Excerpt from Bhutto

(21C Liederabend @ BAM Next Wave Festival, 2013)


Mohammed Fairouz, Composer

Between 2012 and 2014, I worked with composer Mohammed Fairouz on ideation and a scene for Bhutto, based on the life of Benazir Bhutto — Pakistan’s first female prime minister.

The fruits of that labor were heard on stage at the BAM Harvey Theater as part of the Next Wave Festival, presented as part of 21c Liederabend, Opus 3. In this scene, we witness the final meeting of Benazir and her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, before his assassination at the hands of the military regime led by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

“[F]rom there, audacious hybrids proliferated. In selections from Bhutto, an opera by Mohammed Fairouz and Olivia Giovetti, you could imagine Kurt Weill anticipating Evita, reimagined in Pakistan.”
— Steve Smith, The New York Times


While I amicably left the Bhutto project in 2014, I’m excited for its upcoming world premiere with the Pittsburgh Opera — librettist Mohammed Hanif is by far more qualified to capture the complexity and nuance of the Bhutto family. In the meantime, the excerpt of my libretto is preserved on SoundCloud.

With: Chris Burchett (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto), Rachel Calloway (Benazir Bhutto), Timur Bekbosunov (Guard), The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Ensemble Novus NY, Ted Hearne (Conductor)