The Travelled Road

Evan Mack composer

Megan Marino mezzo-soprano
John Arida piano
Jameson Platte cello

Release Date: March 26, 2021
Catalog #: RR8051
Format: Digital
21st Century
Vocal Music

Ravello Records proudly presents THE TRAVELLED ROAD from operatic composer Evan Mack. The album is a bold and progressive work featuring compositions that are thoroughly grounded in the modern era. A Little More Perfect sets the text of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion on Obergefell v. Hodges, which made marriage equality the law of the land. Three Reflections of Sister Dorothy tells the story of martyred nun Sr. Dorothy Stang and her fight to save the rainforest. The Road and the End expresses the eponymous 1916 Carl Sandburg poem as a musical tour de force, performed by vocal powerhouse Megan Marino. Mack is a firm believer that opera should be theater grounded in climactic expression, delivering larger-than-life stories while harnessing the full athletic thrill of singing; THE TRAVELLED ROAD embodies this philosophy.


Hear the full album on YouTube

"An extremely ambitious project that you’ll want to revisit again and again."

Take Effect

"Five Substantive and Diverse Works."

Opera Wire

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 A Little More Perfect (Arr. for Mezzo-Soprano, Cello & Piano) Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano; Jameson Platte, cello 4:54
02 3 Reflections of Sister Dorothy: No. 1, Have I Not Wept? Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 3:39
03 3 Reflections of Sister Dorothy: No. 2, The Mountaintop Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 4:05
04 3 Reflections of Sister Dorothy: No. 3, Will They Listen? Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 3:45
05 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 1, Simone de Beauvoir Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 1:11
06 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 2, Mae West Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 0:54
07 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 3, Gilda Radner Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 0:54
08 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 4, George Eliot Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 1:02
09 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 5, Lucille Ball Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 0:31
10 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 6, Daphne du Maurier Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 1:50
11 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 7, Lizz Winstead Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 0:27
12 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 8, Leslie Jones Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 1:18
13 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 9, Ann Landers Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 0:41
14 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 10, Gloria Steinem Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 0:35
15 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 11, Natasha Scripture Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 0:46
16 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 12, Lucille Ball Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 0:29
17 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 13, Tina Fey Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 1:01
18 Preach Sister, Preach: No. 14, Ellen DeGeneres Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 1:57
19 The Secret Ocean: No. 1, Children Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 5:21
20 The Secret Ocean: No. 2, After Disappointment Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 3:52
21 The Secret Ocean: No. 3, The Secret Ocean Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano 6:19
22 The Road and the End Evan Mack Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano; John Arida, piano; Jameson Platte, cello 5:26

text quote of Hon. Justice Anthony Kennedy

text Evan Mack

text quotes by Various

text Mark Jarman

text Carl Sandburg

Recorded September 19, 2020 at the Arthur Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs NY
Recording and Sound Editing Engineer Daniel Czernecki

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Ivana Hauser

VP, Audio Production Jeff LeRoy
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner

Artist Information

Evan Mack


Believing that opera should be theater grounded in climactic expression and deliver larger-than-life stories with music that harnesses the full athletic thrill of singing, Evan Mack has devoted much of his compositional life to opera and song. His first major operatic composition, Angel of the Amazon was premiered in 2011 by Encompass New Opera Theatre at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City and was subsequently released on CD worldwide by Albany Records. Two years later, Fresno State Opera Theater premiered another composition by Mack, The Secret of Luca. This was the first of several collaborations with librettist Joshua McGuire.

Megan Marino

Megan Marino


Megan Marino is a genre-adventurous, “gifted actress with a strong, appealing voice graced by a rich lower register” [Opera News]. Be it on stage or the front porch, standard fare, forgotten gem, or a work in progress, she’s driven by sharing in the communion of live performance experiences, a deep yearning to tell meaningful stories, and pure undiluted moxie.

Her recent appearances include the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, and Caramoor Music Festival. She has garnered awards from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, George London Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, Marcello Giordani Foundation, Kurt Weill Foundation, and the Oratorio Society of New York.

