Audiences in St. Paul, Minnesota were given a walk on the wild side this past Monday and Tuesday evening, November 15th and 16th, when AOP’s First Chance Opera-In-Development “Our Basic Nature” was presented by Nautilus Music Theater as part of their “Rough Cuts” series. With music by John Glover and libretto by Kelley Rourke, the performance featured baritone Andrew Wilkowske and pianist/music director Jocelyn Dueck.
The one-act monodrama, which is to be presented at The Greene Space in NYC on December 10th, is based on the memoirs of Maurice Temerlin, who in 1964 adopted a chimpanzee named Lucy and attempted to raise her as his own daughter. In 2010, Lucy’s story also served as a one-hour Radiolab (WNYC) episode, “Radiolab Show 702- Lucy,” which the opera is based on.
No stranger to the radio waves, the story of Lucy was heard again by Minnesota Public Radio arts reporter Chris Roberts, who produced an audio assemblage about the production for a 4:51pm November 15th airing of All Thing Considered. Listen here.