Cerise Jacobs, Creator & Librettist
Photo by James Daniel
Cerise Lim Jacobs is an opera creator and librettist. Together with her husband Charles, she conceived and wrote the libretti for the Ouroboros Trilogy, comprising operas Madame White Snake, composed by Zhou Long; Gilgamesh, composed by Paola Prestini; and Naga, composed by Scott Wheeler. Madame White Snake, co-commissioned by Opera Boston and the Beijing Music Festival, premiered in Boston and Beijing in 2010 and received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The entire Ouroboros Trilogy, including the world premieres of Gilgamesh and Naga, were presented in Boston in September 2016.
In addition to Ouroboros Trilogy, Cerise is developing four new operas, including REV. 23, PermaDeath, MONKEY, and Cosmic Cowboy.
Cerise was born in colonial Singapore into a traditional Chinese family and grew up absorbing the many disparate influences of Singapore’s multicultural environment. After emigrating to Australia with her family at sixteen, she dropped out of school at the age of nineteen and began a sojourn that took her from Melbourne to Oxford, England; East Lansing, Michigan; Vancouver; and Pittsburgh, until she finally settled in Boston, Massachusetts.
Cerise spent 20 years practicing law, including serving as a trial partner at Goodwin Procter LLP, one of the largest law firms in New England, where she specialized in criminal defense and patent litigation. She also served for five years as a federal prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office in Boston as part of her commitment to public service.
Cerise is a lifelong student of living creatively as a means of achieving success across many disciplines. Since retiring from law, she has returned to her creative voice in opera, music, art, and food. She is the President of the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation and a founder of White Snake Projects (formerly the Friends of Madame White Snake), a charity dedicated to building bridges through the arts. She is a co-founder, with her son Pirate Epstein, of the mobile gaming company SqueePlay, and is a founding member of Evidox, an e-discovery company.