Grey Rose Works
Creating experimental new works of opera-theatre
Based in Southeast Michigan, Grey Rose Works develops and creates experimental new works of opera-theatre. We embrace the space between definition. We believe opera can can use all voices, can employ all modalities of performance and experimentation, can be intimate, and can exist with a radically different audience experience, devoid of the traditions of opera-going that are steeped in racism, classism, and ablism. We want opera to be a transformative experience for everyone.
Image from staging workshop of Little Histories by Grey Rose Grant
A folk opera in four acts.
Little Histories is a folk opera by Grey Rose Grant that explores death ritual and our distanced relationship with death in the U.S. Personal histories from the composer's own life are swirled together in a world of magical realism where grandmothers become trees, where Icarus is a depressed mortician, where death has made its presence known, mixed with histories at large such as the birth of the U.S. funeral industry. The work investigates how we memorize our dead, how we grieve, how we die, and how impermanence shapes meaning in our lives.
January 26 - 28, 2024
The Canterbury House,
Ann Arbor, MI
Ticketing information coming this fall.
Commissioned in part by the Gabriella Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music
Co-Produced by Fifth Wall Performing Arts and Grey Rose Works
Supported in part by New Music Detroit, The Canterbury House, and the Eileen Wieser EXCEL Fund
Glitter Orgy is a chamber music and dance-theatre work, The work received it's concert premiere presented by Fifth Wall Performing Arts and Grey Rose Works on April 24th, 2022 at Ziggy’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan,
The work is presented in 3 acts over the course of 75 minutes, featuring 6 musicians (viola/viola, percussion, electric guitar, electronic flute(s), electronic bassoon, and piano) and 4 singer/dancers.
Musically, Glitter Orgy pays homage to queer composers past, present, of personal significance: Julius Eastman, Meredith Monk, and J. Clay Gonzalez. This homage is not only homage, but a personal investigation into how these composers make their music work. Why do I find their work alluring? What qualities of these bodies of work define them as distinct and individualistic? Where in the work does queerness arise? What can I learn about my own music and how it engages with this tradition of queerness and the experimental, minimalist aesthetic in composition? How do these composers seek out a queer utopia? These are only some of the questions that have guided my study into these composers' work and how that study has translated into homage. Glitter Orgy is a thank-you letter to these composers.
Thematically, Glitter Orgy is concerned with the semiotics and embodiment-practices of trauma recovery, and sexual liberation. The work creates a thematic narrative through tableau. Glitter Orgy is informed by writings on trauma and embodiment, primarily: “The Body Keeps the Score” (Bessel van der Kolk). The work is also informed by my own experience of trauma and recovery. The work rejects the urge to create “trauma porn” to instead focus on recovery, strength, embodiment, and joy. A central component of this joy is a constant thread of camp that threads its way through the work’s total aesthetic, placing it in its own referential insular suburb of a queer utopia.