Eight works have been selected for a showcase in the Fort Worth Opera's fourth Frontiers, during the 2016 FWO Festival. The eight composers include Rene Orth, Mikael Karlsson and Rene Orth, and the librettists include Charlotte Jackson, Jason Kim (a writer for HBO's Girls and self-proclaimed "Beyoncé historian"), Royce Vavrek (who does libretto for two of the selected works, and is also librettist of the FWO's upcoming world premiere JFK) and playwright Deborah Brevoort, who will also be represented in the upcoming festival with Embedded, written with composer Patrick Soluri. Embedded, by the way, was in the first year of Frontiers and is the first Frontiers selection to get a full staging in the Fort Worth Opera Festival.
The operas include a Holocaust story, a work about the porn industry, an opera set in a NYC blackout, a work about fashion editor Diana Vreeland, an opera about about New York City's underground drag scene in the 1980s (think of the documentary Paris is Burning).
Also, notice that unlike in years past, several of these works have had a performance, even in workshop, elsewhere.
You can read more about the works, the creators and the festival in the news release below. We've also include an audio sample from one of the works.
In announcing this year's participants, Fort Worth Opera General Director Darren K. Woods, chair of the Frontiers panel, stated, "As we head into the fourth season of Frontiers, we are very proud of how far the program has come. Over the last few years, works that have had their fledgling beginnings on our stage have gone onto full premieres with great companies around the U.S. Moreover, the program continues to succeed in its mission as we at FWOpera have had the unique opportunity to populate our own season with past Frontiers participants, as in the case of this year's Opera Unbound selection of Buried Alive/Embedded. This year's crop of Frontiers selections is among the most wide-ranging to date, and we can't wait to bring these stellar works to our North Texas audiences and the opera community at-large this spring."
FWOpera Director of Artistic Administration and Frontiers curator Nathan DePoint also commented on the newly announced selections saying, "This year we added several new panelists to the adjudication process, which provided a wonderful, fresh perspective. We received a large number of submissions and this year's showcase pieces will encompass a wide variety of subjects-perhaps the most diverse yet. It is encouraging and validating to know that interest in FWOpera's Frontiers showcase remains high among composers and librettists from across the Americas. The number of entries and the quality of the selected works point directly to the value of the opportunities that this week-long program provides for the winning creative teams."
Synopses of each opera (in alphabetical order by composers' last names) and brief biographies of the composers and librettists follow below.
In Guy Barash's opera, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins, based on the play by Nick Flynn, four strangers meet on a New York City sidewalk during a blackout. Exploring the tenuous membrane that separates comfortable everyday existence from the desperate margins of society, Barash and Flynn portray an urban dystopia unnervingly similar to our own world while poignantly tapping into the loneliness and peril of city life.
The Rat Land chronicles the disintegration of a troubled and eccentric family. The plot centers on their adolescent daughter Karen, coming of age as best she can amidst a post-Cold War American Grotesque. Caught between her nightmarish home life and a near-psychotic fantasy world of her own devising, she faces grown-up problems of violence, isolation, madness, and death. With The Rat Land, composer Gordon Beeferman and librettist Charlotte Jackson have created a unique chamber opera that is not a melodrama, but tragi-comedy: pity and fear are leavened by a healthy dose of graveyard humor.
Steal a Pencil for Me, composed by Gerald Cohen with a libretto by Deborah Brevoort, is a full-length opera about one the Holocaust's most unusual love stories-between Jaap Polak, a Dutch accountant, and Ina Soep, the daughter of a wealthy diamond manufacturer, who fell in love in the Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Based on their love letters, which were published in a book of the same title, Steal a Pencil for Me is about the indestructibility of the life spirit and the power of humankind to survive adversity. The opera dramatizes intimate concerns and private dramas alongside the epic horrors of the Holocaust.
