the end of saro

a chamber opera for 8 singer/speakers, chorus, electronics, amplified cello, amplified percussion, and amplified recorders

libretto by: vashti kalvi daniel
music/direction by: jack langdon
choreography by: harper foote​

performance by: The St. Olaf Lyric Theater


The End of Saro is the culmination of two-years of collaborative work between librettist Vashti Kalvi Daniel, composer Jack Langdon, choreographer Harper Foote, musicians, actors, singers, and dancers of St. Olaf College. The work received the Mary and Lynn Steen Fellowship in Spring of 2016, and will be presented on May 12th and 13th, 2017.
The librettist writes of the story: “The End of Saro is one artist’s exploration of her art, her mental illness, the art she consumes, her choices and where she places herself, to make sense of where her art begins, and where she ends.” The opera explores the relationship between the tumultuous internal states of Saro and the artwork that she creates.
The composer writes of the music: “This chamber opera facilitates a clear, expressive musical language with which the text can communicate to the audience. My background in experimental music was highly foundational to how I conceived of the music in this work, and it can be expected that the musicians and singers in this opera will have the freedom to improvise–allowing for their natural tendencies as performers to become part of the expression.”

saro: george snow
depression: william holt
dancer I: hannah phipps
dancer II: julian gruber
nighthawk I: cosi pori
nighthawk II: darrius morton
blue lady: adam lee sanders
galatea: julia woodring


electronics: jack langdon
cello: willem mudde
percussion: sarah jean youngner
recorders: sedrik spradling


dancers: valery wehrman, shaina andres, jessie rames, julia bassett


chorus: morgan cole, jamie koffler, nyagua tut, miles christian, adam lee sanders

premiere: may 12, 2017 - urness recital hall, st. olaf college, northfield, mn

written and produced with support from the Mary and Lynn Steen Fellowship of St. Olaf College