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Spotlight Feature - Jessica Rudman

Hello HOTOpera Fans! We are only a few days away from our 8th annual New in November Festival! Today, we are pleased to feature the final composer in our New in November spotlight series: Jessica Rudman! This year, we are thrilled to present excerpts from her opera: Marie Curie Learns to Swim based on the life of scientist, Marie Curie.

We hope you enjoy learning about Jessica and what "opera without borders" means to her!

Join us this Saturday for our 8th annual New in November Festival at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Hartford! Visit our website today to purchase your tickets!

Described as a “new music ninja” by the Hartford Advocate, Jessica Rudman is a Connecticut-based composer and teacher whose music unifies melodic development and narrative structures with extended techniques to create a unique and personal emotional expression. Her works have been performed by groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Riot Ensemble, the Cadillac Moon Ensemble, the Omaha Symphony's Chamber Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, and the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. She has received awards from SCI/ASCAP, Boston Metro Opera, the College Music Society, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and others.

Jessica has served on the faculty at Baruch College, Central Connecticut State University, and The Hartt School. She is currently the Director of the Young Composers Project and the Chair of the Creative Studies Department at The Hartt School Community Division. Jessica has also been highly involved in arts administration and volunteers with the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. She holds degrees from the CUNY Graduate Center, The Hartt School, and the University of Virginia.

More information about Jessica and her work can be found at her website:

Here's what Jessica had to say about "opera without borders" -

To me, “Opera without Borders” means connection - connection with words and music, connection with ideas and issues relevant to today, and most importantly, connection with people.

One of the exciting elements of opera is the equal partnership of words and music. The text allows composers and writers to clearly convey specific scenarios and messages. The music transcends the words, adding context, subtext, and layers of drama. Together, they bring a story to life and transport the audience across the borders of daily life to another reality.

Music can be a form of escape or entertainment, but it is also an important vehicle for social commentary so many composers use music to explore ideas that are relevant to our lives. My recent work, for example, has focused on issues like domestic abuse, equality, the environment, disparities in economic and political status, etc. Contemporary opera has something to say about our world, our lives, and our future as a society. You might agree with a work’s message or not; either way, it always can serve as a starting point for discussion and connection.

Opera is at heart a community-building art form. Composers, writers, performers, directors, and audiences all come together to engage with each other and with something larger than the sum of all its parts. We feel, we grow, we are transformed by our experience together. Opera helps us break down barriers and come together. “Opera without borders,” then, is really about a world without borders.

For more information on New in November, please visit our website:

We hope to see you there!

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