A chamber opera by Beth Wiemann and Jennifer Moxley
UNTIL THE WAR IS OVER is based on writings by Hilda Doolittle, the American poet known as H.D.
Librettist Jennifer Moxley and composer Beth Wiemann began work on a treatment of H.D.’s autobiographical novel Bid Me to Live in 2012.
Lindsay Conrad and Stefan Barner in the first UMaine Workshop performance.
Two workshop performances of selected scenes took place in the 2015-16 season, the first as part of Hartford Opera Theatre’s New in November series, and the second at the University of Maine’s Black Box Theatre. Further workshops have been held at the John Duffy Institute for New Opera in 2017, and again at UMaine in June, 2019.
Lindsay Conrad and Isaac Bray in the 2019 UMaine workshop.
Written to be an intimate production, with just four singers and four instrumentalists, the opera is comprised of an opening choral prelude, four scenes, and a coda. The total running time is 90 minutes. The characters include H.D. (a soprano, and the lead character, appearing in every scene), D.H. Lawrence (a tenor, appearing in two scenes), Richard Aldington (a baritone, H.D.’s husband), and Bella, another tenant in the Mecklenburgh Square house in 1917 (a mezzo-soprano, Aldington’s lover).
The instrumental group (flute, alto sax, double bass and piano – an adapted jazz combo) hints at salon music of the early 20th century. In the opera’s second half, electronic sounds are blended into the accompaniment.
Lindsay Conrad singing in scene 3, second UMaine workshop.
We welcome inquiries from anyone interested in producing all or parts of this work.
Media and document links:
Opening choral prelude from second UMaine workshop
Excerpt from Scene 2, with Lindsay Conrad as H.D. and Isaac Bray as Richard Aldington
Aria from scene 3, with Lindsay Conrad as H.D.
Excerpt from scene 4, with Lindsay Conrad, and Stefan Barner as D.H. Lawrence
Excerpt from scene 1, audio recording
Complete program from the first UMaine workshop performance: program draft moxley 8.5 x 11 format
Last image of the first UMaine workshop, 2016.