This piece represents the voices of Victorian-era women in more ways than one. Patty Stair composed the music. George Elliot was the pen-name of Mary Anne Evans.
Questions for discussion:
- Why might a woman be motivated to use a male name as an alias? Students may wish to research Mary Anne Evans in more depth to gain insight into her life.
- What might Ojala mean, given the lyrical and musical context? Once you reveal the translation, what new interpretations does it bring to the students' minds? Let the students decide: Do they think the audience is better served by being given the translation? Should it be shared through program notes, on stage, or not at all?
Read more about the piece at the Library of Congress.