July 21, 2013

psst... hey YOU... wanna help launch a new opera?

Lori Lewis: soprano with big plans
Last week I introduced you to Kathatina von Bora, a.k.a. Katie Luther, or Mrs. Martin Luther. You liked her - I could just feel it! You agreed that her story is compelling and totally opera-worthy. In fact, like me, you were amazed that no one had ever created an opera about her before now. You nodded your head in approval to hear that I've written libretto and music for Katie Luther: the Opera.

Now you can help her - and me. Keep reading; a few paragraphs from now I'll tell you about a fund-raiser in progress and how you can help. First though, here's why your help is needed.

St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Baltimore MD
The original plan for this project was simple. Lori Lewis, a soprano and lifelong Lutheran from Albuquerque, had always wanted to play Katie on the stage. She asked me to write the piece, with the goal of singing it as a one-woman show for Lutheran congregations. She printed up a flier and emailed it to a long list of prominent churches.

Then things started to get crazy.

Lori, who already had a bit of notoriety as the creator of a popular website called Everday Opera (check it out at this link), got responses from all over the United States. Several plum venues thought it would be just the thing to have a lovely, 60-minute opera about Katie performed on or about Reformation Sunday, October 27.
Elizabeth Madeiros Hogue

Lori, as much of a Type-A personality as she is, is only one person.

So now my opera is scheduled to have no less than five - count 'em! five! - virtually simultaneous premiere performances in five cities, sung by five sopranos. You know, Aida had only one world premiere. Yeah, yeah, the King of Egypt attended, but even so: I think I've bested Verdi in this scenario. He would be green with envy. (Highly appropriate, given his surname, right?)

Actually, Lori is now thinking big. She'd like to see this opera go on a national tour. She'd like to see the opera performed in Luther's hometown of Wittenberg Germany during the festivities associated with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. She'd like the opera aired on PBS. She's created a management team to oversee these plans, with an advisory board filled with prominent opera singers and other mover-shaker types. She's got a booking agent to handle performance requests and a professional in the business of music promotion to help get out the word.
Janet Hopkins

This is where you come in, Dear and Faithful Readers.

Lori and I now have a tiger by the tail. This enterprise has become, several times over, more complex and more expensive. Here, by the way, is a list of the scheduled performances and artists:

Listen, we've got to fund all of this. There are nun's habits to procure, pianists and singers to be compensated, simple sets and props to be arranged for, and (eventually) a DVD's and CD's to be recorded and duplicated. 

If you are a Lutheran - heck, if you're a Protestant; if you believe in encouraging new opera; if you support the arts; if you like vocal music; if you believe that dreams can come true; if this project sounds worthy to you; please know that YOU CAN HELP US. RIGHT NOW, THIS SECOND.

Kathleen Halm Simmons
Kathryn Peperkorn

Do me a solid and click on this link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/katie-luther-the-opera?c=home that Lori created on indigogo.com. You can watch a short video in which you meet Lori, hear her describe her take on what we're trying to accomplish, and even hear some brief exceprts from the music performed by Elizabeth Hogue and Your Humble Blogger at the piano.

Size of gift doesn't matter. Give a lot or give a little. $5? No problem. $10? Cool. $20? That's where the  gifts of appreciation begin.

$1000.00? Well, okay - if you insist... <insert smiley face>

Just click on the link and watch the video.

And thanks. Thanks for helping, thanks for SHARING this post with friends you think might be interested, thanks for having read all the way to the end of this post, and most of all...

...thanks for helping and caring.


  1. Heck, I'm Catholic and I supported this! I'm all for celebrating the strong women that have been left out of the history books, plus music, composers, opera, and singers. What's not to love?

    1. Well, when you think about it, Katie was Catholic for a REALLY long time! LOL I appreciate your encouragement. Thanks!

    2. Hi Josie, May we use your quote on Katie Luther's page? :) Lori

  2. I think you should do a Pittsburgh premiere as well. :)

    1. In time, Annette; these five venues were scheduled in response to requests from prominent Lutheran churches and seminaries. We're eager to take it wherever theres interest!

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  4. I think Ms. Lori is the best Soprano all over the world.Therion Rules!