Chunky in Heat Yearbook: Erin Rogers

EiO’s upcoming opera Chunky in Heat follows the emotional life of a teenage protagonist, Cheryl (aka Chunky), as she navigates the perils of her changing world.  We asked some of the artists involved in the premiere to share how their own experiences in high school informed their work on the opera.

Erin Rogers is one of the six composers who contributed music to Chunky in Heat.

My braces felt like they would never come off. At age 14, the prospect of two years seemed like a lifetime. Right as I wanted my social life to kick into high-gear – at school dances, sports, and extra-curricular activities – my metal smile was a disaster. In addition, I was spending my allowance on acne cleansers and scouring my Dad’s closet for oversize sweatshirts to disguise my changing body. No one was crushing on me. I was crushing on everyone. What I wanted was an exciting nightlife, what I got was homework and music practice. Throughout the compositional process for Chunky in Heat, I tried to channel Cheryl’s feelings for Walter. Her lustful, colorific soliloquies in Scene 2, Part 1 while alone, at her family home, were an important mental escape for her. I know that place.