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The Composer

American composer Evan Fein was born in 1984 in Cleveland, Ohio, and currently resides in New York City, where he is a member of the Ear Training Teaching Faculty at The Juilliard School Precollege and Evening Divisions. His music, known for its strongly lyrical and narrative qualities, has been widely performed at home and abroad—including France, Germany, Iceland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands—and has been commissioned by organizations such as the Paris-based Opéra de Poche, The Albany Symphony, The Juilliard School, The New York Choreographic Institute, and Cleveland Public Theater. He is the recipient of awards from the ASCAP Foundation, as well as grants from Meet the Composer and the American Scandinavian Society.

Evan’s first opera, The Raven’s Kiss, based on Icelandic folk stories, premiered in concert at Juilliard in the spring of 2011. His second opera, The Island of the Ugly Sisters (L’Île des sept sœurs), was premièred in Paris in October 2013 by the Opéra de Poche. A third opera, City of Ashes, also commissioned by the Opéra de Poche, will be presented in 2015 in several cities across France.

Evan began playing the piano and composing at age six. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition, he studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and L’École Normale de Musique de Paris. His primary teachers included Robert Beaser, Samuel Adler, Michel Merlet, and Margaret Brouwer.  

His dissertation, 'The Ghosts of Versailles by John Corigliano: An Evolutionary Study,' was completed in 2014. The first comprehensive study of Corigliano's work commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera for its centennial, it will soon be available to scholars around the world. Equally at home in cinema, Evan was the primary orchestrator on the 2011 film Sedona, featuring Frances Fisher.

The Librettist

American librettist Emily Anderson is a working writer who divides her time between Tennessee and Paris. A former university English instructor, she writes television and Web programming, videos, books, print articles, opera libretti, and websites. She also serves as a Web consultant.


The author of the books The Pursuit of Happy Results: Barry Spann and the Making of Twenty-Seven Landscapes and All-American Comfort Food, Emily has written for numerous television networks including A&E, PBS, Oxygen Network, HGTV, the Food Network, and DIY Network. Her subjects range from circus clowns, Maria Callas, and the French Organ School to true crime and murder to food shows and home-and-garden design and repair. She specializes in telephone and on-camera interviews and has recorded voice over and edited video.


The Island of the Ugly Sisters is her first libretto. The Opéra de Poche will produce her second libretto, City of Ashes, in 2015. She has just finished a third libretto, Narcissa, a one-woman comic opera in one act.

The Artist 

American artist Barry Spann is a painter/print maker. His work ranges from Twenty-Seven Landscapes:1977–1983, the last of the livres d’artiste published in association with the Trianon Press, Paris, to numerous landscapes in private and public collections worldwise, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, London's Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.


In 2012, the Opéra de Poche commissioned Spann to paint décor for the October 2013 world première of The Island of the Ugly Sisters. The resulting landscape, oil on canvas, 6 1/2 by 15 feet, is painted on five panels which the cast moved during the performance to create various scenes.


Barry will paint décor for the upcoming Opéra de Poche production City of Ashes in 2015.


He is currently working on a series of oil paintings entitled Le cirque Bouddha (The Buddha Circus), his term for this world in which we find ourselves.


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