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Rated R for Rat

Composer Wang Jie
Composer Wang Jie
In 2018, Festival Opera is pleased to present the World Premiere of Rated R for Rat, a new chamber opera from gifted composer Wang Jie.

Now in development in cooperation with American Opera Projects, Rated R for Rat tells of the time when the original thirteen Zodiac Animals were downsized to the twelve we know today. Expanded from Jie's previous chamber opera, From the Other Sky, Rated R for Rat is the campy, whimsical and evocative story of how the Thirteenth Zodiac Goddess experiences human compassion for the first time, and loses her place in the heavens to share her musical powers with humankind. With both music and libretto by the composer, Rated R for Rat will be sung in English.

Composer Wang Jie describes herself as "part cartoon character, part virtuoso." She has spent the last decade nudging serious music and its concert audiences into spectacular frontiers. Her stylistic versatility is a rare trait among today's composers. Recently, her Symphony No. 2, commissioned and premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, was streamed live to a worldwide audience. From the Land Fallen received a commissioning grant through OPERA America's "Opera Grants for Female Composers" program in 2015, and Jie holds additional honors from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, and New York University, among others. Most recently, she was named as Festival Opera's first composer-in-residence as she completes development of Rated R for Rat prior to its World Premiere in January, 2018.

Stage Director Mo Zhou
Stage Director
Mo Zhou
Making her Festival Opera debut with Rated R for Rat is New York-based stage director Mo Zhou, who recently joined the Juilliard School as Marcus Directing Fellow. Ms. Zhou was the winner of OPERA America's 2013 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designers Showcase award for her new production concept of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, and recently completed a turn as 2015 apprentice director with San Francisco Opera's Merola Program. She has presented productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre Pittsburgh, and the Manhattan School of Music.

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"Rated R for Rat" was commissioned by American Opera Projects, through OPERA America Female Composers Commissioning Grant, made possible through the generosity of The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Developed in association with Festival Opera.

"From the Other Sky" was commissioned by American Composers Orchestra/Mr. Paul Underwood and first premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2010.