Alyssa Wills and Kevin Weed are collaborating on this opera on the life of Joan of Arc, or more correctly, Joan D’Arc, The Maid of Orleans, Maiden of France, La Pucelle, The Savior of France.
This a project of The Sparrow Initiative, Alyssa’s non-proft.
I find that most people are like I was, only vaguely aware that Joan was a girl that help the French army a long time ago, was burned at the stake for some reason, and now she is a Catholic saint. But when I started reading and learning about her for a project, I became a fan. Through the court transcripts of her trials, her own words and people that knew her personally, we have more knowledge about this peasant girl, her life, family, and conditions than anyone else in the Middle ages.
We started May 31, 2020, read Joan’s trial transcripts, Mark Twain’s “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc,” read other biographies and plays, and watched videos. We discussed many possibilities, including a full grand opera, oratorio, and art song cycle.
We will probably write all of these. But we are starting with the full opera, JOAN. This page will be updated and serve as a place to find recordings, scores, and hopefully, performances. We realize opera performances will not be happening soon, but perhaps JOAN will be ready to help restart opera in 2021 or 2022.
Below is Joan of Arc; The End, The Beginning – for orchestra and soprano. Seeing this video, Alyssa suggested we write an opera, and so we are.