In 1781, five years after the American Revolution and eight years before the French, composer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus using homemade astronomy equipment financed by his musical successes. His sister and indispensable amanuensis Caroline, now unwillingly thrust onto the international political stage, confronts her fears in a nocturnal monologue, for soprano, horn and period string quintet, performable in an observatory or a planetarium.

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