Lucy, a monodrama composed for baritone and chamber ensemble by John Glover and Kelley Rourke, tells the story of psychologist Maurice Temerlin, who, along with his wife Jane, adopted a day-old chimpanzee in 1964. Naming her Lucy, their intention was to raise this chimpanzee as if she were their human child.
In the opera, as Temerlin struggles to hold on to memories of a happy family life, documentation from the experiment challenges him to come to terms with the project's ultimate consequences. In revealing the devastating effects of the experiment, the opera challenges audiences to consider the moral and ethical questions of animal research.
The Eugene Opera production features baritone Andrew Wilkowske, who has performed the role in prior productions at Milwaukee Opera Theater in 2014 and Urban Arias in 2017.
A panel discussion by University of Oregon faculty in coordination with the Museum of Natural and Cultural History will take place in the week before the performances, creating deeper engagement with the historical and ethical consequences of this period in American primate research.
Coming March 2021!
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