Music by Randall Eng
Libretto by Alexis Bernier

About Henry's Wife

Henry's Wife is a love story, a mystery, a family drama, a ghost story.

Daniel, a journalist, has been summoned to conduct a rare interview with Henry, a reclusive philosopher/artist, at the secluded estate where he lives with his beautiful second wife, Pascal, and his devoted daughter, Marisa. Almost immediately, Daniel senses that there is a more personal reason for his being there. He meets Pascal and falls in love at first sight. The interview begins, but it seems that Daniel is being interviewed by Henry rather than the other way around. Finally the "truth" is revealed—Henry has been having intense, recurring dreams of his late, first wife (Marisa's mother) and in them, she has told Henry to bring Daniel to the estate, that Pascal and Daniel must leave together, and most difficult of all, that Marisa must leave as well. With varying levels of awareness of this "plan", the four characters embrace, resist, and accept Henry's wife's directives.

The score is in turn propulsive and lyrical, operatically passionate and theatrically intimate, and is equal parts jazz, opera, and musical theatre.


Filmed at Opera Grows in Brooklyn
Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, New York - Oct 2010
Music Direction by Mila Henry
Featuring: James Sasser, Carla Jablonski

Watch an additonal excerpt from Henry's Wife here.

About the Creators

RANDALL ENG (composer)
Hailed as “one of the most brilliant young composers of his generation” (New Music Connoisseur), Randall Eng has devoted his career to mining the territory between opera, music-theatre, and jazz. His opera Florida was presented at Lyric Opera Cleveland in 2006, and was also presented at New York City Opera’s VOX festival and the Public Theater’s New Work Now! festival. His work has been performed by Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Dogs of Desire, the Center for Contemporary Opera, Tapestry New Opera, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Shaw Festival, Mirror Visions Ensemble, Circle East Theater, Boston Metro Opera, Metropolis Opera, and the Composer's Voice. Randall has received grants and residencies from the American Music Center, the American Composers Forum, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Bang on a Can Summer Institute. He is a graduate of Harvard University, Cambridge University, and New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where he now teaches. Randall was a 2003-04 member of AOP's Composers & the Voice program.

ALEXIS BERNIER (librettist)
Alexis's plays have been critically acclaimed across Canada, from Victoria’s Belfry Theatre to the Stratford Festival. For Skazmos Theatre Toronto, she has directed seven of her plays, including Still Life, Truce, The Pride, and Breaking Character ("…one of the richest, most subtle scripts of the year…" NOW). For Princeton Entertainment and the Kennedy Center, Alexis has written gala concerts and Christmas shows starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Joel Grey, and Aretha Franklin. In the past few years, she has begun composing, beginning with a children’s show, Choose, and adapting two of her plays into musicals, Some People’s Children and Musical Chairs. Current projects include: for the Nuremburg Chamber Festival, Bumblebee Song Cycle; for Skazmos Theatre, a trilogy of one woman plays, Apologia, Penance and Paradise. Alexis is a founding member of the country-folk-pop group The Elly May Band.

AOP Presentations

March 13 & 20, 2011
Manhattan School of Music - Greenfield Hall (March 13)
120 Claremont Ave. (@122nd St.), New York, New York 10027
The Great Room at South Oxford Space (March 20)
138 South Oxford St., Brooklyn, NY 11217
Concert reading of opera - Act II
STAGE DIRECTION: David Herskovits
PERFORMANCES BY: Nicholas Connolly, Allyson Herman, Meghan Picerno, and Thomas Wazelle

October 18, 2010
Opera Grows in Brooklyn
Concert reading of opera - excerpts
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street (corner of Water St.)
Brooklyn, NY
PERFORMANCES BY: James Sasser, Carla Jablonski.

October 07-08, 2004
Composers & the Voice: Six Scenes
Concert reading of scene
The Great Room at South Oxford Space
138 South Oxford St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217
PERFORMANCES BY: Deborah Van Renterghem (Marisa), Stephanie Woodling (Pascal), Enrique Torál (Daniel), Michael Zegarski (Henry).

aop programs

First Chance

C&V thumb
AOP Monodrama
OPERAtion Brooklyn
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

American Opera Projects, Inc. • 138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Call 718.398.4024 •