Giver of Light

A chamber opera in two acts based on the life of Rumi
Music & Libretto by Adam Roberts
Directed by Andrew Eggert

Premiere: May 23, 2013 (5 performances)
Location: The Zack Box at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee

>> Download the program.

“… ATTRACTIVELY KINETIC score … VIBRANT… Guerilla Opera as a company (Rudolf Rojahn and Mike Williams, artistic directors) seemed to be exactly where it should be: bringing a FRESHLY AMBITIOUS new chamber opera into the world with PLUCK AND STYLE.” (The Boston Globe)

GLORIOUSLY WEIRD AND SONICALLY RICH… OPERA AT ITS MOST TRANSPORTING… A LOT TO LIKE: Roberts’s busy, burbling music, his clarity with vocal writing, his flexibility in changing his text setting to match the drama… Tláloc López-Watermann’s lighting was both SPLASHY AND EVOCATIVE… The quartet of singers was EXCELLENT…” (New Music Box)

“… an attractive mix of the familiar and EXOTICOTHERWORLDLYINVENTIVE staging…” (Boston Classical Review)

“One need not be an opera aficionado or Rumi scholar to appreciate what they’re doing here. It’s CREATIVE, PASSIONATE, SKILLED, and TRANSFORMING, which is all opera ever has or should be.” (North Shore Art Throb)

This drama is inspired by the real life events of the 13th-century Sufi mystic poet, Rumi, whose life was forever changed after an encounter with the wandering mystic, the Shams of Tabriz. When Shams disappeared, Rumi spiraled into a deep sorrow, giving birth to much of the poetry we know today. Roberts’ reimagination of this story in the present-day American Midwest breaks down and explores our various assumptions about what love is, who it can be between and how intimately linked it is to sexuality.

The opera follows John, a successful and socially conscious family man who seemingly has it all, but is troubled by a nagging emptiness that gnaws at his soul. When John encounters a mystic—who is also his son’s school bus driver—his world is turned upside down and he pursues a friendship. But soon enough, John’s wife grows suspicious of his relationship and sets off a series of events that question the mystic’s integrity and forces John to make a decision that could forever change his life.

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