Inspired by a recent French news item, The Beach, by composer Andrew Gerle and librettist Royce Vavrek, follows gold-digger Adele and her frustrating marriage to elderly William, whom she expected to die years ago but lives on despite his dementia. Adele and her lover Jean Luc finally shut William in the laundry room and feed him stale pastries while they live on his money, convincing him he's actually at a fancy beach resort. William’s childhood sweetheart soon begins to suspect foul play, but it is Jean-Luc’s pre-teen daughter who finally calls the authorities and releases William, who knows nothing of what’s truly been going on and begs everyone to return him to his "resort."
Diana Vreeland, composed by Mikael Karlsson with libretto by Royce Vavrek, is an opera in fifteen anecdotes that celebrates the exaggerated personality of the 'Empress of Fashion.' Known for wielding her influence while working at Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, Diana was famously mad about the odder sides of people, the embellishment of history, and the posterior of Jack Nicholson. Using music theater and contemporary ballet, the opera paints a surreal portrait of the icon who demanded "never be boring!"
Written by Andrew McManus, Killing the Goat is an operatic adaptation of Mario Vargas Llosa's La Fiesta def Chivo. This visceral work of historical fiction tells the tale of Urania Cabral, a Dominican woman who returns to her native Santo Domingo to confront trauma she suffered as a teenager at the hands of Rafael Trujillo, the brutal dictator of the Dominican Republic prior to his assassination in 1961. As Urania searches for solace and catharsis from her ailing father, a former official in the regime, there are flashbacks to the dictator himself, to an official who conspired to assassinate him, and to the traumatic event that has haunted her for 35 years.
Empty the House is a 60-minute chamber opera, composed by Rene Orth in collaboration with librettist Mark Campbell, which explores the complex nature of forgiveness between a mother and her two grown children. The opera will receive its staged premiere in January 2016 with the Curtis Opera Theater. (SoundCloud sample below.)
Set in New York City in 1985, Legendary is an opera written by composer Joseph Rubenstein and librettist Jason Kim about double lives and destructive desires set in the glory days of New York City's underground drag culture. Based on a true story, famed drag performer Dee Legendary embarks on a passionate love affair with Officer John, whose fascination with Dee takes an unexpected and dangerous turn.
Frontiers composers will be in residence at the Festival from April 29 to May 5, 2016. Post performance receptions will be part of the showcase.
Composer and Libretiist Biographies
Guy Barash, composer of Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins
Composer Guy Barash is "a risk-taker, willing to pull ideas from all disciplines as he jumps into the unknown" (icareifyoulisten.com). Exploring time and memory perception within multi-metric environments and utilizing electronics, microtonality, and extramusical sources, Barash abandons the confines of genre, inventing a sound world uniquely his own. Recent accolades include a performance at MATA Festival 2015, an American Opera Projects fellowship, Composer-in-Residence position at Turtle Bay Music School, and Exploring the Metropolis' Con Edison Composition Award. His debut album, Facts About Water, which chronicles a five-year collaboration with American author Nick Flynn, was released on lnnova Recordings in 2014. Frequently developing innovative, multidisciplinary projects, Barash collaborates with a wide array of artists including poets, video-artists, musicians and choreographers. In 2007, he conceived the interactive installation Manifests, Orders, Notifications involving guided improvisation for dancer Adi Kahana and real-time electronics, with Kahana triggering and manipulating audio material via passive­ infrared and proximity sensors. His most recent collaboration with American author Nick Flynn has produced a number of provocative works. Proteus, a musical rendering of selected texts and excerpts from Flynn's second memoir, The Ticking Is The Bomb, received its world premiere at Galapagos Art Space in February 2010; while Blind Huber, commissioned by the Jerome Foundation as part of Barash's 2011 composer-residency at Electronic Music Foundation, is based on seven poems from the eponymous book by Flynn and was premiered in the fall of 2011 at Greenwich House alongside video projections by Jared Handelsman. Barash's most recent collaboration was for his captivating new opera Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins (currently in development) based on Flynn's play.
