COMPOSER – David Wolfson

LIBRETTO – David Wolfson

DIRECTORS – Grethe Barrett Holby & Chidi Ozieh

LENGTH – 12 minutes

CAST – MAYA (mezzo-soprano): middle-aged

REVEREND WHITE (baritone): middle-aged

MUSIC – Piano

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS – Minimum: two chairs and a piano


WORLD PREMIERE  2013 – Metro Baptist Church, NYC


Reverend White, the pastor of an inner-city church, has called Maya into his office. Maya, a recovering drug addict now working as a handyman for the church, has been stockpiling scrap lumber in the church parking lot, and the Reverend wants to know why. 

Maya replies that when you’re drowning, you need to find something that will float. She sees the ark as a gesture of hope for herself, and for the congregation. 

Community Impact & Engagement

Maya’s Ark integrates the musical art form of opera with a story layered with meaning, inspiring critical thinking and discussion as the audience explores the meaning of the Ark.  

The presentation is structured to include discussion and analysis following a live performance, engaging the audience and the artists to explore the meaning behind Maya’s Ark. It is the hope of the creators that this discussion will continue in the community long after the artists have left.  


DAVID WOLFSON (libretist, composer) is a composer, music director, arranger, pianist and copyist who lives in New York City. He graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1985, and in that same year was the first recipient of the newly established Darius Milhaud Award and won the Bascom Little Fund's Musical Theatre Composition Competition for his short opera Rainwait. David is the Associate Artistic Director, Music Director and resident composer of Experience Vocal Dance Company. His compositions for the company have been performed at Symposium Tanz und Musiktheater in Hannover, Germany, and in New York at The Field’s Fielday, New Dance Group’s The Exchange, Movement Research's Open Performance, and The Composer's Voice series at Jan Hus Church. David has collaborated with Grethe Barrett Holby and Ardea Arts/Family Opera Initiative since 2006, as music director on a number of projects including “Sir Gawain & The Green Knight,” the premiere staged reading of “Animal Tales,” and most recently the workshop and world premiere of “CAT The Opera-Musical.”

GRETHE BARRETT HOLBY (Director) is credited with “propelling opera into the 21st century” (NPR). Holby has directed, choreographed, performed, and collaborated on world premieres with Leonard Bernstein, Lou Reed, Kitty Brazelton, Eve Beglarian, and Philip Glass, at venues as divergent as La Scala, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Festival, and The Kitchen. Founder of American Opera Projects & Ardea Arts/Family Opera Initiative, she has directed productions for opera companies across the USA.


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