WFMT: “Uncle Alex,” opera about Russian immigrants denied entry to America, has Chicago premiere

On January 25, WFMT reported,

Thompson Street Opera Company presents the Chicago premiere of Uncle Alex, an opera that tackles the complexities of immigration in America, Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Adler University. The performance is part of Faulty Systems, an event that invites speakers and artists from all disciplines to speak about civic engagement, social justice, and activism through art.

Uncle Alex, with music by Joshua Bornfield and libretto by Caitlin Vincent, premiered in 2013 with Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. The 20-minute chamber work was performed along with two other “mini-operas” on American themes, all developed as part of the company’ American Opera Initiative. The Huffington Post wrote, “In some ways Uncle Alex was the most dramatic of the mini-operas because the stakes in this opera are immediate and riveting.”

Enyart said she and her colleagues in Kentucky “had a piece about Standing Rock, and we had speakers about environmental protection, green energy, animals going extinct, two Black Lives Matter speakers, and a piece about school shootings.” Because the event presented diverse perspectives on so many urgent issues facing society today, they decided to call it Faulty Systems.

Enyart developed a partnership with Adler University, which offers graduate degrees in programs for social change, to present the first Chicago Faulty Systems, which she hopes will become an annual event. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Council on American Islamic Relations of Chicago.



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