How I Hate This Room


How I Hate this Room



Music: Lee R. Kesselman
Text: James Tucker after Charlotte Perkins Gilman from The Yellow Wallpaper

This concert aria is drawn from an opera-in-progress by Lee Kesselman (music) and James Tucker (libretto) after The Yellow Wallpaper, a novella by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Writer Gilman reached a degree of celebrity for her feminist writings and her unconventional life of divorce, relinquishment of custody and second marriage. First published in 1892, The Yellow Wallpaper is written as the secret journal of a woman, sentenced by her husband, John, to a country rest cure to remedy her “nervous condition.” Her husband and doctor refuse to allow her to express herself through writing and confine her in a bedroom with a garish, yellow-patterned wallpaper. Over time, she creates her own reality in her journal, discovers a feminine altar-ego behind the wallpaper and descends into insanity. HOW I HATE THIS ROOM is drawn from two scenes of the opera-in-progress. Kesselman and Tucker are the authors of two previous operas for young audiences, The Bremen Town Musicians and The Emperor’s New Clothes.