March 2018
Ricky Ian Gordon/William Hoffman's

Morning Star

Museum at Eldridge Street


An opera by Ricky Ian Gordon
Libretto by William M. Hoffman
Based on the play by Sylvia Regan

Morning Star tells the story of an immigrant Jewish family struggling to find a better life on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early 20th century. The family is deeply impacted by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the Great Depression, and World War I and must learn how to adapt to the country’s ever-changing landscape.

World premiere of a newly-commissioned chamber edition of the opera, supervised by the composer, with new orchestrations by Tony Award-winning orchestrator Bruce Coughlin. Performances coincided with the 107th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

Each performance of Morning Star will be preceded by an event related to the opera.

History of the Triangle Factory Fire
A lecture featuring members of the board of directors of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition
Mary Anne Trasciatti
Suzanne Pred Bass
(Great-niece of Triangle fire victim Rosie Weiner and fire survivor Katie Weiner)

Behind-the-Scenes Tour
learn the history of the Eldridge Street Synagogue

Art & Eat
light brunch with the composer and director

Commemorative Ceremony
honoring the anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire

About the Museum at Eldridge Street

The Museum at Eldridge Street, a non-sectarian cultural organization, was founded with a mission to restore and interpret its home, the historic 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, and serve people of all backgrounds with educational and cultural programs inspired by the landmark building and its gateway Lower East Side neighborhood.

The Museum at Eldridge Street is housed in the Eldridge Street Synagogue, a magnificent National Historic Landmark that has been meticulously restored since 2007. Opened in 1887, the synagogue is the first great house of worship built in America by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Today, it is the only remaining marker of the great wave of Jewish migration to the Lower East Side that is open to a broad public who wish to visit Jewish New York. Exhibits, tours, cultural events and educational programs tell the story of Jewish immigrant life, explore architecture and historic preservation, inspire reflection on cultural continuity, and foster collaboration and exchange between people of all faiths, heritages and interests.

ENLUMEN is the official lighting partner of On Site Opera.


Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition is a Morning Star production partner.

Museum at Eldridge Street, Eldridge Street, New York, NY, United States

Morning Star was commissioned by Cincinnati Opera.

Featuring members of the American Modern Ensemble:
Flute: Sato Moughalian
Clarinet: Nicholas Gallas, Nuno Antunes
Bassoon: Joshua Hodge
Horn: Jeff Scott
Trumpet: Jonathan Heim, Alejandro Lopez
Bass Trombone: John Rojak
Percussion: Clara Warnaar
Piano/Celeste: Blair McMillen
Violin: Esther Noh, Regi Papa, Erin Benim
Viola: JJ Johnson
Cello: Alexandra Jones
Bass: Pawel Knapik
Contractor: Victoria Paterson


  • The performance circumstances allowed an immersive operatic experience in which the singers moved along the aisles of the seating area, only inches away from listeners. And that felt right considering the libretto’s emphasis on characters over events. The cast acted with remarkable freedom despite the fact that the main performing area was the front of the synagogue, separated by a fair distance from the chamber ensemble of 16 players in the rear of the room. Yet the cohesion achieved by conductor Geoffrey McDonald seemed effortless.

    Classical Voice North America
  • We hear so much about the big arts institutions and their struggles, it’s easy to miss the fact that New York has a vibrant opera scene, much of it in the form of small companies doing admirable work on a more limited scale. One standout in that department is On Site Opera. Founded in 2012, this fledgling outfit already has the feel of an established and polished company, presenting unusual repertoire in spaces specifically chosen for their resonance with the piece.

    New York Classical Review
  • This latest foray into reinventing opera confirms the company as one of the most imaginative in town.

    Musical America
  • There is no question that for at least two hours on Tuesday night, the Eldridge Street Synagogue came alive in a unique way. It was as if by stepping into the room, the public had stepped back in time to witness how these American Jews once lived. Some even shed a tear or two, watching scenes of a Jewish family’s life that could have easily reminded them of their own.

    Times of Israel
  • The use of the space is marvelous. The natural reverb in the elegantly restored synagogue enhances the sonics, while the placement of singers everywhere, on the balconies and throughout the audience, is nothing short of psychedelic.

    New York Music Daily
  • Front-row seats to some of the best individual performances I’ve encountered all season.

  • The victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire may not have their names listed on a memorial (yet), but they have not been forgotten and Morning Star is their memorial.

    Seen and Heard International

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