Nick Flynn, librettist of Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins
Nick Flynn has worked as a ship's captain, an electrician, and as a case worker with homeless adults. His most recent book is My Feelings (Graywolf, 2015), a collection of poems. He has received fellowships and awards from, among other organizations, The Guggenheim Foundation, PEN, and The Library of Congress. Some of the venues his poems, essays and non-fiction have appeared in include The New Yorker, Paris Review and National Public Radio's This American Life. He is currently a professor on the creative writing faculty at the University of Houston, where he is in residence each spring. His work has been translated into fifteen languages. Over the past two years Nick Flynn has edited the poetry selections for the following publications: Ploughshares, Mel Chin's Funk and Wag A-Z, Guernica, and Provincetown Arts, as well as being the judge for the CSU Poetry Prize and the PSA Chapbook Competition. He is on the editorial board of Drunken Boat and Gulf Coast. His film credits include artistic collaborator and "field poet" on the film Darwin's Nightmare (nominated for an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2006), as well as executive producer and artistic collaborator on Being Flynn, the film version of his memoir Another Bullshit Night in SuckCity (2012, Focus Features). In 2014, his play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins, was staged by Chicago's Forget-Me-Not Theater. Facts About Water, a CD which chronicles his five-year collaboration with composer Guy Barash, was also released in 2014. In 2015 he and Sarah Sentilles formed the Blue Sky Committee, and began documenting collective responses to state sanctioned violence in an open source project named Drone Alert Sutras.
Gordon Beeferman, composer of The Rat Land
Gordon Beeferman, composer and pianist, has created a diverse body of adventurous work spanning opera, orchestral, chamber, and vocal music, improvisation, and collaborations with dance and other arts. His music has been commissioned and/or performed by the New York City Opera orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Quartet New Generation recorder collective, Momenta Quartet, American Brass Quintet, eighth blackbird, California EAR Unit, and others. The New York Times hailed The Rat Land, his chamber opera written with librettist Charlotte Jackson, as "complex and daringly modern...gritty, fidgety and intriguing." Beeferman leads two groups which perform his compositions: Other Life Forms, a quartet, and Music for an Imaginary Band, a septet, described by Time Out New York as a "commanding avant-jazz ensemble." He has received commissions from the Fromm Foundation, the BMI Foundation, and Concert Artists Guild, three BMI Student Composer Awards, a Tanglewood fellowship, and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and the Copland House. A "fully liberated pianist" (Cadence Magazine), Beeferman has performed extensively in New York as well as across the US and Canada; highlights include appearances at Roulette, ISSUE Project Room, the Vision Festival, MATA Festival, Hallwalls (Buffalo, NY), and the Music Gallery (Toronto), and with the Philip Glass Ensemble in Einstein on the Beach. Beeferman's collaborations with choreographers have been produced in New York at the Joyce SoHo, Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, The Chocolate Factory, and Abrons Arts Center. His recordings are available on innova, Generate, Genuin, and Summit Records. Current projects include The Enchanted Organ: A Porn Opera, a new collaboration with Charlotte Jackson.
Charlotte Jackson, librettist of The Rat Land
Charlotte Jackson was born in England and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. She studied fiction, poetry, and literary non-fiction at Interlachen Arts Academy and continued writing at Bennington College, ultimately graduating from Bard College, where she studied with renowned novelist Norman Manea and completed an essay collection under the tutelage of Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Frank. Charlotte earned her MFA in creative non-fiction from Columbia in 2002. Some highlights from her past work include the libretto for The Rat Land, a contemporary chamber opera by composer Gordon Beeferman that twice appeared at New York City Opera's VOX festival. Past prose includes The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet, a trilogy of "non-fiction novellas" on the power and perils of imagination, and the personal essay collection Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman. Currently Jackson is working on the libretto for The Enchanted Organ, an operatic burlesque satirizing the porn industry throughout its history.
Gerald Cohen, composer of Steal a Pencil for Me
Composer Gerald Cohen has been praised for his "linguistic fluidity and melodic gift," creating music that "reveals a very personal modernism that...offers great emotional rewards." (Gramophone Magazine). His deeply affecting compositions have been recognized with numerous awards and critical accolades.
