Galaxies in Her Eyes
World Premiere Opera
by Mark Weiser & Amy Punt
"Eden, the youngster whose misadventure precipitates the time-defying events of Galaxies in Her Eyes, is a cousin of the eponymous protagonists of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors and Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, but soprano Diana Thompson-Brewer made Eden a unique character, a girl recognizably like and absolutely unlike any other. From the start of Eden’s expedition, Thompson-Brewer sang Weiser’s music and Punt’s words with disarming sincerity. Eden’s reactions to each of her exchanges with her mathematical ancestors were astutely differentiated, but her yearning for her mother was omnipresent in the soprano’s performance.
Eden is no ordinary operatic heroine, but Thompson-Brewer approached her music with the same concentration that she devotes to rôles like Mozart’s Königin der Nacht, Donizetti’s Lucia, and Strauss’s Zerbinetta. Eden’s vocal lines make relatively modest demands by comparison, but Thompson-Brewer left nothing to chance, her singing demonstrating the confidence of preparedness. She managed in the opera’s brief duration to forge a richly-detailed depiction of Eden, culminating in an uplifting realization of the girl’s dream to land on the surface of Mars. The revelation in the opera’s final scene that Eden’s mother had died, the loving daughter singing that her father had done his best but could not fill her mother’s absence, was all the more devastating for being fleeting. Eden’s trek began as a girl’s physical quest and ended as a gloriously independent woman’s mission to reconnect to the mother who nurtured her dreams. Along the way, Thompson-Brewer’s singing shone as radiantly as the constellations Eden revered."
Photo credit: Bill Broadway.