The libretto reading of Spacewalk was funded by the 2023 Opera America Discovery Grant for Women Composers, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Partial commissioning support of Spacewalk is provided by the Faculty Fellowship Publication Program, sponsored by CUNY.
Spacewalk is an opera in seven vignettes, one for each hour of the first all-female spacewalk, which took place in October 2019 outside the International Space Station. Following the format of the seven-hour public broadcast from NASA, the work intersperses the real-time radio conversations of astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir with Mission Control CapCom Stephanie Wilson talking during their spacewalk, with scenes of other female astronauts “in studio” explaining the difficulties, dangers, and delights of their assignment. These exchanges between actors and forebears provide crucial technical insight into the unfolding drama to the audience and heighten their contemplation and emotive response.
On October 21, 2023, Jolley and Chinn held a Libretto reading at OPERA America's Mac A. Scorca Hall. Watch the full reading here: