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Composition Student Premiering New Opera

Zachary James Ritter (MM ’20) will premiere his new one-act chamber opera “On Our Street” as part of the Compōs-it Opera Festival.

Zachary has been accepted to the Compōs-it Opera Festival at Carnegie Mellon University, which will premiere seven fully staged operas in November of 2018.

Zachary’s opera On Our Street is a one-act chamber opera with a libretto by Sydney Roslin. It will premiere on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

On Our Street is about overcoming bigotry. Its story is centered around Martha Lee and her daughter Hayley, who have just moved to the neighborhood of Jenny Aynor and her son Jared. The message of the opera is that hate and, specifically in the context of this story, antisemitism, are learned, and therefore can also be unlearned, and replaced with love. While the work was created over a series of months, beginning this past April, it has recently become deeply, painfully relevant to the Pittsburgh community, where it is premiering. The creative team finds that it only makes the production and its message that much more important to put out into the world and to, hopefully, help the community heal.

This clip is a section of Jenny’s aria, where she encourages her son Jared to be brave and resolute in the face of hatred, while moving forward and continuing to make the world a better place.