Mrs. President, the Opera

by Victoria Bond
with libretto by Hilary Bell

November 18

Inspired by the real-life Victoria Woodhull, the first woman
to run for President of the United States in 1872

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Victoria Bond

Production Writer & Director of Mrs. President

It’s no wonder that Victoria Bond has shown a particular interest in the stories of pioneering women who defy the conventions of their day. As the very first woman conductor to be awarded a doctorate from Juilliard’s orchestral conducting program (and the only woman in the conducting department at the time), she knows what it means to take that first courageous step into uncharted territory. Over the course of her career, she has become a major force in 21st-century music as both a conductor and a composer, with awards and commissions from leading arts organizations around the world.

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The Lyric Theatre and Rochester Lyric Opera are thrilled to present the final event in this series of women’s suffrage centennial celebrations – Victoria Bond’s powerful opera, Mrs. President.

The libretto follows the true story of the courageous women’s rights pioneer, Victoria Woodhull, who ran for president in 1872 against insurmountable odds, and pursued many other notable goals which it was thought at the time that women were incapable of. New York City soprano Valerie Bernhardt sings the title role and will be joined by several other soloists, chamber chorus and orchestra in a semi-staged production.

The Lyric Theatre’s grand hall – also having recently celebrated its own centennial – is a perfect location for this groundbreaking opera performance.

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Women’s Right to Vote Centennial, 2017

New York State granted women voting rights in 1917, making this year the centennial of that historic decision. To celebrate, the Susan B. Anthony Center, at the University of Rochester, along with local and state organizations, is hosting events throughout the year to mark this important anniversary. Many of the celebrations have focused on women and art, including musical events, self-guided tours of the Memorial Art Gallery, and performances.