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State of the Union: A new opera by Eugene Birman, performed by the Helsinki Chamber Choir

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Maps & Directions

Part opera seria, part satire, State of the Union considers environmental crisis, economic inequality, and the general obliviousness of society's confused march forward. The opera condemns no one and everyone, yet its finale doles out redemption to those open to it.

State of the Union is four characters—the environment, the rich, the middle-class, and the poor—meeting and interacting over seven movements. It reflects a belief that many of our problems stem from how we view and treat one another.

This work pushes forward the genre of classical music and also advances the medium to underscore a new subject: humanity's relationship to its natural environment in the context of modern society.

Created almost entirely during Eugene Birman's stay on Rabbit Island, a tiny island in Lake Superior, in June-July 2015. The opera made its world premiere on September 29, 2016, in Marquette, Michigan on the campus of Northern Michigan University.

State of the Union: A new opera by Eugene Birman, performed by the Helsinki Chamber Choir