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Jun 14, 2023 |
ypo  |

I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams

Artwork by Resonance Works
Young People's Opera review: Commissioned by White Snake Projects, I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams was written in 2018 and premiered at the Emerson Paramount Theater in Boston in September of 2019.

Music by Jorge Sosa 
Libretto by Cerise Lim Jacobs 
Commissioned by White Snake Projects 

Review by Lynette Pfund, YPO Committee Member


Rosa – Soprano 
Singa – Soprano
Mother/Gangster/Prosecutor – Mezzo-soprano 
Young Rosa – (optional) Child Soprano 
Young Singa – (optional) Child Soprano 
Sol, Rosa’s Daughter – Child Actor 
Supernumeraries – Children’s Chorus 

Commissioned by White Snake Projects, I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams was written in 2018 and premiered at the Emerson Paramount Theater in Boston in September of 2019.

This is not an opera for the faint of heart, and this is truer today, four years later, than at its premier. Because of its social significance and potency, Resonance Works is producing it in Fall 2023 at Carnegie Music Hall in Carnegie, Pennsylvania.

The story centers around two immigrants in the present-day cultural and legal crisis of the American dream: the struggles of becoming a citizen; the extreme hardships of single motherhood; and the innocent children who end up caught in the middle. The story will evoke conversation and debate, which is an artistic mission of White Snake Projects. 

I Am A Dreamer Gets Pittsburgh Premiere
Interviews and Musical Selections

The opera is written for three adult singers: Rosa, Singa, and one singer who plays three different characters, Mother/Gangster/Prosecutor. The Mother/Gangster/Prosecutor mezzo part could be assigned to three treble voiced individuals if a company were looking to cast several people.

Sandwiched between the adult conflict are scenes with children’s chorus including solos for the Young Rosa and Young Singa characters. The chorus sections could be left out of the opera if a company had time restraints, money restraints, or no available children’s choruses in their area.

The adult parts are very challenging and require trained singers. The 2019 Boston performance produced a fantastic recording, which would be very helpful for producers who might be interested in this piece. There is a piano rehearsal score for possible performances just with piano. The drama is highly charged, and audiences should probably be high school aged and over. 

Scene 1

If the children’s chorus were to be left out of the opera, however, it would lose much of its beauty and heart. First, the music written for the children is not only some of the prettiest and heart wrenching, but is also accessible and singable, just perfect for young voices. The lyrical nature of the children’s music juxtaposes the passionate musical gymnastics reflected by the adults.

The audience needs the aural beauty of the children’s music to temper the jarring musical interactions of the adults. Second, dramatically, the children captivate the audience as we see them wrestle with issues that no child should have to face. Their innocent presence is needed as the audience is bombarded with the overwhelming realities of adulthood. 

Another wonderful aspect of having removable children’s chorus music is the possibility for choir directors to program this music separately from the opera. It is clear Jorge Sosa understands children’s voices. The music is fun and singable.

Overall, the chorus music is written well for young singers, is interesting and beautiful, has significant cultural significance, is easily programable, and would be useful for educators.