YOURS FOREVER, LINCOLN
Scene 2: Comrades (Excerpt)
YOURS FOREVER, LINCOLN
Scene 3: Bedfellows (Excerpt)
YOURS FOREVER, LINCOLN
Epilogue: And That Night I Was Happy (Excerpt)
About the opera
The intimate male relationships of Abraham Lincoln have been under the scholar’s microscope
for decades with many proposing the idea that these relationships went beyond basic friendships.
World premiering in October 2022, Quarry Theatre’s original chamber opera, Yours Forever,
Lincoln, aims to spark discussions around the history of sexuality, American revisionist history,
and the importance of LGBTQAI+ visibility.
A compilation of original text, historical first-person accounts, letters and poetry by Lincoln, and
poetry by Walt Whitman and Lord Byron, Yours Forever, Lincoln, explores the beauty of ambiguity, sexuality as a spectrum, and the men who helped shape one of the most iconic leaders in American history.
"Lincoln has a mythological status in American culture and the realization that even an icon’s
history can be erased inspired me to tell this story,” says Patrick Alexander, composer and
co-librettist for the new opera, Yours Forever, Lincoln. “I hope other LGBTQAI+ people, upon
experiencing this opera, will also feel seen."
Yours Forever, Lincoln will premiere at The Voxel in Baltimore, October 2022. The Voxel, an
ADA accessible theatre space, is located on 9 W 25th Street, Baltimore, MD, 21218.
“No two men were ever more intimate.”
-Joshua Speed on his relationship
with Abraham Lincoln
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Laura Holland is an actor and dramaturg with theatre credits including The Discourse Project, The Way Out, Meditations on Nationalism (Quarry Theatre); Finding Florence, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Amish Project (Stevenson University). Laura received her bachelor’s degree from Stevenson University in Interdisciplinary Studies with focused backgrounds in literature, performance, and the social sciences. Currently, she is studying in the Master of Arts: Arts Administration program at Goucher College. Laura is a member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
Patrick Alexander is a Baltimore-based composer who strives to create music with which audiences can make emotional and psychological connections as well as feel beyond the surface level and identify the deeply embedded structural elements. Alexander is the Resident Composer and Associate Artistic Director for Quarry Theatre in Baltimore and teaches elementary instrumental music in Maryland. As part of Quarry Theatre, Alexander lends his voice to projects that bring to light stories relating to our contemporary socio-political climate which engage the audience and encourage dialogue and social change after the performance. He holds a BA from Salisbury University and an MM from Towson University, both in composition. He has studied composition with William Kleinsasser and Kevin McCarter. Alexander’s current projects with Quarry Theatre include Yours Forever, Lincoln (a new chamber opera premiering October 2022) and Cultus (currently in production). Theatre highlights include The Discourse Project, The Way Out, Meditations on Nationalism (Quarry Theatre); The Laramie Project, Eurydice, War of the Worlds, Finding Florence, The Amish Project, Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Stevenson University).
Puerto Rican-American tenor Gabriel Hernandez has been performing since childhood and believes in the power of community and collaboration to create meaningful art. They have been in collaboration with queer community members in the NYC area working on projects that speak to towards community experience, both through locational and personal experience. In the fall of 2021 Gabriel premiered their new project Taking Up Space: Queer Identity in Opera, a photo series dedicated to documenting queer experience in opera by juxtaposing the past and present. The first project of the series was housed in Harlem at the Countee Cullen New York Public Library.
This season, Gabriel joins the Spoleto Festival for the world premiere of Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels’ Omar, an opera which narrates Omar Ibn Said’s 1831 autobiography. They will perform in Spoleto Festival’s collaboration with Nico Muhly and Parker Ramsay entitled Stations of the Cross and join the festival chorus to sing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. After Gabriel’s residency with the Spoleto Festival, they cover Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Geneva Light Opera, followed by their second world premiere of the season where they portray Abraham Lincoln in Quarry Theater’s Yours Forever, Lincoln; a story highlighting Lincoln’s suspectedly romantic relationships with several men. Gabriel is also in collaboration to premiere the second part of his photo series in Taking Up Space: Queer Identity in Opera, which will refer to and reimagine the various en travesti tropes in opera. Gabriel also continues their ongoing collaborations with Felix Jarrar in a summer concert of selections from l’Elisir d’Amore.
