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Image by Drew Beamer
Image by Drew Beamer

I take the week off work
from these wings are meant to fly

for medium voice and piano (2019)

Duration: 4.5 minutes

Libretto: English by Zac Kline


This recitative and aria opens these wings are meant to fly, the short opera I composed to Zac Kline's play in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting. The unnamed soloist is home alone but is crowded by memories of the partner recently killed in the tragedy. The two of them were there dancing that horrible night in June; one survived, one did not. In this aria, the protagonist plans and holds a memorial service for their partner, releasing 25 butterflies in remembrance.



I take a week off work to plan your memorial

Leave the shades open while I sleep so I can wake up at the very first light

Sit in bed all morning pretending that I’ve woken up before you

watching you


while you sleep

It was when I loved you the very most


The memorial comes on a Saturday


We have to be out before the games and picnics


The park is leafy

even though it shouldn’t be this time of year

Cold and damp

even though it shouldn’t be


I look around at everything that has been set up:

The blue folding chairs

The rented sound equipment


The ribbons I will hand out to everyone as they walk from their cars


Your best friend on your Telecaster playing “Hallelujah”

The wind rustles through the leaves


We release butterflies.

Twenty-five in your honor

Each one held in a little paper envelope, like a new razorblade

Aria Premiere:

Hartford Opera Theater

Benjamin Rauch, countertenor; Michelle Horsley, piano

November 15, 2020

Virtual Opera Premiere:

Thompson Street Opera
Soloist: Brian Alvarado, baritone
Chorus: Amanda Noelle Neal, Alicia Hurtado, Nicole Rivera,

Fran Daniel Laucerica, Bruno Rivera
Cody Michael Bradley, piano
directed by Bonsai Bermúdez

music direction by Alexis Enyart

audio/video editing by Claire DiVizio

February 5 & 6, 2021


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