A Chamber Opera in One Act

3 High voices [Gertrude: D#4-Bb6, May: E4-Bb6, Mabel: A3-F#5], Piano, Harpsichord [F1-F5], Percussion (Suspended Cymbal, Tam-tam, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Woodblock, Whip) 

Total duration ca. 18' 

One-Act Chamber Opera


Premiered in April 2016

in Baltimore, MD by Tirzah Hawley (Gertrude),

Young Eun Lee (May), Katharine Estes (Mabel).

Hanna Shin, Aaron Thacker, Mari Takeda, and

Peter Dayton


Watch a concert production of MAY SHE | SHE MAY on YouTube

Video Performance, August 2, 2019 in Baltimore, MD

Arianna Arnold - Gertrude Stein, Katie Procell - May Bookstaver,

Hannah Wardell - Mabel Haynes,  Ben Giroux - Percussion,

Valerie Hsu - Harpsichord, Aaron Thacker - Piano

Purchase this score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $30.00

This work was composed as part of the Opera Etudes collaboration program at the Peabody Institute, the premiere directed by Roger Brunyate. It concerns one of the pivotal relationships in the life of the famous writer Gertrude Stein. At the age of 20 (1900), a medical student at the Johns Hopkins University, Stein finds herself unhappy in her work and in the misogynistic hostility from her teachers and colleagues. She also finds herself attracted to one of the women in her circle of friends, May Bookstaver. In discovering a side of herself that she had not before acknowledged, Gertrude Stein undergoes an experience which will change the course of the rest of her life. 

Read the article in SCENE4 Magazine by Karren Alennier about MAY SHE | SHE MAY: "Even through passion's mud puddle: a new opera about Gertrude Stein"