One Summer Day (Music/Libretto) (2013)

A one act opera for bass-baritone, tenor, two sopranos, two mezzos, flute, clarinet, violin, bassoon, cello and piano.


When twenty years of secrets are suddenly exposed, a tornado of emotions tears through the Caldwell family. In a small rural Kansas town where convention and conformity are of highest priority, six people are irrevocably changed on one hot day in 1969. Under the social climbing, hypocritical eye of Dorothea, her daughter Laura can do no wrong, while her other daughter, Carrie Jean, can do no right. Laura will soon wed a wealthy banker’s son, William Gray, Jr., nick-named Boy. It is Kate McBride, the family housekeeper and a woman with her own secrets, who unravels the deeply entangled web.

Summer - soundcloud
Summer - soundcloud

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Summer 3
Summer 3

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Summer - soundcloud
Summer - soundcloud

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Excerpt from Laura/Boy Duet - Ilya Speranza & Eppen Lauber
Excerpt from Laura/Boy Duet:

L:      Boy, what’s wrong?  You look like you just saw a ghost.

          Don’t you want to get married?  Don’t you love me?

B:      It’s just that this is a bigger step than most.

          It shouldn’t be as simple as A B C.

          Maybe we should wait till you finish college

          You might find someone else that you love much more.


L:      Boy, I thought you wanted me, family, marriage.

          I couldn’t see someone else.  It’s you I adore.

          What is wrong with you, Boy?  You were so sure. 

          We've been destined to wed since we were small. 

          Even mother says how our love is so pure. 

          That it is one on which God himself has smiled.


B:      But did you ever think that she might be wrong?

          That she’s wrong about most things, including us? 

          That Dad owns the bank, and she wants to belong?

          To all but her desires, she’s dead and callous?


L:      I thought you were just afraid of the wedding,

                    being in front of the whole town and ev’rything. 

          But it’s not that.  You don’t want to be married.        Something is wrong, Boy.  Please don’t keep it buried!

          I’m supposed to be your helpmate and your wife. 

          Please let me help you.  Don’t let it ruin your life.


Final Sextet from One Summer Day - Words & Music by Susan Stoderl
Final Sextet:

All was as it should be,

   in one millisecond nothing was the same.

Sheltered feelings burst from bodies,

   like outgrown garments,

   leaving exposed souls in disarray.

Life spun into worlds full of pain,

   one summer day.


Forced by circumstances,  our self searches.

Battered souls search for a kinder pathway,

  one summer day.

Fledgling lives cautiously approached freedom.

With courage born of shattered dreams, 

  they arose and took flight.

They flew away,

  one summer day.