Aria beings approximately 7:40 into the video
If the surgeon removes just the lump
opera aria for soprano and piano, from Sense of Self
Music by Lisa Neher
Libretto by Kendra Preston Leonard
Triathlete Maya’s hopes for the coming race season come to a sudden halt when she is diagnosed with breast cancer and must decide between surgical options. Her coach, Naomi, is ready to tackle recovery and reconditioning with a positive attitude and the latest wellness trends, but Maya isn’t ready for those yet. She has to consider how her choice impacts her entire future—as an athlete and as a whole person.
Sense of Self gives voice to the power and joy of female athleticism, the strength of women’s friendships, and to the challenging decisions women must make when confronted with breast cancer. The opera explores the impact of cancer on women’s sense of empowerment, plans for the future, family obligations, and self-image, and offers a vision of strength and hope for reinvention and renewal.
Sense of Self was written for Opera Elect's 2020-2021 season and was premiered as a film on June 27, 2021. Opera Elect performed the in-person premiere at New Music Gathering 2023 in Portland, Oregon.