PROTOTYPE Festival at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture, Manhattan
An adaptation of Atom Egoyan’s film of the same name, Adoration follows Simon, an orphaned high school student. As part of a dramatic writing exercise, Simon’s teacher encourages him to appropriate details from a historical terrorist attack as an event perpetrated by his parents. When his story goes viral, Simon uses the hysteria within his community and on the internet to highlight the challenges of intolerance and racism in our society. The fictional and actual circumstances of the loss of Simon’s family are revealed in fragments, only fitting together with the final revelation that the prejudices of Simon’s maternal grandfather led to his parents’ deaths.
Hate is too often portrayed as binary. We either hate or we don’t. We hate someone for something they did or some perceived slight, or we hate “the other.” Yet we are not born with hate—it is learned, nurtured, and developed over the course of a lifetime. Adoration tells two simultaneous stories—a fictional story of terrorism and betrayal juxtaposed with a real story of family strife and rejection of something foreign.
Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, Trinity Church Wall Street, with lead commissioner Justus Schlichting, and additional commissioning support provided by Charlotte Isaacs and Susan Bienkowski. Developed by Beth Morrison Projects in association with the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Opera Department. Adoration was workshopped at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as part of the 2023 Opera in the 21st Century Program. Produced by Beth Morrison Projects in association with Trinity Church Wall Street. Additional support is provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, and Visionary Women. This project was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Supported, in part, by an OPERA America Opera Grants for Female Composers award, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The production of Adoration received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Fund.
"eloquently scripted" and "emotionally wracking"
Praise for Mary Kouyoumdjian
“…the prolific librettist Royce Vavrek, who has shaken up the timid, backward-looking business of American opera.”
Praise for Royce Vavrek
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