with Andreas Poulimenos. He has been seen in numerous productions on the IU Opera Theatre stage. Most recently, he performed the role of Swallow in Peter Grimes. He has also been seen recently as Jud Fry in Oklahoma, as Basilio in Barber of Seville, and Taddeo in The Italian Girl. Connor is also a proud proponent of new music, having been involved with NVO since its inception. He performed the role of Charlie in Chappell Kingsland’s doctoral dissertation, Intoxication. He has premiered quite a few pieces of new music for composers at IU over his six years in Bloomington. This past winter, Connor performed Jennifer Hidgon’s Dooryard Bloom with the IU Chamber Orchestra. He also gave a performance of Dominick DiOrio’s song cycle A Ghost Through the Winding Years in January.
Shayna Jones (Eve), soprano, known for her “rich voice” [The Baltimore Sun], recently performed Micaëla from Bizet’s Carmen at The Trentino Opera Festival under the baton of Maestro Christopher Larkin. Prior to this, Shayna performed the role of Anna Maurrant in The Peabody Conservatory’s collaboration with The Modell Lyric Opera House under the baton of Maestro Steven White and stage director Kristine McIntyre. Other notable appearances include the role of Ortlinde from Die Walküre at The Norwegian Opera House in Oslo and the role of Aunt Norris in the American premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park at The Baltimore Theater Project. Awards and achievements include an “Artistic Excellence” award from The Jacobs School of Music, Finalist in The Sylvia Green Voice Competition, “Emerging Leading Artist” title from The Festival of the Aegean and a Semi-finalist in the Mario Lanza/ Elaine Malbin Competition as well as The American Prize competition.