Opera in Two Acts
Music by Robert Paterson | Libretto by David Cote

In Development
Projected Duration: ca. 120'
Instrumentation: 12-15 singer cast and orchestra: picc. (doubling fl. 3), 2 fl, 2 ob, English horn, 2 cl, bass cl, 2 bsn, C bsn, 4 hns, 3 tpts, 2 tbns, bass tbn, tba, timp, 2 perc, keyboard (currently piano, celesta and harpsichord which may be played on synthesizer), full strings.
World PremiereTo Be Announced
PublisherBill Holab Music


This is the tale of Jason and Ana, "the cowboy and the gypsy." Jason is the son of a Texas oil tycoon who fell from grace and now drives 18-wheelers West all the way to the deadly ice roads of Alaska. Ana is a self-proclaimed gypsy, a poor immigrant with a million-dollar voice. She has become an opera star with engagements across the globe. Their affair was short, intense and explosive, and resulted in an unplanned child.

Jason believed the child died, but she lived, placed in a mental institution by Ana, after the child was diagnosed with severe autism. Twelve years later, doctors at the institution contact Ana with news of a procedure that might help the girl. Ana tells Jason the truth. He is enraged but also overjoyed. They visit the clinic. Jason won’t approve the operation and takes Jenny out.

He brings his daughter on the road, and the action shifts between Jason’s blue-collar life and Ana’s glittering lifestyle. Their lives intersect at one point, and the family comes together. Ana sees that Jenny responds more and more to the world. The father communicates to the child with a simple song that she can sing back to him. Ana takes this in, and there is a slow shift in her outlook.

Invisible Child is the story of a family that spans continents and cultures, bridging miles of frozen wasteland even as it maps the territory of an autistic child’s mind. Set against two backdrops, the bustle of Texas society, and the starkness of distant Alaska, the contrast emphasizes the humor and sadness, the light and the dark, and moves us toward a dramatic outcome about the nature of loss, and its inevitable finality.

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Synopsis and Libretto © Copyright 2013 David Cote.