Resonance Works announces their 2021/22 Season: Bridging Time, Space, and Tradition

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Resonance’s 9th season features a mix of five live and filmed performances


Seven World Premiere opera short films in 3 episodes framed by “Hero Songs” featuring Karen Slack premiering October 1

As we slowly emerge from a pandemic and an era of toxic politics, holding heightened perspectives on social justice, global citizenship, and environmental concerns – many of yesterday’s icons no longer serve us as we stride into the heart of the 21st century. This October, the indie companies of the Decameron Opera Coalition return to your favorite small screen with Heroes – seven world premiere opera short films presented in three episodes, all framed by original art songs by Hilliard and Boresi, featuring renowned soprano Karen Slack, mezzo-soprano Tesia Kwarteng, tenor Javier Abreu, and baritone John Castillo.

Look for Resonance Works’ chapter “Letter to Our Children” in HEROES Episode 1: Answering the Call. Some heroes wear a cape and mask, some write legislation or carry a protest sign, some appear when needed and disappear when the work is done. “Letter to Our Children” recognizes those people whose names may never be mentioned in history books, but who make the world go round. Letter features the work of Justine F. Chen, composer, Jacqueline Goldfinger, librettist, Laurel Semerdjian, mezzo-soprano and, Christopher Ash, director & cinematographer.

Join us for the Premiere Night Party on October 1 at 8pm ET and Episode Parties on October 3, 5, and 7, streaming on all platforms.


Back to the Future

NOVEMBER 13 & 14, 2021 at The Greer Cabaret at Theater Square, Downtown

For our first live performance since the pandemic began, we are bringing our Resonance Chamber Orchestra to an exciting new venue – the Greer Cabaret at Theater Square – with music by some of today’s most important living composers! The program is inspired by past musical traditions from around the world, and features guest soloist Jeffrey Turner, former principal double bassist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in the Pittsburgh premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Dark with Excessive Bright (2018). Also featured is Chen Yi’s Shuo (1995), a “shimmering, sparkling amalgam of folk singing from [the composer’s] native China,” Jessie Montgomery’s Source Code (2013), which is based on syntax derived from black spirituals, and Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout (2003), a work that juxtaposes the western classical and Andean folk music traditions. 

Hansel & Gretel

A film co-production with Opera Ithaca in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus


Resonance Works joins forces with Opera Ithaca to ring in holiday cheer with a new film version of Engelbert Humperdinck’s beloved opera, Hansel & Gretel. The film is an innovative reimagining of the 19th-century original: Hansel and Gretel, lost in the woods, stumble upon the set of a celebrity pastry chef’s cooking show, where they are invited to be the guest stars (and main ingredients!).

The film’s all-star cast includes sopranos Meghan Kasanders (Staastoper Hannover, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)and Marlen Nahhas (Washington National Opera Cafritz Young Artist), mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen (Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago), and baritone Mario Diaz-Moresco (Chautauqua Opera), and a special partnership with the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus. Resonance Works’ Artistic Director Maria Sensi Sellner leads an octet of Resonance Chamber Orchestra players, in an orchestration originally created for Houston Grand Opera by Kathleen Kelly.

Join Resonance Works and the Pittsburgh youth Chorus for a live movie premiere event on December 18 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater!

Raven McMillon in Concert

FEBRUARY 20, 2022 at Kelly Strayhorn Theater

Raven McMillon, a 2021 Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Carnegie Mellon alum, returns to Pittsburgh on February 20, 2022 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater with a multi-genre program of art song, opera, and jazz. A second-year artist in the Houston Grand Opera Studio, this season, she also takes on the roles of Frasquita in Carmen, Peter in the world premiere of Joel Thompson’s The Snowy Day, and Papagena in The Magic Flute, and makes her house and role debut at Opera Philadelphia as Gilda in Rigoletto.


MAY 20 & 22, 2022

To close their  9th season, Resonance presents their long-awaited production of one of opera’s most beloved and heartbreaking tales, Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece, RigolettoBased on Victor Hugo’s original play Le roi s’amuse, Verdi’s opera warns of the cost of seeking revenge. An intimate reimagining by returning stage director Valerie Rachelle (On the Town) updates the story into the 1930s, bringing the relevance of Gilda’s experience into nearer focus.

Baritone Andrew Cummings takes on the role of Rigoletto, lending his “hefty voice and formidable presence” (Houston Chronicle) to the character.

Soprano Joanna Latini (Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Carnegie Mellon University alumna) returns for her role debut as Gilda.

Puerto Rican tenor Ángel Vargas (Dallas Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis) in his role debut as the Duke of Mantua.

This mainstage production will be accompanied by a streaming world premiere of L’assassinoa hip-hopera creation by composer and performing artist K.F. JacquesA prequel to the Rigoletto story, L’assassino will tell of the dark beginnings of the assassin Sparafucile through Jacques’ unique fusion of hip-hop and opera. Jacques’ “Corsair” premiered in last season’s Tales from a Safe Distance and was named Best New Local Opera Production of 2020 in The Chicago Reader.

Single Tickets will go on sale for live and virtual events as the season progresses. For info visit https://www.resonanceworks.org

Categories: Show Previews

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