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Taking Up Serpents (2018)    

Comissioned by Washington National Opera
One-Act Chamber Opera
Music by Kamala Sankaram, Libretto by Jerre Dye


In TAKING UP SERPENTS, 25-year-old Kayla is 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. With a score showcasing Sankaram’s deft stylistic eclecticism and an original story inspired by Dye’s roots in the Deep South, Taking Up Serpents calls into question faith, family, and destiny, with shocking results.


Duration: 55 minutes
Scoring: Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Bass-Baritone, Tenor, Flute/Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, French Horn, Electric/Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass


Audio Excerpts

Please contact Kamala Sankaram for full archival audio


The full score for TAKING UP SERPENTS: