the heart of a diva beats in every social justice warrior’s chest
‘Did I Just Say That?’ is a new chamber operetta by Valerie Sing Turner (librettist) and Katerina Gimon (composer). This short comedy explores the challenges women of colour face when engaging with operatic works and characters. A workshop of this operetta was presented to a live audience at IndieFest 2021.
A friendship is tested when Cecilia, a white composer, tries to convince her roommate, Gabriella, a writer of colour – who has just returned home from a #MeToo moment with a TV producer – to enter a new opera competition together. Their debate about the whiteness of opera, the problematic portrayal of racialized women, and whether they should enter the competition devolves into a “diva-off” that features musical quotes from some of the most famous arias in the canon.
Inspired by actual events, the 20-minute comedic operetta explores themes of feminism, racial intersectionality, and what it means to embody artistic risk in a patriarchal society in which women must diminish or silence themselves in order to get ahead. The heart of a diva beats in every social justice warrior’s chest!
Valerie Sing Tuner
Co-commissioned by re:Naissance Opera & Visceral Visions