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Lyric Opera Theatre’s new works reading series lands students at national festival

March 31, 2017

Several ASU School of Music students are slated to participate in the 2017 National Women’s Music Festival in Wisconsin this summer following the success of the ASU Lyric Opera Theatre’s new works reading of “BABE: An Olympian Musical,” a musical composed by an ASU alum and based on the first American female Olympic athlete Babe Didrikson.

The Lyric Opera Theatre’s presentation of “BABE” in November was its first installment of a new works reading series at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center. For the first reading of the new series, the Lyric Opera Theatre chose a work composed by an alum, Andrea Jill Higgins. Higgins and award-winning playwright Carolyn Gage, who wrote the book and lyrics for “BABE,” were in residence with the Lyric Opera Theatre for a one-week workshop of the piece, which has had previous workshops with Arizona Women's Theatre Company and Theatre Unbound in Minneapolis.

“BABE” will receive a full concert reading with orchestra at the 2017 National Women's Music Festival in Wisconsin this summer. During the reading in the fall, the composer and librettist selected two ASU students, Ali Wood, a senior in musical theatre, and Melanie Holm, second-year doctoral student in voice, to reprise their roles in the professional workshop at NWMF. 

The new works series continues at ASU Kerr this Sunday, April 2 with a reading of Ellen Reid's and Roxie Perkins' experimental opera “PRISM,” produced by Lyric Opera Theatre alum Beth Morrison, who was hailed by the Wall Street Journal as "a 21st century Diaghilev" and listed among Musical America's 30 Innovators in 2016. Morrison and the creative team for “PRISM” are in residence with the students for one week. The public reading will include a Creative Response Process with audience participants facilitated by Herberger Institute Professor Liz Lerman.

Following the success of its first reading, the ASU Lyric Opera Theatre in the Herberger Institute plans to continue its new works series at ASU Kerr Cultural Center for the 2017–2018 season.

School and Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute
samccar5@asu.edu