I only remember two things about my early childhood in Germany – that the doors had handles instead of knobs (an image called to mind because my father was fond of the composer, Handel), and a tri-fold mirror that stood upon my mother’s dresser, where I would stand and gaze at the endless procession of myself in blue pajamas with feet. Spending most of my childhood in North Carolina, I was an active child, given to fits of jumping up and down excitedly, in between which I wrote stories.
I no longer have fits of jumping up and down (ok, not very often anyway), but I still have fits of writing. You can find links to a few of my published works below. Much of what I know about writing I learned at the Odyssey Writing Workshop, which I attended in 2006, and subsequent visits to “The Never-Ending Odyssey” (TNEO) workshop for alumni. I have served both as overall workshop moderator and as critique group moderator at TNEO.
Publications, Presentations, and Works Performed
Olivia’s Ocean, a one-act opera with an original libretto by Ellen Denham and original score by Ross C. Bernhardt, premiered by TAMU-CC Opera and sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.
Virtual talk, Creating Opera in a Pandemic: Challenges and Silver Linings, given by Dr. Denham as part of the Outstanding Faculty Speaker Series presented by the TAMU-CC Bell Library.
Dr. Ellen Denham and Dr. Ross C. Bernhardt gave a presentation, It’s Not a Bug—It’s a Feature: Learning Despite Latency, as part of the TEXOMA NATS regional Artist Series.
Ellen Denham commissioned by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies to write the libretto for a new children’s opera on ocean sustainability, collaborating with composer Ross C. Bernhardt.
Midsummer Night’s Music, an original Shakespeare adaptation using music of Henry Purcell, performed by Texas A&M University Opera Workshop. Performance rights available; contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pinstripe Harry’s Tea Room Cabaret, an original jazz-age musical using the music of Gershwin, Porter, and others, performed by Texas A&M University Opera Workshop. Judges from the National Opera Association Opera Production Competition say,
“Great choice of music throughout, and the overall arc of the production makes perfect sense and the sequence of music is entertaining and satisfying dramatically. I thought the libretto/dialogue was also very well written and entertaining.”
Performance rights available; contact email@example.com.
Editor Susan Winston says,
Ellen’s story has the well-deserved honor of being placed as our final selection in the anthology — it is that memorable.
Improvisation as a Generative Tool for New Operatic Material: An Exploration of Methods and Parameters (doctoral scholarly essay) published online via University of Illinois IDEALS. Available here.
Schubert and Goethe: A Transcendence of Competing Aesthetics (scholarly essay) published in the conference proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities and available in the conference proceedings here.
Old Singers, New Tricks: Can I Go Back to School at My Age? (nonfiction article) published in Classical Singer Magazine.
When There Are No Wrong Notes: Freeing the Voice Through Improvisation (nonfiction article) published in Classical Singer Magazine.
Homo Homarus (short opera; absurd) performed at the Indy Convergence.
Good Kitty (short story; literary) published in Hawthorn Road.
The Singing Dog (play; absurd) performed at the Indy Convergence.