Good Country

A chamber opera about a trans* stagecoach driver during the California Gold Rush. On a fateful night in 1861, a barmaid and a driver find out some catawomptiously strange things about each other. Will they keep each other’s secrets? Good Country will have a workshop production at UT Austin’s Cohen New Works Festival in April 2019 starring internationally-acclaimed baritone Holden Madagame. Cecelia and composer...
A chamber opera about a trans* stagecoach driver during the California Gold Rush. On a fateful night in 1861, a barmaid and a driver find out some catawomptiously strange things about each other. Will they keep each other’s secrets? Good Country will have a workshop production at UT Austin’s Cohen New Works Festival in April 2019 starring internationally-acclaimed baritone Holden Madagame. Cecelia and composer Keith Allegretti are one of the first teams ever to craft a lead role in opera specifically for trans* singer’s voices.
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Good Country

Character Information

  • Charley
    30-60,
    Any (but probably white)
    ,
    Trans man
    A dignified man in his 50s, assigned female at birth. Cast flexibly based on gender identity of the singer—ideally a trans man; at least a singer who identifies as nonbinary or genderqueer. The score contains ossia options for mezzo and tenor, with awareness of how transition can affect the voice with or without the use of HRT. He wears an eye-patch over one eye.

    In real life, Charley Parkhurst was white--doesn't necessarily mean you need to cast him with a white actor.
  • Barmaid
    25-40,
    Chinese, native american, Latina, White
    ,
    Female
    An entrepreneur, formerly a sex worker, 30s. A woman of color. Soprano. Historically, sex workers and woman restaurant-owners like the Barmaid were historically mostly Chinese, South American, White, or Native American in California during this time period. There is less documentation of other women of color in those roles.
  • Husband
    25-40,
    Chinese, Latino, White
    ,
    Male
    A former miner, a hard man, 30s. Tenor.
    Historically, miners like the Husband were Chinese, Latino, or White; less frequently also Black and Native American.
  • Lady
    16-40,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    A proper young lady, 16-35. Soprano.
  • Doctor
    25-70,
    White, Chinese, Any
    ,
    Male
    A medical doctor, blustery, 25-70. Baritone.

    Medical doctors during the California Gold Rush were almost all White or Chinese.

Production History

  • University
    ,
    UT Austin (155383) Cohen New Works Festival
    ,
    2019