A World Apart (2017)

soprano, mezzo-soprano, and Pierrot quintet
Duration: approx. 22 min 30 sec
libretto by Michael Weems

Cast & Performance History:
first reading on December 8, 2017 by FSU Opera Workshop
Margaret Smith, Elizabeth
Sofia Scattarreggia, Blanca
Phil Biedenbender, piano
Matthew Jarvis, conductor

premiere production on May 10, 2018 by NANOWorks Opera
Lauren Spavelko, Elizabeth
Hayley Boggs, Blanca
Lisa Jelle, flute
Evan Lynch, clarinet
Lu Li, violin
Anita Graef, ‘cello
Wei-Han Wu, piano
Chaowen Ting, conductor
Stephanie Havey, stage direction


Elizabeth, Mezzo-soprano
Range: A-flat3 to B-flat5
Tessitura: D4 to D5

Blanca, Soprano (Lyric)
Range: D-flat4 to C6
Tessitura: F4 to F5



Setting & Synopsis:
Setting: 1990s. The United States setting is a simple home, which can be indicated by a living room or kitchen and later a bedroom. The foreign setting is a simple café, and an open road.

Scene One: The scene opens at end of the young daughter’s second birthday party. Elizabeth is overwhelmed and depressed. She narrates the action that occurs around her. She loves the daughter very much, but the past few months have drained her of life.

Scene Two: Blanca works tirelessly in her family’s café. Her shift is over and it is very late at night. She sadly counts out her tips. She is miserable and missing her loved ones in the States. She plots her escape, stuffing money away as she flees.

Scene Three: Elizabeth wakes with a new lover in her bed. She guiltily admits needing to feel warmth, acceptance – something – anything. If she can wake and feel this feeling in the morning, she just might make it through tomorrow. Blanca enters and deduces what has happened. Blanca has successfully returned home, albeit illegally, she is heartbroken. She informs Elizabeth, she is taking the daughter and never coming back.