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The Birth of a Rock Opera

February 17, 2010

“A Beautiful Disease” may sound like a contradiction, but then again, some may argue that a rock opera is a conflicting terms as well. Still, Andrew Pressley, an Elon senior and honors fellow, did not shy away from the inconsistency.

“It gave me an outlet for all this music and ideas in my head,” Pressley said.

Pressley created the play “A Beautiful Disease” for his senior honor thesis project.

“I didn’t’ want to write another rank and file paper,” he said. “I wanted to be different”

Pressley’s rock opera tells the story of a theater janitor who successfully pursues Rabina, an older woman and the theater’s lead singer. Despite the age difference, the two secretly continue the relationship. When the director of the theater discovers the affair, he blackmails Rabina into having sex with him in exchange for secrecy regarding the illegal relationship.

“That’s about one-third to one-half of the story,” said Pressley. “It just sort of spirals out of control from there.”

Although the title refers to a perspective of love, the playwright assures us that the story is not cynical.

To read the entire article go to and watch the accompanying video below.

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