Morning Star poster showing three women in a church dressed in costume

 ON SITE OPERA presents


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

Wednesday, March 21, 2017 at 7:30pm
Thursday, March 22, 2017 at 7:30pm
Sunday, March 25, 2017 at 1:00pm & 6:00pm
The Museum at Eldridge Street, New York City

Morning Star is produced by arrangement with Theodore Presser Company, publisher and copyright owner.
Morning Star was originally commissioned by Cincinnati Opera.

NYC Cultural Affairs

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

NY Council on the ArtsMorning Star is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


Cast, Production Team & Orchestra | Artist Bios
About On Site Opera | Upcoming Productions | Support On Site Opera | Special Thanks


Emily Pulley, soprano

Blythe Gaissert, mezzo-soprano

Jennifer Zetlan, soprano

Cree Carrico, soprano

Blake Freidman, tenor

Joshua Jeremiah, baritone

Andrew Lovato, baritone

Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano

Martin Bakari, tenor

David Langan, bass-baritone

Allison Gish, mezzo-soprano

Maria De Conzo, mezzo-soprano (Sadie)
Isabelle Freeman, soprano (Becky)
Melanie Mendel, soprano (Fanny)


Geoffrey McDonald

Eric Einhorn

Summer Lee Jack

Shawn K. Kaufman

Sydney E. Schatz

Emilia Martin

Samantha Greene

Lucy Coarsey

Ian Silverman

Brenna McShane

Dmitry Glivinskiy

Katherine M. Carter

Megan Nussle


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

Cast, Production Team & Orchestra | Artist Bios
About On Site Opera | Upcoming Productions | Support On Site Opera | Special Thanks


Martin Bakari HeadshotPraised by Opera News as a “vocally charismatic” performer with a “golden tenor,” Martin Bakari (Prince) continues to distinguish himself as a dynamic artist in a wide array of musical and theatrical genres. A 2018 George London Competition award winner, Mr. Bakari has recently appeared with Pittsburgh Opera, Portland Opera, Utah Opera, LA Opera/Beth Morrison Projects, Opera Carolina, Madison Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Saratoga, the Kennedy Center, the New Hampshire Philharmonic, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Opera Noire, and NY Harlem Productions with whom he has performed Porgy & Bess in Dresden, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Bari. This season, Mr. Bakari debuts with Opéra Louisiane as Tamino in The Magic Flute, Michigan Opera Theatre as Scribe/Trash-Talker in Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King, and On Site Opera as Prince in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star, and returns to Pittsburgh Opera as Castleman in Jeremy Howard Beck’s The Long Walk. His 2018-19 season includes debuts with Arizona Opera as Charlie Parker in Daniel Schnyder’s Charlie Parker‘s Yardbird, Seattle Opera as Peter the Honeyman in Porgy & Bess, and Livermore Valley Opera as Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and a return to Portland Opera as the Visitor in Philip Glass’ In the Penal Colony. Mr. Bakari’s recording of Grigory Smirnov’s Dowson Songs was recently released by Naxos Records and featured by Opera News as a “Critic’s Choice” album. Mr. Bakari is an alumnus of Juilliard, Boston University, and the Tanglewood Music Center.  Back to top of Bios

Cree Carrico HeadshotPraised by Opera News for her “gleaming tone,” soprano Cree Carrico (Esther) is an emerging singing actress quickly gaining recognition as an interpreter of 20th and 21st century works. This season, Cree will perform the role of Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld with New Orleans Opera, a double bill as Williamson Girl/Soprano in Difficulty of Crossing a Field/Little Match Girl Passion with Portland Opera, the Soprano solos in Lang’s Simple Song with Chamber Music Northwest and Stray Bird with New Chamber Ballet, and will return a role she created as Rosemary Kennedy in JFK with Opera de Montreal.

In past seasons, Cree performed Lauretta in the prestigious Merola Opera Program’s production of Gianni Schicchi at San Fransisco Opera, the demanding title role in Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe, in her performance with Chautaqua Opera, Amour in Orphée et Eurydice with Des Moines Metro Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto with Syracuse Opera, and Beatrice in Three Decembers and Younger Alyce in Glory Denied with Opera MemphisCree can also be heard on the cast recording of David Lang’s chamber opera The Difficulty of Crossing a Field produced by Beth Morrison Projects.

Cree received a Bachelor’s of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Master’s of Music from Manhattan School of Music. She was a finalist in the Ades Competition, the Lotte Lenya Competition and the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Back to top of Bios

Maria Nicole De Conzo Headshot

Maria Nicole De Conzo (Sadie – cover) is a mezzo soprano currently pursuing a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from Mannes School of Music and was selected to participate in the Mannes Opera Young Artist program. Maria is known for her broadly expressive performances with a great range of characters.  During the 2017/2018 season with the Mannes Opera, she covered the role of Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro. While completing her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music she performed the roles of Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Mother Marie in The Dialogues of the Carmelites and covered Carmen and performed Mercedes in The Tragedy of Carmen. Maria was also a featured artist in the 2017 Cleveland Opera Theater New Opera Works (NOW) Festival.

