AOP to Present World Premiere of ‘Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War’

By Afton Wooten

The American Opera Project (AOP) and the Irondale Ensemble Project will premiere the new opera “Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War” at Irondale’s “On Women Festival.”

Composer Kirsten Volness and librettists Kate Holland and Susan Werbe’s work reveals real letters, poetry, journal entries, memories, and recalled oral sentiments by women who experienced the effects of World War I (1914 – 18). These stories are told by a cast of six women representing mothers, wives, daughters, friends, lovers, nurses, factory workers, caretakers, and civilians.

“Letters That You Will Not Get” gives voices to people who played an integral part in the war but were overlooked. Werbe says, “The Great War was represented almost entirely through the writings of young men who fought and died in the war, and the old men who sent them there. This piece is a reminder of the realities of war from the voices that we rarely hear from. There is no denying that our world is once again suffering from global conflict. May the words of these women open an important window to the past that bridges us to the present while helping us to reframe the future and the voices that have something important to say.”

The premiere of this work will take place at The Space at Irondale throughout the final week of the “On Women Festival.” Performances are scheduled for July 29-30 at 7:30 pm and July 31 at 5:00 pm, and August 4-7 at 7:30 p.m.