Quad City Symphony to present commissioned opera in collaboration with cancer nonprofit group

Posted on: February 7, 2022

“Saturday, Feb. 12 will be an exceptionally special day for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, composer Jacob Bancks, Living Proof Exhibit, several performers and area cancer survivors,” writes Jonathan Turner in Wednesday’s (2/2) OurQuadCities.com (Rock Island, IL). “After two delays due to COVID (over 21 months), ‘Karkinos’—the first opera ever commissioned by the QCSO and first written by the prolific Augustana-based composer—will have its world premiere…. In collaboration with the Living Proof Exhibit [a nonprofit that provides arts therapy to people impacted by cancer], the QCSO commissioned Bancks in early 2019 to create his 90-minute opera … based on direct conversations with people impacted by cancer [depicting] the story of a beautiful empress who is forced into battle with the unseen monster Karkinos … The new opera was born when LPE approached QCSO education and community engagement director Marc Zyla about incorporating more music in its therapy sessions with cancer survivors, who contribute to a Living Proof art exhibit every year.” Former LPE executive director Pamela Crouch said, “I attended every interview Jacob did with patients, cancer survivors, family members, oncologists, nurses, and social workers.… When Jacob shared the libretto, I could see those stories reflected in his words.’ ”