In spring 2022, Catapult, in association with Peak Performances at Montclair State University, is planning to produce a chamber opera by the celebrated black English composer/singer-songwriter Errolyn Wallen, who was born in Belize, raised in New York City, and studied in Cambridge and London. The opera, titled The Silent Twins, deals with the identical twins June and Jennifer Gibbons, born in Yemen and raised in Wales, who spoke only to each other and in a language incomprehensible to others. After unsuccessfully pursuing a joint career as writers, they were incarcerated for committing arson in Wales in the 1970s, and later transferred to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital.
The production will be directed by Charlotte Brathwaite, whose groundbreaking work has been seen in the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia. Brathwaite was born in Barbados, studied in Canada and at Yale, and presently is on the faculty at MIT.
The Silent Twins is scored for 7 singers and an orchestra of 9 players.