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Taking Up Serpents


Taking Up Serpents

LIBRETTO BY JERRE DYE. With an original story inspired by Jerre Dye's roots in the Deep South, "Taking Up Serpents" calls into question faith, family, and destiny with shocking results.

"Taking Up Serpents" is the story of 25-year-old Kayla, the estranged daughter of a fire-and-brimstone preacher who is dangerously bitten by one of his own snakes. Kayla's journey home forces her to confront her troubled upbringing.


“…through Ms. Sankaram’s skillful, passionate vocal writing… [the] music deftly limns Kayla’s limbo state... It also ingeniously depicts her environment with choral writing inspired by the raw contours of shape-note singing…”

–Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

“Her intriguing, offbeat handling of the instruments in the pit, including whirly tubes creating a synthetic hum, was the strongest thing about her piece…The opera begins with a beautiful musical evocation of moths under a parking-lot light, drawn in little figures from the flute.”

–Anne Midgette, The Washington Post


Stay tuned for upcoming productions.


Washington National Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, Rice University



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