July 23, 2011 | The American Opera Project
The Family Room
Composer:Thomas Pasatieri
Librettist:Daphne Malfitano
We find two nameless women living in a windowless studio. Their surroundings are equal parts homey and derelict: a fridge bearing moldy cheese; a single, stained futon; and a treasured, but unexplained baby doll. One woman writes continually in a diary, weaving narrative as though recording their daily lives. However, the stories are of dinner parties and relatives, of husbands and love and a child named Georgie. The women discuss these “plans” of Thanksgiving supper at a beautifully set table surrounded by loved ones, while they lay mismatched silverware against the rickety tabletop in their dilapidated nest. They speak of family, but their only company are ominous sounds from above. There is life up there, but we are stuck as they are, beneath it, in The Family Room.

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Number of Acts

Musical Style
Thomas Pasatieri's musical style is rooted in romanticism, employing elements of both bel canto lyricism and verismo declamation. The Family Room is scored for two sopranos and an ensemble of 14 instruments. Running ninety minutes in one act, it wrin

Vocal & Musical Forces
2 F Sopranos

Original Cast
Lauren Flanigan (soprano)
Catherine Malfitano(soprano)

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