For Its Latest Fest of Mini-Operas, One Ounce Celebrates Female Opera Makers


One Ounce Opera launches its Fifth Annual Fresh Squeezed Ounce of Opera festival.

And in a One Ounce Opera first, all four micro-operas performed on the showcase include a woman as either the composer or librettist.

Running Feb. 7 through Feb. 16 at the warehouse theater within the Museum of Human Achievement, the festival celebrates new mini-operas — rogue, contemporary vaudevillian-style short musical theater pieces which celebrates the voice.

“Our selection process is simple,” says One Ounce Opera founder Julie Fiore of how the selections are made. “After an open call for submissions, we check each entry for our required elements: scores with piano accompaniment, small chamber-sized casts, very little spoken dialogue, under 30 minutes in total length, and written in the past few years.”

Set in the era when Spiritualism was all the fade in America, “The Séance,” with a libretto by Sara Fetherolf, places the audience in a parlor of a man who has recently lost his mother and has invited his somewhat estranged sister and her new husband to dinner.

With music and libretto by Austin composer Rain Nox, “The Stranger” takes place in a single somewhat-middle-aged woman’s living room, inhabited by her bird and cat. But things upend when the woman brings a new guy home for the first time.

“Non Motus,” with a libretto by Ilana Fogelson, follows four women early in the morning: an exhausted office worker wondering if today is the day she quits, a mother and daughter driving to a family member’s wake, and a free-spirited young woman who has traveled through the night amped up on energy drinks.

And finally, fortune cookies determine the fate of a couple in the hilarious “Misfortune,” with music by Eva Conley Kendrick.

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From last year’s One Ounce festival “The Cookies Call, A Tragic Tragedy” is Peter Michael von der Nahmer and librettist Emily Roller’s comedic tale of a woman grappling with the temptation of cookies, among other things.

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