Missy speaks about Proving Up on Studio 360

“Karen Russell’s short story “Proving Up” is a bleak tale about one such family trying to earn their plot in post-Civil War Nebraska. And it’s now been adapted into a chilling new opera by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, featuring unsettling orchestration and ghost characters.

‘I wanted to write an opera about the American dream,’ Mazzoli tells Kurt Andersen. ‘Could an American family do everything right, could they check all the boxes and still fail?’ “