Dark Sisters is a story of resilience, survival, and ultimately of hope, as seen through the eyes of one extraordinary woman. Living within the confines of a polygamist, patriarchal cult, the opera follows the journey of Eliza, a sister-wife who questions what she has been taught and emerges as a singular voice, one who is no longer content to be one of many.This haunting work by one of America's most popular and prolific composers, Nico Muhly, charts one woman’s quest for self-discovery in a world where personal identity is forbidden.
Dark Sisters: Composer
Nico Muhly (b.1981) is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Philadelphia Orchestra and others, he has written more than 80 works for the concert stage, including the operas Two Boys (2010), Dark Sisters (2011), and Marnie (2017), which premiered at the English National Opera and was staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018; the song cycles Sentences 2015), for countertenor Iestyn Davies, and Impossible Things (2009), for tenor Mark Padmore; a viola concerto for violist Nadia Sirota; the choral works My Days (2011) and Recordare, Domine (2013), written for the Hilliard Ensemble and the Tallis Scholars respectively and most recently Register (2018), a work for organ and orchestra written for James McVinnie and premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Muhly is a frequent collaborator with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and, as an arranger, has paired with Joanna Newsom and Antony and the Johnsons, among others. Planetarium, a large work co-written with Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner, was released on 4AD records. He has composed for stage and screen, with credits that include music for the 2013 Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie and scores for the films Kill Your Darlings; Me; the Academy Award-winning The Reader; and the BAFTA nominated BBC mini-series Howards End. Born in Vermont, Muhly studied composition with John Corigliano and Christopher Rouse at the Juilliard School before working as an editor and conductor for Philip Glass. He is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes (2006) and Mothertongue (2008). He currently lives in New York City.