Writing opera in Hong Kong

I’ve been enjoying a few weeks’ stay at home in Hong Kong, away from the freezing weather of Wisconsin. While hanging out with my family is the utmost priority, I’m also hard[ly?] at work on my dissertation piece, which is a comic opera for four singers.

With luck, I’ll be able to meet the March-15 deadline for the Graduate School, and perhaps the opera will receive a premiere reading some time in May. Titled “Wired for Love”, here’s the synopsis. Enjoy!

Looking for his next victim, Okoro, the Nigerian purveyor of an online scam, went about his daily business of sending out an email message, under the alias of Bako Ndiovu. His message reached a British man (“British guy”) who, spending too much time online and too little time in real life, decided to respond under the guise of a hot female model by the name of Ethyl Wormvarnish. His goal was to keep Okoro from getting to a real victim, and to make a fool out of him. Thus began the correspondence between Okoro and the British guy, each trying to outfox the other. While their lies and excuses grew, so did the personalities of their fictional avatars, which gradually developed as they each became aware of both their own and the other’s existence in the cyberspace. Bako, who began as only Okoro’s avatar, started to realize on his own he had a desire to come clean about the deception. Ethyl, who according to the British guy, was a sassy wild girl who would never settle for just one person, slowly succumbed to the purity of Bako’s heart and to the beauty of his entirely imaginary physique. While Okoro and the British guy continued their correspondence via the personalities of Bako and Ethyl, Bako and Ethyl, both increasingly independent, began struggling to express their yearning for one another. Finally, Bako devised a bold plan to escape: pretending to complete the scam transaction through a payment, he and Ethyl would finally meet and run away.

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