Currently in residence with the newly formed Atlanta Opera Company Players, Marino is diving head first into exploration of reimagined projects, fach-bending, and incorporating her training and curiosity as an instrumentalist into her professional operatic life.

photo: Dario Acosta
John Arida

John Arida


Pianist and coach John Arida has been praised as “an ardent accompanist… catching fire in the accompaniments and in the solo piece” by The Washington Post. The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded his interpretative prowess, proclaiming that “Arida was the great source illuminating text” and that his “…touch was just right.” His relationships with some of classical music’s most esteemed performers, including Paul Appleby, Julia Bullock, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Isabel Leonard, Megan Marino, Nicholas Phan, Ailyn Perez, and Sir James Galway, have led to international recital engagements across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Notable venues include Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Kennedy Center, Herbst Theater, and Spivey Hall.

He began his 2020-2021 season performing with mezzo soprano, Isabel Leonard for Carnegie Hall’s Virtual Opening Night Gala. He previously virtually collaborated with Ms. Leonard earlier that summer on “MTT25 : An Online Tribute to Michael Tilson Thomas.” During the Covid-19 pandemic, along with his work as a virtual collaborator, Arida sings, mixes, and produces several hymns a week with two members of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral Choir in Boston, while the parish continues to hold regular services over Zoom.

Arida has assisted notable conductors John DeMain, Evan Rogister, Speranza Scappucci, Emmanuel Villaume, Julian Wachner, and Gary Thor Wedow amongst others. He has been a member of the music staff of several U.S. companies and festivals including the Juilliard School, Washington National Opera, Central City Opera, the Castleton Festival, Virginia Opera, the Prototype Festival, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Arida has held fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West. He holds a master’s degree in collaborative piano from The Juilliard School and a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from SUNY Purchase.

Jameson D Platte

Jameson D. Platte


Cellist Jameson D. Platte maintains an active career both as a performer and a teacher. He is currently a member of the critically acclaimed Duo 92 with pianist/composer Matthew Quayle, the Omega Trio, principal cellist of The Orchestra of Northern New York, The Plainfield Symphony, Bachanalia Virtuosi, Chelsea Opera, Garden State Philharmonic, and the Allentown Symphony. As faculty at Skidmore College, he teaches cello and chamber music. Platte works extensively as a clinician, guest conductor, and cello coach, performs as a soloist, and maintains a large private studio.

He is in constant demand as a guest principal cellist throughout the northeast. A frequent recitalist in New York City, he has been featured in Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Lincoln Center, and the 92nd St. Y, among others. His recitals have been heard throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Platte is Artist/Faculty at the Atlantic Music Festival.

Platte attended the Brevard Music Festival as a teaching assistant where he won the concerto contest. He also attended the Blossom Chamber Music Festival where he played principal cello under Leonard Slatkin. Platte has been a member of the Tuscaloosa Symphony (under Louis Lane), the Alabama Symphony, and the Huntsville Symphony. He has recently been a featured soloist with the Allentown Symphony, Glens Falls Symphony, Maplewood Society of Musical Arts Orchestra, Central Jersey Symphony, Monmouth Symphony, Plainfield Symphony, Bachanalia Virtuosi, and the Stokes Forest Festival Orchestra, among others. Recent international residencies have included performances in China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates. His recordings of contemporary music may be heard under the Koch International, Seedmusic, Naxos, and Albany labels.

Platte plays on cellos by Hannibal Fagnola (1925) and Andrea Amati (1572) as well as bows by François Xavier Tourte and Dominique Peccatte.


Perseverance is at the heart of this album. You hear it in every note and word, regardless of the subject. Megan Marino, John Arida, and Jameson Platte’s brilliant tones capture the spirit of persistence in their magical collaboration.

A Little More Perfect sets Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion on Obergefell v. Hodges, which made marriage equality the law of the land. I base the opening motive on a chart that shows the progress of LGBTQ rights. The esoteric opening becomes more and more commonplace and accepted as the rights, powers, and truths bestowed by Kennedy’s words become self-evident. The title of the work comes from the day President Obama walked out into the Rose Garden and said, “Today, the nation has become a little more perfect.”

