'The Mother of Us All' | An Opera by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein

'The Mother of Us All' | An Opera by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein
Women at a suffrage information booth; Image: Monterey Peninsula College

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. As part of Project 19, a multiyear New York Philharmonic initiative in honor of the centennial of the 19th amendment, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present The Mother of Us All, an opera with music by Virgil Thomson and a libretto by Gertrude Stein, in a collaboration with the New York Philharmonic and the Juilliard School.

The Mother of Us All imaginatively chronicles the story of Susan B. Anthony and the women’s suffrage movement. This iconic opera, raved by The New Yorker as “the best of all American Operas,” still stands as deeply relevant today — the fight for women’s suffrage that it depicts is mirrored in current struggles for the civil rights of people disenfranchised on the basis of gender, race and sexuality. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art performances (February 8-14) will be under the stage direction of Louisa Proske and conducted by Daniela Candillari. Soprano Felicia Moore will sing the role of Susan B. Anthony alongside singers from The Juilliard School’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts.

Additional performances of The Mother of Us All taking place this year include the Chautauqua Opera Company, The Rochester Philharmonic, University of Northern Colorado and Wright State University. Visit our website for further details on these additional upcoming performances. 

Chief Classical Critic Anthony Tommasini reflects on staging The Mother of Us All in the 1980s, and his fond memories of Virgil Thomson in rehearsals in The New York Times.

Peruse the full score: Act I | Act II

For more information please contact Peggy Monastra: peggy.monastra@schirmer.com or Marcos Cuevas: marcos.cuevas@schirmer.com

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