Creative Team

Composer

MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN

Librettist

ROYCE VAVREK

Director

JAMES DARRAH

Music Director

JULIAN WACHNER

MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN

ROYCE VAVREK

JAMES DARRAH

JULIAN WACHNER

About

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.

Support

Developed with USC Thorton School of Music, Opera Department.

Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects. Adoration is supported, in part, by an OPERA America Opera Grants for Female Composers award, funded by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Press

"eloquently scripted" and "emotionally wracking"

Praise for Mary Kouyoumdjian

The New York Times

“…the prolific librettist Royce Vavrek, who has shaken up the timid, backward-looking business of American opera.”
Praise for Royce Vavrek

The New Yorker

James Darrah is "expanding the boundaries of the operatic form."
Praise for James Darrah

The Wall Street Journal

01 / 03

Video Trailer