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« The Faculty of Music is thrilled to announce the commissioning of a new opera, Fall River, the legend of Lizzie Borden by composer Cecilia Livingston for U of T Opera. This is only the third opera commission in U of T Opera’s history (since 1946) and the first by a non-faculty member. Fall River will be an 80-90 minute opera for five leading roles, seven secondary roles, a choral ensemble, and a chamber orchestra of 10-12 musicians.

Dr. Cecilia Livingston, Canadian composer and triple graduate of the Faculty of Music (DMA 2015, MMus 2010, BMus 2008), will drive the creative development of this new opera. Dr. Livingston has established herself as the premier composer for vocalists of her generation. This is the perfect time to collaborate with Dr. Livingston as she is one of Canada’s leading composers defining the art of our time. She is a proven composer whose vocal work is performed internationally, such as “Penelope”, that is performed in recital by leading artists such as Emily D’Angelo.

Professor Emeritus Michael Patrick Albano has written over 25 librettos for the Faculty of Music Opera Composers Collective and has recently retired. A full-length opera now would be the right time to celebrate this legacy.

The story of Lizzie Borden and that is captured in the libretto is dynamic, one that touches on human madness, family, wealth, and nativism. One of the most famous murder cases in American history, the emotional underpinning of the heinous act and the subsequent acquittal remains compelling today. »

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