Cohen's operas Sarah and Hagar, based on the story from the book of Genesis, and Seed, a one-act opera about love and choices for a post-apocalyptic couple, have been performed in concert form. Cohen is a noted synagogue cantor and baritone; his experience as a singer informs his dramatic, lyrical compositions. Cohen's best-known work, his "shimmering setting" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) of Psalm 23, has received thousands of performances from synagogues and churches to Carnegie Hall and the Vatican.
Recognition of Cohen's body of work includes the Copland House Borromeo String Quartet Award, Aaron Copland Award, Westchester Prize for New Work, American Composers ForumFaith Partners residency, and Cantors Assembly's Max Wahlberg Award for distinguished achievement in the field of Jewish composition. Throughout his career, he has been selected for residencies including those at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and American Lyric Theater. Cohen's music has been commissioned by chamber ensembles including the Cassatt String Quartet, Verdehr Trio, Franciscan String Quartet, Chesapeake Chamber Music, Grneta Ensemble, Wave Hill Trio, Bronx Arts Ensemble, and Brooklyn Philharmonic Brass Quintet; by choruses including the New York Virtuoso Singers, Canticum Novum Singers, Syracuse Children's Chorus, St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City, Zamir Chorale of Boston, and Usdan Center Chorus; and by the Cantors Assembly of America and Westchester Youth Symphony. Cohen's music has been performed by the Borromeo String Quartet, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic, Riverside Symphony, Plymouth Music Series Orchestra, New York Concert Singers, Princeton Pro Musica, and many other ensembles and soloists.
Deborah Brevoort, librettist of Steal a Pencil for Me
Deborah Brevoort is a playwright and librettist from Alaska who now lives in the New York City area. She is an alumna of New Dramatists, one of the original company members of Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska and a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders, a group of individual artists dedicated to international theatre exchange. She is best known for her play The Women of Lockerbie, which won the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays Award and the silver medal in the Onassis International Playwriting Competition. It was produced in London at the Orange Tree, off-Broadway at the New Group and Women's Project and in Los Angeles at the Actors Gang. It is produced all over the U.S. and internationally. Published by DPS and No Passport Press, the play has had over 400 productions to date and is translated into 10 languages. Deborah received the Paul Green Award from the National Theatre Conference for her musical book writing and a Performing Artist/Writer Research Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society in 2012. She has received grants and commissions from the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, NYFA, CEC Arts Link, New Jersey Arts Council, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Danish American Society, Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Brown University, The Harburg Foundation, Banff Playwright's Colony, and others. She received the Joe Calloway Award and was a MacDowell Fellow. She has done residencies in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Denmark, and the Czech and Slovak Republics. She is a resident artist at the American Lyric Theater. She is a member of ASCAP and serves on the board of the National Theatre Conference. She holds MFA's in playwriting from Brown University and in musical theatre writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she was the Yip Harburg Fellow. She currently teaches in the NYU graduate musical theater-writing program and in the MFA playwriting programs at Columbia University and Goddard College.
