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If I Were You
PREMIERE8/1/2019
COMPOSERJake Heggie   
LIBRETTISTGene Scheer   
 
Synopsis
Who hasn’t imagined being someone else? Someone more powerful, rich, beautiful, gifted, beloved, famous, or infamous. Who would you be? For how long and at what cost?

Fabian Hart is a dispirited young man. An aspiring writer, a dreamer yearning for adventure and a way out of his stifling existence, he would sell his very soul to be somebody else. Brittomara, the devil, appears to offer him a supernatural power. By singing a secret phrase, Fabian will be able to transfer his soul into another person’s body to live their life. Thus begins the perilous journey of If I Were You as Fabian moves his lost soul from person to person in search of a better identity: sometimes running away, sometimes running toward, always leaving a trail of human wreckage. When the promise of profound love compels him to return to his original body, he must face the great existential question: live forever as someone else or die as yourself?

Loosely based on the novel by Julien Green, If I Were You is a contemporary story of identity with echoes of classic literature, from Faust to Jekyll & Hyde. Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer envision a work in which many of the Merola Opera Program’s young singers have the opportunity to be the lead as Fabian’s soul and music move from one character to the next.
MOST PRODUCED SINCE 2000
RANKTITLEPRODUCTIONS
398If I Were You2
398A Florentine Tragedy2
398A Month in the Country2
398A Water Bird Talk2
398Acquanetta2
398Alceste2
This work ranks as the #163 most produced North American title since 2000.
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