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“Emily Somebody,” a Chamber Opera, with libretto and music by Rodrigo Camargo, Louisiana State University

"Emily Somebody" focuses on the story of the friendship between the poet Emily Dickinson and the man who would become her first editor, Mr. Thomas Higginson.

After reading Mr. Higginson's article in a newspaper - in which he provides encouraging advice to aspiring poets and writers - the reclusive averse-to-publication and unknown young poet Emily Dickinson makes a bold move and writes him back asking for mentorship. Through an extensive exchange of letters, they fostered a distant but firm friendship based on mutual literary admiration, which would continue for the entirety of Emily's life. Since Emily kept her verses locked as forbidden secrets in her bedroom for her entire life, it was only after her death that her poetry would finally be discovered by her sister. Emily's sister would give them to Mr.Thomas Higginson, who would compile and edit them into a book. The book edited by Higginson contained some of Emily's best poems and was the first step toward her unquestionable acknowledgment as one of the most important poets in Western literature. Right before her first letter to Higginson, she could feel somehow that this first contact would be of great importance. Somehow - exactly as she writes in one of her poems - she could feel that this was her letter to the world. And it was.

Indeed, after her death, almost 30 years after this first letter, Thomas W Higginson would publish the first book containing her poetry. From then on the world would meet Emily Dickinson. Ultimately, this is a story about a young artist finding out her own voice and discovering the importance of poetry in her life.

Sierra Shoemaker - Emily Dickinson
Kyle Melton - Mr. Thomas Higginson
Meghan Rhoades, Piano
Christopher Ludwig, Flute
Espen Lilleslatten, Violin
Katie DeLaMare, Cello

Conductor: Emily Frederick
Stage Director: Sydney Sorbet
Rehearsal Pianist and Vocal Coach: Meghan Rhoades
Libretto and Music: Rodrigo Camargo

Based on the poems and letters of Emily Dickinson
Premiere: May 2nd, 2023 at Louisiana State University School of Music, Recital Hall.