March 06, 2019

History, Family, and Possessions Explored in AN AMERICAN DREAM

The powerful new opera examines a dark part of human nature and America’s past.

“If you had to leave your home today and couldn’t return, what would you want to take with you?” That is the question that inspired the thought-provoking contemporary opera being presented by Lyric Unlimited: An American Dream

This moving work originated at the Seattle Opera. It has been heralded for its beauty as an opera, and its importance as an exploration of our country’s history. An American Dream will have two performances on March 15 and 17 at the Harris Theater (205 E Randolph Street).

With music by Jack Perla and libretto by Jessica Murphy Moo, the emotional and introspective opera explores the lives of two women during World War II: a Japanese American forced to leave her home, and a German-Jewish immigrant preoccupied by those she left behind. In this Lyric premiere, cherished items take on deeper meaning for the displaced and incarcerated. This intimate new production is fully staged and costumed and features a 15-piece orchestra.

An American Dream was developed unlike any other opera and touches audiences unlike any other opera. According to the Music Critics Association of America, it “is a prime example of ‘people’s music’ that tackles a formerly uncomfortable subject with honesty.” 

The Seattle Times described An American Dream as “a gripping piece of musical theater.” 

There are only two performances so don’t miss your chance to experience a piece of history uniquely explored and illuminated by opera. 

February Lyric Notes

Lyric Unlimited premiere of Perla’s An American Dream generously made possible by

Lead sponsor


Lester S. Abelson Foundation/ Katherine A. Abelson

Nix Lauridsen and Virginia Croskery Lauridsen

Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund

Seymour H. Persky Charitable Trust

Mary Stowell

Eric and Deb Hirschfield

Mary Patricia Gannon

Kenneth R. Norgan

With additional support from the Eisen Family Foundation and James R. Grimes.

Photos: Philip Newton/Seattle Opera