A Survivor’s Odyssey: The Journey of Penelope and Circe

An opera exploring the "shadow pandemic," the surge in intimate partner violence during pandemic times.

Upcoming Productions

Fall 2021


Commissioned and Produced by White Snake Projects
Cerise Lim Jacobs, Creator and Librettist

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White Snake Projects’ 2021-2022 programming is supported in part by grants from the Amphion Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

This project is made possible by a Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation.

Key Art is titled "Prison Fish" by artist Carole Alden

Photo by Sarah Rogers

Artist Statement

Prison Fish grew out of my frustration with the system that keeps inconvenient women down in Utah.

After experiencing abuse in my first marriage, I vowed to never put up with it again. Decades later I found myself enmeshed with an individual who had obscured a violent, criminal past. My attempts to seek aid through law enforcement were met with cavalier derision. This attitude emboldened him further. After six months of physical and emotional torture, which included being forced to watch while he burned pets alive, he cornered me and I shot him.

Read the full artist statement here



A Survivor’s Odyssey: The Journey of Penelope and Circe

Women, myself included, have been imprisoned by the male gaze; a gaze that has created stories that we are weak, emotional, childlike, born-victims, submissive, hysterical, witches, manipulative, angelic or whorish. You know the myths, you live these myths — myths that become self-fulfilling prophecies.
This has to stop.

***** CONTENT NOTE: this piece contains depictions of sexual violence and domestic violence, and it also focuses on trauma. Please know that support is available at barcc.org/chat, and please practice any form of self-care that keeps you safe.



The Inspiration

2020 has been dark; over 600,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.

But the darkness is not just about the virus. It’s also about the fissures in American society that have turned into gaping chasms as the pandemic forced longstanding economic disparities, racism, and violence against women (and some men) into crises. I’ve fought the isolation of pandemic times by working to shine  a light on these issues through opera. That’s the only way I can remain grounded.  Inspiration

A Survivor’s Odyssey: The Journey of Penelope and Circe on the White Snake Projects Blog

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Just Announced: A Survivor’s Odyssey Premieres September 24, 2021

Following the resounding success of the virtual opera Death by Life, treating the subjects of long-term incarceration and systemic racism, Cerise Jacobs and her activist opera company White Snake Projects announce their third live virtual world premiere opera since the beginning of the pandemic. A Survivor’s Odyssey: The Journey… Read More

“We Are Survivors”

Something about live music has always been especially emotive to me. Listening to performers often leaves me speechless, introspective, marveling at each musician continuously perfecting their craft. It’s no surprise that I find myself at any concert I can possibly attend. So when as a part of my internship, I helped organize the Sing Out Strong: Immigrant Voices community concert series, I learned to appreciate the work that goes into concerts with a new perspective. Read More

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