Felix Jarrar & Robert Feng to Present Workshop Performance of ‘you do not recognize the bodies in the water’

By Chris Ruel

Composer/pianist Felix Jarrar and librettist Robert Feng will present Jarrar’s 13th opera, “you do not recognize the bodies in the water,” in a workshop performance at OPERA America on Nov. 22, 2022.

Billed as a horror opera, Jarrar and Feng relate the story of an arsonist who is set free from prison so long as she works for a shadowy organization. People have gone missing at a lake, and her task is to discover the truth behind the disappearances and comes face to face with death itself.

The cast includes mezzo-soprano Taylor-Alexis DuPont as Mariah, soprano Katharine Burns as Dr. Wendy Leong, baritone Darrell J. Jordan as Mark, mezzo-soprano Annie Chester as Carol, and bass Robert Feng as Interviewer.

Joining the principals onstage is a chorus of Bodies featuring soprano Rachael Hanauer, soprano Emma Dickinson, and basses Robert Feng and Jason Adamo.

Jarrar serves as pianist and Music Director. Both Jarrar and Feng have written horror operas. Jarrar adapted a series of Poe stories for the opera stage, including “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Cask of Amontillado, and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” among others.

Feng began work as a librettist at Peabody Conservatory, writing for composers Terrence J. Martin and Nicholas Bentz. Feng’s first opera, “Having Guests for Dinner,” had its digital premiere by Hartford Opera Theater in 2020 and New Opera West in 2022. The opera will receive a live full-length premiere in the summer of 2023. Feng is currently a Hawaii Opera Theatre Young Artist.