Florida (World Premiere)
Music by Randall Eng
Libretto by Donna Di Novelli
“Evocative…speaks strongly to the teen female experience”
– The Washington Post
“An exhilarating and rich finish…this new work has legs…”
– DC Theatre Scene
“Eng’s musical vocabulary draws heavily on the world of jazz and Broadway, but with a pleasing variety and depth.”
– Washington Classical Review
Florida examines how different people foster, embrace, and rebel against the claustrophobia of contemporary American society, and illustrates the complexities and corruption of our legal system through a tour-de-force of rhythmic delight and vocal virtuosity. By looking at one girl, in one summer, Florida brings to light how teenage girls in general become suspect due to their sexuality.
Images by Teresa Castracane Photography
Florida is the story of a teenage girl named for the scent of gardenias. It is the story of a summer vacation and the murder of Florida’s mother during that vacation. A piece that investigates community mores, it follows Florida as she tries to negotiate the demands of her mother, her boyfriend Marc, and her own desire all under the watchful eyes of The Redwoods, her next-door-neighbors who see all from their backyard deck.
As summer approaches, heated conflicts reach a fever pitch: Florida is sent away and Marc murders Florida’s mother. Although Marc confesses, Florida is wrongfully charged with matricide. A darkly comic, highly-stylized opera, Florida follows one young woman, one summer to bring to light how teenage girls become suspect due to their sexuality.
UrbanArias’ production of Florida is sponsored by a very generous gift from the Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund.