Madama Butterfly (Puccini) – 2014
Set in Nagasaki in 1953, at the end of the Korean War. The people of Nagasaki were the second to be hit with the atom bomb during WWII, and therefore had a heightened distrust of America. They were weak and wounded — the perfect reason for the family to hate the Americans and to ostracize Cio-Cio-San.
La Traviata (Verdi) – 2014
Set in France in the late 1930s, before the Nazi invasion of France. This setting illustrates how the Vichy and the Nazis were slowly killing France from the inside, just as Violetta’s illness is slowly killing her from the inside. As Violetta begins to recover, there is hope for her, just as there is hope for France. Violetta, though, decides to sacrifice herself to save Alfredo’s family. In the final act of the opera, we see Alfredo return to Violetta only as a hallucination, and Violetta dies alone.
The Elixir of Love (Donizetti) – 2013
In this production by Dylan F. Thomas, first premiered in 2008, the action is updated to a high school campus in 1985. Taking inspiration from the John Hughes teen comedies of the ’80s, Adina becomes the head cheerleader, Nemorino is the nerdy school mascot, Belcore is the football quarterback, Giannetta is Adina’s best gal pal, and Dulcamara is the sleazy substitute teacher who goes from school to school peddling his performance enhancing drugs (who ultimately gets arrested in the end).
The Magic Flute (Mozart) – 2013
Tamino is a human boy who is pulled from reality into a fantastical, cartoonish world full of animal/human hybrids. As a family-focused production, we focus on the comedy and the magical aspects of this fairytale. Throughout the opera, we see Tamino grow from a boy into a man.
The Barber of Seville (Rossini) – 2012
Several of TV’s most popular and ridiculous reality shows get represented in this production, including “The Bachelor”, “The Jerry Springer Show”, “American Idol”, and “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”, with a special appearance by Consuela from “Family Guy”.
Die Fledermaus (Strauss II) – 2011
Set as a 1970’s sitcom, similar to “Three’s Company”. Die Fledermaus is a farce, and the most visually stunning and easily accessible example of that to our modern audience is the 1970’s sitcom, which utilizes misidentity, innuendo, and physical comedy to get the audience cackling.
Marie’s Orchard – World Premiere 2011
Philip Westin, ComposerDylan F. Thomas, LibrettistA new opera focusing on the love triangle between Marie, her abusive husband, and the man she truly loves. This opera takes a hard look at relationships, love, and loss, with poetic text and gloriously sweeping orchestral and vocal lines.
Faust (Gounod) – 2010
Set to resemble a Twilight Zone episode, with the staged production presented in live black and white (using sets, costumes, makeup, and lighting), emphasizing the battle between good and evil to claim the innocent heroin.
Tosca (Puccini) – 2008
In this production, we see Scarpia as a Cardinal of the church, which highlights the evil and hypocrisy of those who use the guise of religion as a scapegoat for their hunger for power and to satiate their most animalistic desires.