Based on the novel by Judith Rossner, Emmeline is an American retelling of the Oedipus myth from the mother's viewpoint. The opera begins in 1841, when 13-year-old Emmeline is sent to work in a Massachusetts mill to earn money. Seduced by the factory supervisor, she gives birth to a child, who is then swiftly given away. Twenty years later, Emmeline marries a young man only to discover too late that he is in fact her son. She becomes irrevocably ostracized by society. Heidi Waleson of The Wall Street Journal calls it 'a measure by which I assess the theatrical impact of other new operas. With its poetic, streamlined libretto and Mr. Picker's vivid score, this two-hour opera is continuously gripping, without a wasted note.'