Bones of Girls (2019)
a chamber opera in one act for three singers & piano
by Ryan Suleiman (composer) and Cristina Fríes (story/librettist)
created for Rogue Music Project (RMP)
Inspired by Charles Perrault's fairy tale “Donkey Skin,” in which a princess is forced to flee after her father takes her as his bride, this surrealist story follows Idiot Girl (SOPRANO) after she's run away from her abusive father. Instead of finding safety, she lands in a post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by a hoard of hungry dogs (BARITONE), and cannot remember how she got there. Idiot Girl searches for her lost memories while the Dogs, starving for food and knowledge, run in excitement toward this new source of nourishment. The Moon (TENOR), who has watched Idiot Girl her whole life, comments dispassionately on the events unfolding below. Desperate for knowledge, the dogs tear away at the young bride's body, which is paradoxically the only way she is able to access her memories. Idiot Girl remembers her mother's love, and mourns her death. Finally, she relives the night just before her departure from home, relishing the feeling of freedom and camaraderie of spending time with her girlfriend. When she got home, she met with her father who demanded that she marry him. Upon remembering her traumatic story of love and abuse, Idiot Girl grows triumphant at her will to escape her father, and sees the power of finally being seen inside-out, and thus, she is proud to be known.