Chattanooga composer, teacher and pianist Tim Hinck will present "Scenes From Two Works" on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. in Second Presbyterian church, 700 Pine St.
This event will be a concert performance and live video recording of scenes from two of Hinck's original chamber operas: "Eve Apart" and "Give Me Room."
"Eve Apart" is Hinck's work that premiered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2015. It is the story of Adam and Eve based on Jewish texts.
"Give Me Room" is Hinck's newest work on the women's suffrage movement in Chattanooga, scheduled to premiere in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
As he began writing an opera for Opera Tennessee about women's suffrage in Chattanooga, Hinck learned that UTC Professor Gaye Jeffers had also been researching the topic.
"She got so deep into her work that she ended up befriending some of the surviving family members of the women, gained access to their personal journals, correspondences and memorabilia," says Hinck.
The two decided to collaborate on this original opera. Jeffers delivered the libretto to Hinck about two months ago. He has completed five of the numbers in "Give Me Room," which will be sung Saturday night.
Hinck points out that not only does "Give Me Room" spotlight women's fight to vote, but sheds light on the present struggles for equality that continue for women.
"The musical is not linear storytelling, but employs a more experimental device of conversations between characters — three leading suffragists, a minister, an anti-suffragist woman and the congressman who casts the deciding ballot. This allows us to delve deeply into the minds of these characters and to make commentary on current social justice issues.
"Gaye and I were, of course, keenly aware of the way race was used in conversations surrounding suffrage, and decided that one of our leading characters needed to be an African-American woman, who could help us tell that side of the story."
Hinck highlights the timespan of decades over which "Give Me Room" takes place by incorporating musical styles of each era.
"You'll hear music that traditionalists in the suffrage era might have listened to, music from the 1920s, the sounds of protest anthems from the 1960s and musical styles of today. Hopefully, this helps inspire audience conversation on the fact that the fight for equality for women is generational, and is hardly over," says the composer.
"For 'Eve Apart,' we are doing 45 minutes, a narrated skip through the opera. We'll do a couple of numbers, then have narration by Gaye to fill the gaps," says Hinck. "This is a concert performance, so there are no sets and props."
Soloists Thomas West, Michael Howard, Sara Snider Schone, Zephanie Flippin, Ivy Roberts, Scott Willis and Jason Canter will be joined by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chamber Singers. They will be accompanied by members of Figment Ensemble and Chattanooga Symphony & Opera.
Saturday night's performance is being videotaped because it is the hope of Hinck and Opera Tennessee to tour "Give Me Room" at celebrations around the state next year. Video taken of this performance will be edited, posted online and serve as promotional material for potential venues.
Tickets are $15 adults, $10 students.
For tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tim-hinck- scenes-from-2-works- tickets-70769681021