No Guarantees

No Guarantees

Street Scene (for synthesizers)
  1. 1. Street Scene (for synthesizers)

Street Scene

A stylized musical sequence in which Jake and his android companion move through a sea of people who are all texting, Tweeting, and taking selfies, oblivious to the world around them.

No Guaranteesis a work-in-progress with the anticipated completion date of Summer 2019.

The development of No Guarantees received funding from OPERA America’sOpera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Music by Cynthia Lee Wong. Libretto by Richard Aellen.

Short Description:

A futuristic comedy where a secret attempt to use an android has unexpected consequences.


Love can’t be guaranteed…except when programmed into an android designed to be the perfect mate. Still in love with an ex? No problem. Model your android after a former lover, minus the flaws.

This is what android designer Jake Nilman has done. Jake lives with an android modeled after his ex-girlfriend, former opera singer Patty Milkweed. Years ago, Patty left him to become a pop diva named Pi (π).

Now Pi needs Jake’s help. She is rehearsing the title role in Salome but cannot kiss the head of John the Baptist without gagging. Although it’s illegal for androids to impersonate humans, Pi wants Jake’s android of her to perform that scene each night.

Based on this comic premise, No Guaranteesexplores a future increasingly mediated by technology where people prefer texting to talking, tweeting to meeting, and the comfortable companionship of androids to the messy conflicts of human relationships.

About Librettist Richard Aellen:

Richard Aellen is an award-winning playwright and author of five novels. His play NOBODY, a finalist at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, was produced at Alabama Shakespeare Festival in March 2010. He is librettist for WICKED MOON produced in March 2011 at the 4th Wall Theatre and co-librettist with Anita Gonzales and composer Errollyn Wallen of LIVERPOOL TRADING, currently in development with support from University of Michigan and Rythmcolor Associates. Richard’s novel REDEYE was optioned by Warner Brothers for whom he wrote the screenplay. Awards and grants include the 2006 Stanley Drama Award (Farmers of Men) 2008 Charles M. Getchell Award (Nobody), National Endowment for the Arts Grant (film Teenangel), Writers Guild of America/East Fellowship (Lost and Found), Delacorte Press Prize (Ozzy on the Outside), and the 2010 BMI Harrington Award for Creative Excellence. Richard is a member of Dramatists Guild, WGA East and BMI Musical Theater Workshop.