Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music



Major Professor

Andrew Sigler

Committee Members

Kevin Class, Jorge Variego


Picture a world in which stories never die. Just down the street is the Halfway House for the Mythically Challenged, where fairytale creatures learn how to prepare for job-interviews. This is the world of Pasiphae, a beautiful sorceress, queen, and former wife of the ancient King Minos. After millennia on her own, she enlists the help of her Greek Chorus to rescue her children from their respective prisons – first Ariadne from the island Naxos, and now the Minotaur from Daedalus’ labyrinth. Horned & Hidden Child is a contemporary opera with music by Mikeila McQueston and libretto by Nicole Yackley. It tells the story of Pasiphae, the Minotaur, and Ariadne as they repair their broken family amidst 21st century tensions. Horned & Hidden Child features a flexible cast of 10 characters with optional chorus which can be presented with either chamber orchestra (septet) or piano reduction. A partial workshop of the show was premiered in May 2022 by VolOpera and is the primary focus of this thesis.

This document examines the artistic motivations behind retellings of ancient Greek mythology, particularly as they apply to the Minotaur, and explores the lengthy process of composing an extended stage work from a student perspective. Composing both as a student and for students within a collegiate setting poses different challenges and offers unique opportunities in comparison to an established opera composer working along a typical commission timeline. These differences will be explored within the context of producing Horned & Hidden Child.

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Included in

Composition Commons