Gabriel began their 2021-22 season as a Gate-City Bank resident artist at Fargo-Moorhead Opera where he made a role debut as Joe in Robert Paterson’s Companion, sang the Sergeant in the Barber of Seville, and helped to reimagine FM Opera’s outreach program through digital interactions with local schools. Merola Opera invited Gabriel to participate in their 2021 program led by a new team of artistic directors, where they were featured in the award winning film project Back Home: Through the Stage Door directed by David Paul. He then joined the Lakes Area Music Festival as a Vocal Fellow, and closed out the season by returning to Fargo Moorhead on the main stage as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, while his photo series Taking Up Space concurrently debuted in Harlem at the Countee Cullen Library.
The 2020-21 season brought both in person and online performances. Digitally, Gabriel performed in an online broadcast with No. Dominion Theatre Company that dove into the inspiration behind HindSight, a new crime Opera, and participated in Merola Opera’s online enrichment program where he received coaching with Martin Katz. On stage prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Gabriel made his company debut as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Bronx Opera, and was a Gate-City Bank Young Artist with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, where he performed Michael Ching’s Speed Dating, Tonight! Gabriel is the recipient of a 2019 Career Bridges Grant and was chosen to participate in OPERA America’s 2019 Career Blueprints for Singers, both providing support for young artists to launch their careers.
Baltimore-based baritone Zachary Bryant is completing his DMA in Voice Performance at the University of Maryland in the studio of Kevin Short. 21/22 season engagements include Count Danilo (The Merry Widow) and Count Homonay (The Gypsy Baron) on Victorian Lyric Opera Company's season opening concert "From Paris to Vienna", Mr. Gobineau cover in Menotti's The Medium (Baltimore Concert Opera), Fiorello and Dr. Bartolo cover in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia (Baltimore Concert Opera and OperaDelaware), L'Inspecteur/Alphonse/Gégène/M. Petitpois in Tailleferre's Quatre opéras bouffes (University of Maryland), a recital featuring solo works by Germaine Tailleferre (University of Maryland) and Outreach Artist with Baltimore Concert Opera.
During the 20/21 season, Bryant performed the role of Manfred Lewin in a virtual production of Heggie & Scheer's For a Look or a Touch and presented a recital featuring Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and works by Santoliquido, Poulenc, Auric, Weill, Hoiby, Musto and Heggie. Other performance highlights of recent seasons include Sciarrone in Puccini’s Tosca (Annapolis Opera), Riff in Bernstein’s West Side Story (CU Eklund Opera), Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Prague Summer Nights Festival), Rè di Scozia in Handel’s Ariodante (CU Eklund Opera), Anthony Hope in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (CU Eklund Opera) and Kromov in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe (CU Eklund Opera).
A frequent new music collaborator, Bryant has created roles in numerous opera premieres with notable composers and librettists Jake Heggie, Gene Scheer and Tom Cipullo through CU New Opera Works: Paul in the workshop premiere of Heggie & Scheer’s If I Were You, Fred Beenstock in the workshop premiere of Cipullo’s Hobson’s Choice, Nick in the world premiere of Silen Wellington's Dame, Not Lady as well as scene premieres as Thomas in Elena Specht's Dust to Dirt, Paul in John Clay Allen's Triage and Alden in Kevin Michael Olson's The Reach. He has performed the role of Bram in Elizabeth Greene’s Hajar (Washington Adventist University) and was baritone soloist in the world premiere of Wellington's Fragmenting Ymir.
Additional highlights include multiple seasons with the Houston Grand Opera Chorus, leading roles with the Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Teaching Artist with the Alley Theatre Conservatory and Voice Instructor with University of Colorado Boulder, Memorial School of Music and Katy Independent School District.
