Troubled Water

Music by Mischa Salkind-Pearl
Libretto by Frederick Choi

Directed by Allegra Libonati


“In an age when opera companies are buckling under increasing financial pressures to stage elaborate performances, Guerilla Opera is a breath of fresh air. With a shoestring budget, the company has brought a host a new and enticing works into existence. ‘Troubled Water’ is another exemplary show in a string of worthy repertoiry. It is a mesmerizing work, and received a memorable performance.” Boston Classical Review 



Troubled Water follows the short life of writer Ichiyou Higuchi in late 19th century Japan. Her brief career hinges on her personal and professional connections, and the constant failure of people in her life to support her. As she descends into poverty and her relationships end, her writing begins to authentically reflect her world. The opera weaves in scenes and characters from her published stories, through which her own desires are brought into stark clarity.

Download the libretto
Download the program from our production



Mischa Salkind-Pearl's music has been performed by ensembles around the U.S., Japan, Germany, and Italy. Boston Classical Review named his opera, Troubled Water, (September 2015, Guerilla Opera) the Best Premiere of 2015. Recent and upcoming projects include a fellowship to attend the 2017 International Gugak Workshop in Seoul, an ongoing collaboration with Boston-based artist Nathalie Miebach, and a commission for Semiosis Quartet. Ensembles and soloists he has composed for include Guerilla Opera, ensemble mise-en, Chamber Cartel, Transient Canvas, Diagenesis Duo, and Callithumpian Consort. His work, A Poppy of Erasure, was recently included in the exhibition "Intersections: Masters of Line and Space" at the Akron Art Museum. Mischa is artistic director for Boston's Equilibrium Concert Series and ensemble, an organization that presents concerts highlighting the music of Boston's diverse contemporary music community. He is Assistant Professor at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, teaching in the Theory and English as a Second Language programs. His music can be heard on the Ludovico Ensemble's portrait CD of his work, I Might Be Wrong, and on Chen Li Music's 2017 CD, Pluralities. He is composer-in-residence for the Ludovico Ensemble.