Creative Team

Composer

MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN

Librettist

ROYCE VAVREK

MARY KOUYOUMDJIAN

ROYCE VAVREK

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

Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and Charlotte Isaacs. Developed with USC Thorton School of Music, Opera Department. Supported, in part, by an OPERA America Opera Grants for Female Composers award, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Visionary Women, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

The Production of Adoration received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Fund.

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

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