Libretto by Michael Korie
Commissioned by the Mary Carey Flagler Trust
Directed by Richard Foreman
4 singers, 5 musicians
Supermax is a four character music-theater work set in the present at the ADX
''Super Max'' Maximum Security Facility in Florence, Colorado. In March 1999,
among its inmates held in solitary confinement are:
Ted Kacynski, The Unabomber;
Timothy McVeigh, The Oklahoma City Bomber;
Ramzi Yousef, The World Trade Center Bomber;
Luis Felipe, head of the Latin Kings gang.
For 23 hours a day they are held in 7-by-12 foot cells where they are permit
ted no contact with other prisoners, take their meals through slots in the
cell doors, and communicate with prison personnel by closed-circuit
television. This regimen is broken for one hour each day when the four
inmates are escorted in manacles to separate but adjoining steel mesh cages
in the prison exercise yard. During their "exercise hour" they are permitted
to communicate with each other, speaking loudly through their cages so as to
be overheard by monitoring prison guards.
Supermax will dramatize one such "exercise hour" in real time, setting to
music the conversation and thoughts of the inmates, beginning quietly, rising
to a crescendo and then concluding in the manner it began as the four are led
away in manacles to their cells. Using their own words, the work will dissect
the rationalizations made to elevate ideology over humanity.
The composition of Supermax was begun a year before the World Trade Center
Attack on September 11, 2001.