Text by Ann Patchett. Used by permission of the author.
Rose was composed for soprano Tesia Kwarteng and premiered by her when we were both resident artists with Chautauqua Opera. “Rose” is the principal character in Ann Patchettʼs debut novel The Patron Saint of Liars, and something fundamental about the characterʼs way of relating to other people is revealed in this touching, remarkable passage (I knew that I wanted to set it the first time I read it). The “groundskeeper” mentioned in the song will eventually become Roseʼs husband; this is their first, albeit one-sided, glimpse at a kindred spirit. Rose was composed while I was in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, New York, as a recipient of the Copland House Residency Award.