Daniel Thomas Davis
The Impossible She
On Loneliness and Solitude
May 10 - 18, 2019
124 Bank Street Theatre
124 Bank St, New York, NY
“Colin Read’s On Loneliness and Solitude, was a compact, hard-hitting meditation on the psychology of isolation. … Daniel Thomas Davis’ The Impossible She … was a towering musical achievement, a hugely complex work packing a whopping political and intellectual punch.”
- Callum John Blackmore, Parterre Box
Elisabeth Halliday (Soprano, Eleanor Roosevelt)
Bonnie Lander (Soprano, Lorena Hickok)
Robert Maril (Baritone, Outside World)
Zach Herchen (Saxophone, Present Voice)
Laine Rettmer, director
George Lam, conductor
Andrea Merkx, scenic designer
Rachel Dainer-Best, costume designer
Saúl Ulerio, lighting designer
Brigid Moore, hair and makeup designer
Joe Gladstone, production stage manager
Zach Jenkins, assistant stage manager
Christopher Wilson, rehearsal pianist
Jennifer Axelson, violin
Carrie Frey, viola (5/10)
Nick Pauly, viola (5/11, 17, 18)
Thea Mesirow, cello
Zach Herchen, saxophones
Christopher Wilson, piano
Rachel Mangold, double bass
Rhymes With Opera presented the world premiere of Daniel Thomas Davis’s opera The Impossible She at the 124 Bank Street Theatre. The opera dramatizes the relationship between two women who found each other in the midst of a complicated world - and especially a world where men in positions of power have told them, one way or another, that their minds and bodies have little value. One of these women is Eleanor Roosevelt, who is about to become First Lady of the United States. The other is Lorena Hickok (or Hick, as everyone seems to call her), a feisty journalist assigned to introduce Eleanor Roosevelt to the world.
Fantastically told through metaphysical poetry, fragments of newspaper accounts, intimate letters and Depression-era ballads, the opera retells these women’s stories as a classic love triangle – between Eleanor, Hick and a composite character known simply as The Outside World. Ultimately, the impossible love Eleanor and Hick share for this Outside World – an especially troubled world that desperately needs them – threatens to pull the two apart.
In addition to this one-act opera, Rhymes With Opera also presented the world premiere of Colin Read’s On Loneliness and Solitude. Both Read’s and Davis’s works were commissioned by Rhymes With Opera, specifically for our ensemble of singers.
This world-premiere mainstage production featured RWO founding ensemble members Elisabeth Halliday, Bonnie Lander and Robert Maril. Stage director Laine Rettmer (Rumpelstiltskin) and scenic designer Andrea Merkx returned to create this new production for the company.
RWO would like to thank Ryan MacGavin for his support of our production of The Impossible She as a Producing Partner.