‘m(0rpheus)’ First Italian Opera About Transgender Community to Premiere April 2022

By Chris Ruel

The first Italian opera giving voice to the transgender community, “(m)0rpheus,” has been named one of three finalists of the Opera Factor Competition and will have its world premiere in Verona at the former Church of San Pietro in Monastero on April 2, 2022.

Composed by Milen Apostolov for baritone, mezzo-soprano, and chamber ensemble, to a libretto by Sebastiano Bazzichetto, the opera evokes the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and draws from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” opera’s Italian origins with Monteverdi, Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” and Yann Martel’s “Self,” among others.

With “(m)0rpheus,” Apostolov and Bazzichetto believe their words and music can help break down the stigmatization and prejudice faced by the trans community because of the lack of information and discourse about what transitioning means.

Opera Factor is an international competition-residence funded by Verona Opera Academy, with support from CariVerona. The competition sought composers and librettists from all over the world, regardless of age.