Bryant received degrees from Columbus State University and University of Colorado Boulder, where he earned his MM in Voice Performance & Pedagogy in the studio of Andrew Garland and worked extensively with the Entrepreneurship Center for Music.
(joshua Speed/david derickson/
Billy greene/elmer ellsworth)
Ryan Clark is a Baltimore born and raised director, actor and educator who has spent his entire adult life creating, nurturing and celebrating live performance. His directing work is an eclectic mix of original plays, re-imagined classics and contemporary texts. Ryan launched Quarry Theatre in 2011 because of his interest in original, deconstructed and devised theatre. His directing work with Quarry includes, The Booth Project, Meditations on Nationalism and The Way Out. Some of Ryan’s regional and academic credits include, 4.48 Psychosis, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Laramie Project, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Oedipus Rex, Romeo and Juliet, Hedda Gabler, The Amish Project and his M.F.A. thesis production of Yerma. Ryan is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Theatre and Media Performance at Stevenson University. He holds an M.F.A. from Florida State University and is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society labor union.
Christopher M. Cicconi is Director of Bands and Orchestras and Associate Professor of Music Education at Towson University. Conductor of the Towson University Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra, he also teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate conducting, methods of teaching instrumental music in secondary education, and is an instrumental music education student teacher advisor. Prior to his arrival in Maryland, Cicconi earned a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Miami, where he was awarded a Henry Mancini Fellowship and was a student of Mr. Gary D. Green.
As a strong advocate for music education and community outreach, Cicconi is in demand throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and is a sought-after guest conductor, clinician, and guest speaker. Upon his arrival in Maryland, he has appeared as a band and orchestra clinician in well over 100 public and private institutions. As a guest conductor, Cicconi has appeared with All-State, All-Region, and All-County Bands and Orchestras in numerous states around the country including Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia. In the summer of 2018, Cicconi will serve as a guest conductor for the internationally acclaimed Sewanee Music Festival and the New England Music Camp.
As an active scholar, Cicconi’s agenda includes wind repertoire and other current music education topics such as score study, conducting, and arranging. His most recent publication, ‘The Band Music Handbook, A Catalog of Emerging Band Repertoire,’ has proved to be a valuable resource and essential tool for wind band directors worldwide. As an arranger, Cicconi premiered his transcription of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Rush in the Fall of 2018 with the Towson University Symphonic Band, which was subsequently published by Theodore Presser Company. Since then, it has received numerous performances nationwide in university and conference settings, including a performance at the college Band Directors National Association Southwest Regional Conference. Furthermore, he has presented professional development workshops for schools as well as state and regional conferences throughout the state and region.
Previously, Cicconi served as Director of Bands at Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Power Ranch Elementary and Middle School (Higley, AZ), and Payne Junior High School (Chandler, AZ). As an orchestra and opera conductor, Cicconi serves as the Music Director of the Young Victorian Theatre Company and has held positions and guest conducting appointments with orchestras in the United States, Argentina, and China. Most recently he served as associate conductor with the Broward Symphony Orchestra, the Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra, and the Walenstein Youth Symphony.
Cicconi completed a Master of Music Education Degree, with an emphasis in Instrumental Conducting, from Arizona State University and earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree (summa cum laude) from Youngstown State University. He is a member of College Band Directors National Association, Florida Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda, and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.
"You fear [the] Elysium of which you have dreamed is never to be realized.
It is the peculiar misfortune of both you and me to dream dreams of Elysium far
exceeding all that anything earthly can realize."
-Abraham Lincoln to Joshua Speed, February 1842
Learn more about the intimate same-sex
relationships of Abraham Lincoln
Finding Homosexual Threads in Lincoln's Legend - Dinitia Smith (NY Times)
Exploring Lincoln's Loves - (NPR)
Did Abraham Lincoln Sleep with His Bodyguard? Another Look at the Evidence - Martin P. Johnson (Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association)
Was Lincoln Bisexual? - Gore Vidal (Vanity Fair)
Abraham Lincoln: A life in the closet? - Mark Segal (Washington Blade)
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