And Jill Came Tumbling After was inspired by the idea of hikikomori – a phenomenon which describes adolescents and adults (particularly Japanese men) who isolate themselves in their rooms for many years at a time, usually as the result of feelings of failure and shame.  In the opera, Jack and Jill have not seen each other in almost twelve years but recently have started to write letters to each other.  Jill, having been pushed her whole life by her overbearing father, has a successful career as a businesswoman, but Jack, to the dismay of his mother, has confined himself to his room for over a decade.  On the surface, both Jack and Jill appear to be happy with the paths they have chosen, but soon we discover the different forms of isolation and loneliness experienced by both characters.

Libretto by John Grimmett.

Instrumentation: 4 soloists (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone), clarinet, bassoon, and piano

Duration: ca. 30 minutes

Year composed: 2013