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The Romance of the Rose

Kate Soper - World Premiere

The startlingly refreshing work of composer / performer / writer Kate Soper arrives with the world premiere of The Romance of the Rose. Performed by seven singers and a chamber ensemble and live electronics, this innovative work mixes medieval and contemporary allegory—along with shrieks, wails, and auto-tuned oration—to dramatize the ways in which love, sex, and music wreak havoc on our sense of self. A new voice in the lineage of iconoclastic performers like Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk, Soper has been hailed as “one of the great originals of her generation” (The New Yorker).

Opera in two acts and two epilogues. – World Premiere
Book and Music by Kate Soper
With additional texts by multiple authors
Inspired by Le Roman de la Rose by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun
Directed by Michael Rau
Performed by Wet Ink Large Ensemble and Gelsey Bell, Phillip Bullock, Ariadne Greif, Robert Wesley Mason, Devony Smith, Lucas Steele & Brett Umlauf
Music directed and conducted by Josh Modney

Creative Producer: Annie Holt
Scenic Design: Sara C. Walsh
Costume Design: Marissa Menezes
Lighting Design: Anshuman Bhatia
Projection Design: Brad Peterson
Production Stage Manager: Shannon Richey

EP8: Kate Soper

In this episode of The Talking Cure, composer, performer, and writer Kate Soper shares her story about life after the ‘shut down’ and the world premiere of The Romance of the Rose at the Alexander Kasser Theater due to COVID-19; how she is staying in touch with collaborators from the Wet Ink Ensemble and her new Youtube quarantine project Unwritten Operas.

Recorded remotely on April 29, via Zoom.



pdf program peak performances


In The News

Zachary Woolfe, THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Kate Soper’s New Opera Opens Next Year”
The Romance of the Rose” is a highlight of the coming season of Peak Performances at Montclair State University.


The Romance of the Rose was co-produced by Peak Performances @ Montclair State University.

Programs in Peak Performances’ 2019-20 season are made possible in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.