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In this surrealist drama, A group of girls living in a make-shift school run by nuns are all orphans that survived a fire that destroyed their town. As we learn about the girls, their trauma and the relationships that are formed, we find out that one of them started the fire. A mysterious spectre named “The Barn Man” haunts them every night. The story focuses on how the girls struggle to rebuild their lives.

Ryan Suleiman, Composer

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Suleiman's music engages with daydreams, the natural world, and the understated beauty of everyday life through resonant sororities and lively shifting rhythmic structures.

Cristina Fríes, Librettist

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Cristina Fríes is a Colombian-American fiction writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a recipient of the 2018 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, a 2020 Fulbright Fellowship for Creative Writing, a Margrit Mondavi Graduate Arts Fellowship, and a 2019 Tin House Summer Workshop Scholarship.

Creators Journal

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Selvies

Sessions

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mini doc

Libretto Reading

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The School for Girls Who Lost Everything in the Fire Sing Sample

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Synopsis:

The school for firls who lost everything in the fire

The school for firls who lost everything in the fire :  The Proposal

Curator discussion

with Mary Chun, Jonathan Khuner & Alexa Anderson

Artist Interviews:

The School For Girls Who Lost Everything in the fire

InFocus Issue 12

The School For Girls Who Lost Everything in the fire

Get to know them: First Opera Stories

previous work samples

suleiman and Fríes introduces

"moon, bride, dogs"

Composer ryan suleiman introduces excerpts from "decketh joy, water destroy"

Excerpts from

"Moon, Bride, Dogs"

excerpts from

"decketh joy, water destroy"

Ryan Suleiman Bio:

Ryan Suleiman was born to Lebanese and Mid-Western parents in California. His music engages with daydreams, the natural world, and the understated beauty of everyday life through resonant sororities and lively shifting rhythmic structures. His one-act chamber opera, Moon, Bride, Dogs, was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a gem” with “an aesthetic that is at once so strange and so accessible.” While his artistic interests vary, he seeks ways of conveying the simultaneity of beauty and dread that characterizes our times through his compositional work, and is especially inspired by the natural world. 

Suleiman's music has been performed in several festivals, including SICPP (New England Conservatory), June in Buffalo, and the North American New Opera Workshop (Atlanta). He has written music for dance, theater, and concert performance, collaborating with West Edge Opera, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Hawkins School of Performing Arts, Rogue Music Project, Ensemble Dal Niente, Symphony d’Oro, and the Sacramento State Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and many others. He is a PhD candidate at University of California Davis and a Lecturer at Sacramento State School of Music. Ryan resides in Sacramento with his wife / musical collaborator, Sakurako Kanemitsu, two cats, and one brown dog.

Decketh Joy, Water Destroy, performance 

UC Davis

Liz Anne, Soprano with Ensemble Dal Niente

Cristina Fríes Bio:

Cristina Fríes is a Colombian-American fiction writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. With a Master’s in Creative Writing from UC Davis (2019), she is a recipient of the 2018 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, a 2020 Fulbright Fellowship for Creative Writing, a Margrit Mondavi Graduate Arts Fellowship, and a 2019 Tin House Summer Workshop Scholarship. Many of her stories explore ways in which women and girls contend with displacement and placelessness, disorientation, and trauma. Her published stories can be found in PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018, Epoch Literary Magazine, and War, Literature & the Arts. 

The librettist for the operas titled “Moon, Bride, Dogs” and an extended version titled “Bones of Girls,” her works were selected for production between 2018-2020 by Brooklyn Art Song Society in Davis, CA, NANOworks in Atlanta, GA, Rogue Music Project in Sacramento, CA, and West Edge Opera in Berkeley and San Francisco, CA. As a writer, her aesthetic draws from fabulism, magical realism, and surrealism, and she is interested in Latin American literature, fairy tales, performance writing, literary translation, and experimental forms. Currently, she works as a high school English teacher while she works on a collection of short stories and a novel. Traveler and nomad at heart, she splits her time writing in California and Latin America.

Moon, Bride, Dogs

North American New Opera Workshop

Adelaide Boedecker, Daniel Wiesman and Mitch Gindelsperger

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