• Nico Muhly
  • Dark Sisters (2011)

  • St. Rose Music Publishing (World)

Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera of Philadelphia

Opera in 2 acts

  • 1(pic).1(ca).1(bcl).0/
  • 2pf/perc
  • 5 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, bass
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • Stephen Karam
  • English
    • 7th June 2024, Jarvis Opera Hall, Chicago, IL, United States of America
    • 9th June 2024, Jarvis Opera Hall, Chicago, IL, United States of America
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Programme Note


   ELIZA (30s): Lyric Soprano
   PRESENDIA (First Wife, 40s): Mezzo-Soprano
   RUTH (Second Wife, 40s): Mezzo-Soprano
   ALMERA (Third Wife, 30s): Soprano
   ZINA (Fourth Wife, 30s): Lyric Soprano
   LUCINDA (Eliza’s Daughter, 20s): Soprano
   PROPHET/KING (40s-50s): Bass


DARK SISTERS follows one woman’s dangerous attempt to escape her life as a member of the FLDS Church (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints), a sect that split from mainstream Mormonism in the early 20th Century largely because of the LDS Church’s renunciation of polygamy. The male founders of the Mormon faith (Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, chief among them) loom large in American history; Dark Sisters puts the women front and center.

The narrative draws inspiration from the flurry of media attention surrounding the two most infamous raids on FLDS compounds (the 1953 raid at Short Creek, AZ and the 2008 raid at the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, TX) as well as the stories of the over 80 wives of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Set against a red-earthed landscape filled with revelations, dark prophets and white temples stretching towards heaven, Dark Sisters charts one woman’s quest for self-discovery in a world where personal identity is forbidden.

(Voices from premiere production:
   ELIZA: Lyric or Spinto Soprano 
   PRESENDIA: Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano 
   RUTH: Contralto or Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano 
   ALMERA: Spinto or Dramatic Soprano 
   ZINA: Lyric Coloratura Soprano 
   LUCINDA: Light Lyric or Lyric Coloratura Soprano 
   PROPHET/KING: Bass or Bass-Baritone )


Full score
Vocal score


More Info