Three Reflections Of Sister Dorothy shows the determination, transcendence, and martyred hopes of Sr. Dorothy Stang’s fight to save the rainforest. A nun from Ohio, murdered by hire in the Brazilian Amazon in 2005 at the age of 73, she helped poor farmers live sustainably off of the land. The three songs consist of her own words and reflections from others who lived and worked with her in the Amazon and their daily struggle to help the poor, preserve the forest, and save the world.

Preach Sister, Preach celebrates the words of iconic women. Each movement bears the name of the speaker in an homage to them and their empowering message. I treat every quote with the utmost care and musically give a nod to the person, the time period, or an extramusical reference to the text itself, illustrating the power of humor to break down societal barriers.

The Secret Ocean deals with the passage of time, the impact of parenthood, and the burden of passing on wisdom while gaining it at the same time. Amy Jarman and the Blair School commissioned the setting of three poems by Mark Jarman that depict childhood, parenthood, and the link between them.

The Road And The End takes the words of Carl Sandburg’s 1916 poem and transforms them into a vocal tour de force. Catered to the talents of Megan Marino, the music highlights the grit and determination we need to travel the roads we want to travel.

— Evan Mack


Text by Justice Anthony Kennedy

No union is more profound than marriage,
for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.
In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.
As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.
Their plea is that they do respect it,
respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.
Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness,
excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.
They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.
The Constitution grants them the right to marriage.

Words by Evan Mack

I. Have I Not Wept?
Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? The oppressed retreat from me as I come here to help them.

How can I raise the poor from the dust and lift them from the ashes

If they see me as a hand for the wicked?
I tried and failed. What did I do wrong?

Have I not wept? Am I not pained enough? Have I not grieved enough? They cried for my help. They cried out to me.

And my words, only words could not comfort them.
I’ll try again. And this time, I won’t fail!
I must seek to follow Christ and give up what is mine.
In the spirit of the Lord I will sacrifice.
I cannot help the poor unless I’m one of them. Together, we’ll walk the path of God!

II. The Mountain Top
I don’t know what will happen now.

We’ve come so far, but it’s not quite over yet,

And my role in this is almost over now. And I know.
But I’ve been to the mountaintop.
I have seen the promised land, so I don’t mind.

I lived a full life and the journey’s been long. I may not get there. I may not see the end.
But I know, it will happen.
We will go to the mountaintop. We will see the promised land.
We will reach the mountaintop.
I could die. I could lose my life for the struggle.
I am scared, but won’t be afraid.

I fear no evil, as you are with me Lord.
I have so much to gain, if I die, then let me die!
Then we’ll reach the mountaintop.
We will reach the promised land.
We will reach the mountaintop.

III. Will They Listen?
Will they listen?
Will the listen today?
Will they hear the cries of the poor?
I hope they listen.
I hope they listen to me. So many years, no one has heard.
O God, O God, let them hear. Make them hear the cries of the poor.

Make them listen.
Make them listen to me to guarantee a life for tomorrow. Think of tomorrow and all we can achieve.

O God, O God, this dream may die.

Today, if they don’t see what all these years of struggles mean to me,
If someone shows us mercy and restores my people’s dignity.

O God, give me strength, as I am their voice.

I’ll make them listen. I’ll make them listen to me to guarantee this dream can survive!

I. Simone de Beauvoir
This has always been a man’s world, and none of the reasons that have been offered in explanation have seemed adequate. One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.

II. Mae West
There are no good girls gone wrong—just bad girls found out. When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better. There are no good girls gone wrong—just bad girls found out. Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.

III. Gilda Radner
I’d much rather be a woman than a man.
Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they’re the first to be rescued off sinking ships.

IV. George Eliot
I’m not denyin’ the women are foolish. God Almighty made ‘em to match the men.

V. Lucille Ball (1)
A man who correctly guesses a woman’s age may be smart, but he’s not very bright.

Daphne de Maurier
Women want love to be a novel, men a short story.

