Featuring the world premieres of three commissions from Whitney George, Gemma Peacocke, and Gabrielle Herbst for female voice, chamber ensemble, and electronics.
Women have always been artists, but for centuries, women were excluded from the records of history—their art being dismissed as unimportant, “craft”, and not elevated. Now, in the 21st century, we still see these trends happening, particularly in the field of opera. The exclusion of women’s art has made the male perspective dominant. The male gaze tells stories about male heroes and women as secondary characters; explores the male psyche and leaves women as merely tools to help the male characters achieve their ultimate arch.
The Female Gaze flips the male gaze: the creator is a woman, the characters are women, and the spectators are women. Fresh Squeezed Opera aims to put women on an equal level to men in the performance of operatic works, and celebrate the unique idioms and perspective that women composers offer in their works. This project will act as a strong symbol in the new music community—a group of women coming together to create an artistic statement about the value of women in the arts. This will be a statement about the operatic genre – a vastly male-dominated field – and demand the inclusion of women.
The Female Gaze is an ongoing project curated by FSO Director and composer, Jillian Flexner. Started in 2016, FSO has performed as part of this project the World Premiere of Whitney George’s The Yellow Wallpaper, the American Premiere of Nicole Murphy’s The Kamikaze Mind, and has remounted Kate Soper’s Here Be Sirens with direction by Amber Treadway.