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Alice Tierney (2023)

for 7 solo voices and chamber ensemble | 01:00:00

by Melissa Dunphy | text by Jacqueline Goldfinger

There is no score for this work currently available. Please contact the composer for more information.

Commissioned by the Oberlin Opera Commissioning Program through the generosity of Elizabeth and Justus ’71 Schlichting, Alice Tierney will be workshopped with Oberlin Conservatory students and premiered on campus in 2023. Dunphy was one of seven winners of a 2020 OPERA America Discovery Grant, presented to female composers with the intention of increasing gender parity across the opera industry. That grant will support the development of Alice Tierney at Oberlin.

Alice Tierney explores the mythic stories surrounding the death of the real-life 19th-Century "dissipated woman" Alice Tierney. Tierney was found hanging by her own petticoats on a fence in a seedy Philadelphia neighborhood early one morning in 1880. Despite suspicious circumstances, the death was ruled accidental and never investigated by police. But who was Alice? Can four grad students investigating the site discover the truth?

Alice Tierney will be premiered in January of 2023. A portion of the opera was workshopped in October, 2021, at Oberlin Conservatory:

Music by…Melissa Dunphy
Libretto by…Jacqueline Goldfinger
Stage Director…Christopher Mirto
Dramaturg…Julia Bumke

QUINN...Isabella Lopez
ZANDRA...Kayleigh Tolley
LYRA...Elizabeth Hanje
JOHN...Jon Motes
ALICE 1...Mae Harrell
ALICE 2...Kylie Buckham
ALICE 3...Isabel Breakey

Conductor...Benjamin Martin
Pianist...Daniel Michalak

Photographer: Jonathan Clark

Oberlin Conservatory

OPERA America


  • OPERA America Discovery Grant 2020