Everything for Dawn
Episode 5: The Birdhouse
Episode 5: Ed takes Mac to a session led by an art therapist, and Mac tries painting for the first time. He becomes absorbed in memories of Vietnam and family life, and discovers he has a natural aptitude for art.
A series by Experiments in Opera. Everything for Dawn is an original coming-of-age story spanning the 1990s. Dawn is a teenager dealing with the impact of her father’s suicide. Her personal tragedy becomes public when his paintings become celebrated as “outsider art.” With each episode written by a different librettist/composer pairing, the opera is an examination of the ways we seek solace in a broken world, community intersectionality, and the rationale for making art.
Everything for Dawn was designed from the beginning as a work that would accommodate multiple voices and aesthetic styles. PART ONE of the opera (episodes 1 – 3 set in 1997) takes place in a suburban Detroit home, where a college-aged daughter (Dawn) and her mother discover a box of paintings by Mac, their father/husband, who has recently committed suicide. They are conflicted about what to do with the paintings, but eventually give a local curator permission to show them in her gallery. PART TWO of the opera (episodes 4 – 7 set in 1995) takes place a few years earlier in the mental health facility that the father had been in prior to his suicide. In the facility, he discovers painting through an art therapy class and it helps him to deal with his depression and PTSD from the Vietnam War. PART THREE of the opera (episodes 8 – 10 set in 2001) picks up after the end of Part One when the father is hailed by the art world as a star of outsider art. Throughout the work, the main themes of family ties, mental illness and the art world are teased out and reconstituted as the opera culminates in an ensemble scene in a New York art gallery with most of the cast together to contemplate the legacy of a complicated man.
Up Next in Season 1
Episode 6: At the Crack of Dawn
Episode 6: Dawn visits Mac in the hospital to ask if she can drive his car. As their conversation grows tense Mac begins to replay his art therapy with Joy in his mind.
A series by Experiments in Opera. Everything for Dawn is an original coming-of-age story spanning the 1990s. Dawn is a teenager...
Episode 7: Standard Procedure
Episode 7: Joy has a meeting with Dr. Slade to discuss the renewal of her art therapy program. Dr. Slade fires Joy. Mac tells Ed and Joy that Dr. Slade is discharging him from the hospital.
A series by Experiments in Opera. Everything for Dawn is an original coming-of-age story spanning the 1990...
Episode 8: Into a White Box
Episode 8: Several years have passed. Anya has curated a show of Mac’s paintings at a gallery in lower Manhattan. Gloria and Dawn visit the gallery before the opening. They reconnect with Carla who now works at the gallery.
A series by Experiments in Opera. Everything for Dawn is an original com...