“Dora” is an opera composed to a libretto based on A Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, Freud’s account of his failed analysis of a young girl, Dora. The composer’s musical style is both modern and lyrical, combining her own distinctly American sound with turn-of-the-century Viennese elements (waltzes, Schrammelquartets, gypsy tunes).
The libretto for “Dora” is an imaginative recreation of the events Freud describe in this analysis. Much of the language used is Freud’s. Events in the libretto which occurred subsequent to the termination of the analysis, including the climatic scene in which Dora confronts the Ks while they are mourning the death of their son, have been telescoped in time and changed slightly.
“Dora” is a non-commissioned work, the sole and exclusive property of its collaborators, composer Melissa Shiflett and librettist Nancy Fales Garrett.