Opera Columbus, ProMusica to Co-Produce Opera based on Ohio Flood of 1913
Opera Columbus and ProMusica are partnering to produce and commission a chamber opera titled The Flood, based on the Ohio Flood of 1913 and its effect on four generations.
This is Opera Columbus’ first commission of a new opera in nearly 20 years, and takes place on Feb. 8-10 at the Southern Theatre.
The opera is set in Franklinton and centers around universal themes of mental health and inter-generational trauma. The Flood will show the impact the flood had on a devastated Franklinton community by following four generations of a single family.
Peggy Kriha Dye, co-producer of the opera and general director of Opera Columbus, says both companies wanted to create an opera that had Columbus as the backdrop.
“Franklinton is in the middle of this incredible transformation, she says. And the whole riverfront, all the attention is on Franklinton right now in the city — so it was a great way to bring the past into … kind of how we got there.”
In four parts, the work will explore the trauma experienced from generation to generation. While noting that the opera is in English, and runs just over an hour long without intermission, Dye says the work is a mystery but comes together neatly at the end.
“It’s a really beautiful musical drama. It’s almost like a play with this score underneath it supporting it,” she says. “It takes on lots of different things about mental health. It talks about the African-American story in Columbus. It also gives a little road map to the history of Columbus.”
The opera’s creative team includes nationally-recognized professionals like composer Korine Fujiwara and director Stephen Wadsworth. Funding for the opera comes from a number of grants and awards, including an arts prize from The Columbus Foundation.