Andrew Gerle, composer of The Beach
Composer, playwright and pianist Andrew Gerle won the 2012 Kleban Award for outstanding librettist for his show Gloryana, which also won a 2011 Richard Rodgers Award. He has also won three other Rodgers Awards for The Tutor (book and lyrics by Maryrose Wood). With lyricist Eddie Sugarman, he won a Jonathan Larson Award for their show, Meet John Doe (cast album on Broadway Records), and he received the first Burton Lane Fellowship for Young Composers from the Theater Songwriters' Hall of Fame. His play Renovations was premiered in 2011 at the White Plains (NY) Performing Arts Center, and selections from his opera The Beach (libretto by Royce Vavrek) were premiered by the New York City Opera as part of their VOX reading series. Recent projects include an adaptation of The Tempest with legendary lyricist Tom Jones (The Fantasticks) and a score for Barrington Stage Company's production of Much Ado About Nothing. Andrew has been a Fellow at the MacDowell Artists' Colony and a writer-in-residence at the Sundance Theater Institute at Ucross, the Rhinebeck Writers' Retreat, and the Eugene O'Neill Musical Theatre Conference. As a musical director, he has worked on dozens of Off-Broadway, regional and touring productions, and was heard as the "hands" of Coalhouse Walker, Jr., in the recent Tony-winning revival of Ragtime. He has served as musical director and accompanist for such distinguished artists as Kitty Carlisle Hart, John Raitt, Jennifer Holliday, Shirley Jones, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Leslie Uggams, and Liz Callaway. A CD of his jazz arrangements of the songs of Maltby Shire with vocalist Christa Justus was released in 2010 under the PS Classics Label. He is the author of The Enraged Accompanist's Guide to the Perfect Audition, which is becoming the go-to reference for professional and aspiring musical theater actors alike. He is on the faculty of Yale University, where he teaches musical theater performance and songwriting.
Royce Vavrek, librettist of The Beach and Diana Vreeland
Royce Vavrek is an Alberta-born, Brooklyn-based librettist and lyricist known as "an exemplary creator of operatic prose" (The New York Times) and "a favorite collaborator of the postclassical set" (Time Out New York). His collaborations with composer David T. Little has led Heidi Waleson of the Wall Street Journalto proclaim them "one of the most exciting composer-librettist teams working in opera today." This collaboration has birthed Dog Days, Vinkensport or The Finch Opera, Am I Born, archaeology, and Last Nightfall. They are currently working on their first grand opera, JFK, commissioned by Fort Worth Opera, Opera de Montreal, and American Lyric Theater, about John F. Kennedy's final night. Royce's other works include 27 with Rickey Ian Gordon, Song from the Uproarand Breaking the Waves with Missy Mazzoli, and the Hubble Cantata with Paola Prestini. Other recent and upcoming projects include Strip Mall with Matt Marks, Stoned Prince with Hannah Lash, Midwestern Gothic with Josh Schmidt, Columbia with Gregory Spears, Knoxville: Summer of 2015 with Ellen Reid, and development of The Wild Beast of the Bungalow with Rachel Peters. Royce is co-artistic director of The Coterie, an opera-theater company founded with Lauren Worsham. He holds a BFA in Filmmaking and Creative Writing from Concordia University's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal and an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at New York University. He is an alum of American Lyric Theater's Composer Librettist Development Program.
Mikael Karlsson, composer of Diana Vreeland
Mikael Karlsson moved to New York from Sweden in 2000 and graduated Summa Cum Laude with departmental honors with a Masters Degree in Classical Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music in 2005. Mr. Karlsson's music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall, at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, The Oslo Opera House, the Royal Swedish Opera House, The Ingmar Bergman Center at Faro, The Joyce Theater, BAM, and at new music festivals and opera houses across the world. He has composed for the International Contemporary Ensemble, American Contemporary Music Ensemble, Black Sun Productions, Lydia Lunch, Claire Chase, Joshua Rubin, Patricia Schuman, Mivos Quartet, Sirius Quartet, Abby Fischer, and pop singers Lykke Li, Anna Von Hausswolff, and Mariam Wallentin. He is currently developing three operas: Diana Vreeland with librettist Royce Vavrek, developed by Paola Prestini's Vision Into Art; The Echo Drift with co-librettist Elle Kunnos De Voss, developed by HERE Arts Center, Beth Morrison Productions and American Opera Projects; and Decoration, with co-librettist David Floden.
