A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears (in progress)

an opera for all ages
By Julia Adolphe and Stephanie Fleischmann
Based on the novel by Jules Feiffer


for 7 singers, 10 instrumentalists, and children’s chorus
90 minutes

An adaptation of Jules Feiffer’s wonderfully loopy fairytale about a young royal doomed to make everyone around her laugh so hard that nothing gets done in her presence. How to cure her – and her kingdom – of this affliction? Why, send her on a quest, of course. A wild ride of a story involving endless transformation, a forest from which no one ever returns, a sea of malice, a valley of vengeance, a ruthless bully of a best friend, a spunky lady in waiting, a gentle giant, love at almost first sight and more.

A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears is a tale of finding the strength at one’s core — a strength one didn’t even know one had. It’s a story of self discovery and growth, despite, or perhaps because of, the obstacles which are constantly getting thrust in one’s path. Our heroine’s quest for personal freedom and empowerment encompasses the full gamut of human experience. Capable of veering from disillusionment to hope in the blink of an eye, she finds joy in the simplest of gestures. Struggling to discover who she is and what she wants, our hero learns what it means to seek the truth. To grow wise and generous — in spite of one’s self.