VII. Lizz Winstead
I think, therefore I’m single.

VIII. Leslie Jones
It’s hard to date now. Remember back in the day all you had to ask a man was: Are you single?…Now? It’s a whole interview. Are you single? Are you on drugs? Are you gay? Are you sure?

IX. Ann Landers
Women complain about sex more often than men. Their gripes fall into two major categories:
Not enough.
Too much.

X. Gloria Steinem
A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.

XI. Lucille Ball (2)
The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.

XII. Natasha Scripture
The notion that wearing makeup is antifeminist is silly.
Cleopatra pretty much invented the eyeliner, and she ruled a kingdom.

XIII. Tina Fey
If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: who cares?

XIV. Ellen DeGeneres
Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else’s path…unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.

Poems by Mark Jarman

I. The Children
The children are hiding among the raspberry canes.
They look big to one another, the garden small.
Already in their mouths this soft fruit
That lasts so briefly in the supermarket
Tastes like the past. The gritty wall,
Behind the veil of leaves, is hollow.
There are yellow wasps inside it. The children know.
They know the wall is hard, although it hums.
They know a lot and will not forget it soon.
When did we forget? But we were never
Children, never found where they were hiding
And hid with them, never followed
The wasp down into its nest
With a fingertip that still tingles.
We lie in bed at night, thinking about
The future, always the future, always forgetting
That it will be the past, hard and hollow,
Veiled and humming, soon enough.

II. After Disappointment
To lie in your child’s bed when she is gone
Is calming as anything I know. To fall
Asleep, is to admit that you have never been
So tired, so enchanted by the spell
Of your grown body. To feel small instead
Of blocking out the light, to feel alone,
Not knowing what you should or shouldn’t feel,
Is to find out, no matter what you’ve said
About the cramped escapes and obstacles
You plan and face and have to call the world,
That there remain these places, occupied
By children, yours if lucky, like the girl
Who finds you here and lies down by your side.

III. The Secret Ocean
When you were little girls, I brought you here
To light weaving on water among trees,
With one of you beside me, walking along,
The other on my shoulders, talking to herself.
We found this place beside a baseball field
In a flood plane flooded by meadowlarks.
We pitched our half-hour camp.
A speckled dancing
Took place upon the wavelets and the air,
A water strider sort of dance, a shifting
Greened by the leaves like lenses overhead.
I think I named it after one of you,
Claire’s Secret Ocean, Zoe’s Secret Sea,
Far from the actual oceans you’d not seen yet.
Neither of you knew that we were there
To calm and change the color of my thought,
To ease its glaring pressure for a moment.
And we have been together other places
For the same reason, which I can now reveal—
There have been times I thought my head would crack,
Only to have you both demand ice cream.
It’s been a long time since we’ve walked together
For reasons you didn’t have to understand.
If you were younger, I wouldn’t be less fearful,
Now that the monster shadowing you is not
The wounded ego of your harmless father,
But something that would harm you if it could.
I think of that first, stunned day
Outside of Eden, going through the motions— No—learning motions no one had yet dreamed of.
And menace, like a new electric nimbus,
Surrounding everything, invisibly. And no one to walk with but each other.
And yet it could be that these private walks
To places like the secret ocean, trailing
Beside a darkened, mute, distracted parent,
Were preparations for new valleys of the shadow,
Fearing no evil, because someone was with you.

Poem by Carl Sandburg

I shall foot it
Down the roadway in the dusk,
Where shapes of hunger wander
And the fugitives of pain go by.
I shall foot it
In the silence of the morning,
See the night slur into dawn,
Hear the slow great winds arise
Where tall trees flank the way
And shoulder toward the sky.
The broken boulders by the road
Shall not commemorate my ruin.
Regret shall be the gravel under foot.
I shall watch for
Slim birds swift of wing
That go where wind and ranks of thunder
Drive the wild processionals of rain.
The dust of the travelled road
Shall touch my hands and face.