Andrew McManus, composer/librettist of Killing the Goat
Andrew McManus' orchestral work Strobe, premiered in June 2014 by the New York Philharmonic, was called "riveting" and "breathless ...surging... hazy...sometimes all at once" by the New York Times. In May 2014 his opera Killing the Goat was premiered by eighth blackbird, the Pacifica Quartet and members of the Contempo Chamber Players at the University of Chicago. In August 2014, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble performed a chamber suite from the opera at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, CO. Opera figures prominently in his other works: in July 2015, Alarm Will Sound premiered embers, fused to ash, an amalgamation of Wagner's Magic Fire Music with an assortment of other fire-based images, at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. In 2013, Ancient Vigils, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Commission, was premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This piano quintet is a restive, distorted tapestry of complex bell sonorities, Renaissance dance rhythms, faded religious imagery, and viol consorts. Ancient Vigils was also performed by the Spektral Quartet in May 2014. His other orchestral works include Identity (2008), premiered at the 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, and The Concert of Deliverance (2010), read by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and premiered by the University of Oklahoma Symphony. He is also a creator of electronic music. His playback work Mesopherics (2013) weaves together a diverse collection of sounds that range from beautiful, vivid and scintillating to rough, unwieldy and cacophonous. Neurosonics (2015), a collaboration with a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, creates similarly strange soundscapes using data from experiments that study the electrical patterns of rat neurons. Other works have been performed at the Wellesley Composers Conference (2012), the Bowdoin International Music Festival (2013), and CULTIVATE (2015), a festival at the Aaron Copland House in New York.
Rene Orth, composer of Empty the House
Originally from Dallas, Rene Orth is a composer, musician, and audio engineer. She has an interest in seamlessly combining electronic and acoustic music with a focus on dramatic narrative form and color in orchestration. Recent and upcoming projects include commissions from the Washington National Opera, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and the Rock School of Dance. Current and past collaborations include projects with librettists Mark Campbell and Jason Kim, choreographers Georg Rieschl and Justin Allen, and poets Jeanne Minahan and Julia Bloch. Her music has been performed by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Dover Quartet, the Fifth House Ensemble, and the University of Louisville University Chorus. In 2014, Orth held residencies at the artist colonies Yaddo and Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She participated in the Lake Champlain Music Festival (2013), Fresh Ink Festival (2013), and Atlantic Music Festival (2012) and is a recipient of a Subito grant from the Philadelphia Chapter of ACF (2014) as well as a Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant (2012). Orth currently holds the Edward B. Garrigues Fellowship at the Curtis Institute of Music and studies with Jennifer Higdon. She earned an M.M. in Music Composition at the University of Louisville as a Moritz von Bomhard Fellow and holds degrees from MediaTech Institute and Rhodes College. Her mentors and teachers have included Mikael Eliasen, Richard Danielpour, Steve Rouse, John LaBarbera, and Brandon Goff.
Jason Kim, librettist of Legendary
Jason Kim is a Korean-born dramatist based in Brooklyn, New York. His plays include New America (Naked Angels), 30 Million (Keen Company), Stuck (Serials at the Flea Theater), A Modern Feeling (NSD), History of a Marriage (Gowanus Art + Production), Co-op (Naked Radio), and an upcoming K-Pop musical in Ars Nova Theater's 2016-17 season. As a librettist, he has collaborated with composers Joseph N. Rubinstein, Rene Orth, Gity Razaz, Max Vernon, Helen Park, among others. His operas include An American Man(Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Opera), Legendary (American Opera Projects, Manhattan School of Music), A Year of Madness (American Opera Projects), and Seeking You (Spoleto Festival). In television, he currently writes for HBO's Girls. He is the recipient of the IFP-Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film, Screenwriters Colony Fellowship, Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, and Mark Campbell Chair Librettist Fellowship in American Opera Project's Composers. He is a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Ars Nova's Uncharted. BA Columbia University, MFA New School for Drama.
The Frontiers Panel comprises FWOpera's Darren K. Woods and Nathan DePoint, as well as Andrew Byrne (Symphony Space NYC), William Florescu (Florentine Opera), John Hoomes (Nashville Opera), Ben Krywosz (Nautilus Music Theater), Steven Osgood (conductor), Nicole Paiement (Opera Parallele), Sarah Williams (Opera Philadelphia), and Keith A. Wolfe (Opera Birmingham).