Metro Weekly

UrbanArias: Lucy the chimpanzee’s tale retold in short opera

Based on the real-life social experiment of a chimp raised as if she was a human child

UrbanArias: Lucy — Photo: Teresa Wood

Most have heard the tragic tale of Lucy, a chimpanzee raised as if she were the human child of a psychologist and his wife. The real-life social experiment ended far worse than most others from the ’60s and the tale is relayed in a new short chamber opera by composer John Glover and librettist Kelly Rourke.

UrbanArias presents the East Coast premiere, directed by Erik Pearson and conducted by Robert Wood, and starring baritone Andrew Wilkowske. There won’t be a chimp onstage, real or anthropomorphized — instead, a toy piano in the orchestra serves as a stand-in for the titular character.

Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $32 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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