Maria has also participated as an Apprentice Artist with Manhattan Opera Studio, performing the role of Hänsel in Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Maman and La libellule in L’enfant et les sortileges with Miami Music Festival and Annio in La Clemenza di Tito with Operafest New Jersey. She has also performed excerpts in scene performance programs performing Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Marthe and Siebel (Faust) and Charlotte (Werther).  Back to top of Bios

Isabelle Freeman HeadshotIsabelle Freeman (Becky – cover) is a soprano from Perth, Western Australia, holding a Masters of Music from Mannes College, and a Bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Isabelle is currently pursuing a Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes College, where she is part of the Mannes Opera Young Artist program, and was awarded the Marian Marcus Wahl Memorial Award. Most recently with Mannes Opera, Isabelle performed the title role in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa. In the 2015/16 season, she performed Beth in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, and in 2014/15, Isabelle performed the roles of Alms Collector 1 and La Ciesca in a double bill of Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi. During her time at Mannes, Isabelle has also performed scenes from ToscaCosì fan Tutte (Fiordiligi), and Verdi’s Falstaff(Alice).

In Australia, Isabelle has been heard in concert as soprano soloist for Carmina Burana, Mahler’s Symphony 4, Rossini’s
Stabat Mater, and Mendolssohn’s Elijah. During her time at WAAPA, Isabelle performed the role of Katherine in Hermann Goetz’s opera The Taming of the Shrew. With the West Australian Opera, Isabelle was an Emerging Young Artist where she received the Bendat Scholarship. Back to top of Bios

Blake Friedman HeadshotTenor Blake Friedman’s (Irving) recent appearance as Iago in Rossini’s Otello with LoftOpera earned him praise for “his vast range and clear diction” (NY Observer) and “pliant tenor” (Parterre).  The New York Times said, “The most convincing tenor was that of Blake Friedman as Iago whose voice has a plummy fullness and dusky hue.  His duet with Otello was taut and exciting…”. Other notable performances include: Soloist in the Liebeslieder Walzer with New York City Ballet, Soloist at Geffen Hall in Mozart’s Vespri Sollemnes de Confessore, and Singer in Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart (BAM Fisher).  He has earned praise for his “silken and strong” (Tampa Bay Times), “fresh lyric tenor” (OperaNews Online) singing roles such as Conte Almaviva in Barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore, and Jimmy O’Keefe in Later the Same Evening.  He is currently Resident Tenor for American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice Symposium where he premieres new works written specifically tailored to his voice in a monthly workshop.  His awards include a Career Bridges Award (2014), Winner of The American Prize Memorial Art Song Competition (2011), Honorable Mention in The Rochester Oratorio Society Classical Idol V Competition (2011), and a Palm Beach Opera Guild Encouragement Award (2011). Blake holds a Master of Music and Professional Studies Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music as the recipient of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Scholarship Award/Richard Rodgers Scholar and a his Bachelor of Music degree from The Eastman School of Music as the recipient of a Howard Hanson Scholarship.  Back to top of Bios

Blythe Gaissert

Blythe Gaissert (Sadie) has established herself as a fresh and exciting artist in great demand in the United States and abroad for opera, concert and recital engagements. In the coming 2017-18 season, Ms. Gaissert will be creating the role of Walker Loats in Mikael Karlsson’s cutting edge one woman opera The Echo Drift at the Prototype Festival in NYC, reprising the role of Hannah After in As One with San Diego Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, singing Hester Prynne in the Professional Premiere of The Scarlett Professor at Amherst College, Sadie in the NY premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star with On Site Opera, and CAPTCHA by Robert Paterson with American Modern Ensemble at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. She is also a member of the alt/classical/rock group The Knells, who will be releasing their second album in Fall of 2017. A champion of new music, Ms. Gaissert has worked with numerous composers and librettists on dozens of new works, and has been a part of American Opera Projects Composers and the Voice series since 2014. Ms. Gaissert has worked with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera Colorado, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Aldeburgh Festival in England, Lyrique en Mer in France, Opera Southwest, Opera Saratoga, and more. Back to top of Bios

Allison Gish HeadshotPraised for her “agile and stylish” coloratura (Entertainment Hour), Allison Gish (Kathleen) will make her role and company debuts this season as Zita in Gianni Schicchi with ARE Opera and as Kathleen O’Fallin in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star with On Site Opera, and she will join Cantanti Project for a second season in the ensemble of the world premiere of Felix Jarrar’s Tabula Rasa. She will also debut with Bourbon Baroque in Handel’s Messiah and with Ars Musica as alto soloist in Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil and Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Past operatic credits include Giunone/Natura in Cavalli’s La Calisto (dell’Arte Opera Ensemble), Medoro in Handel’s Orlando (Cantanti Project). In a performance deemed “flawless” (Opera News), Ms. Gish performed the role Green Pants in Robert Ashley’s DUST (Mannes). As professional fellow at Songfest, she appeared as soloist in Bach Cantata 161 with conductor, John Harbison. With Mannes Baroque, she performed in Handel’s Mi palpata il cor, Monteclair’s Pan et Syrinx, Vagaus in Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans (excerpts), Piacere in Handel’s Il trionfo del Tempo (excerpts). Ms. Gish is a recent graduate of the Professional Studies Diploma program at Mannes College and completed her Bachelor of Music at Louisiana State University. Back to top of Bios

Joshua Jeremiah Headshot

Grammy nominated baritone Joshua Jeremiah (Aaron), is thrilled to be making his company debut with On Site Opera. Already this season, Joshua sang the role of Silvio (Pagliacci) in his debut with New Orleans Opera, performed with NYC’s Heartbeat Opera in their Halloween Drag Extravaganza, and made his company debut with LA Opera, returning to Malkan’s opera Persona, which reimagines the classic Ingmar Bergman film. Earlier in 2017, he returned to Arizona Opera to originate the role of Lassiter in the world-premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage by Craig Bohmler and Steven Mark Kohn. He performed the role of Gianni Schicchi in Opera Company Middlebury’s production of Il Trittico, and sang the role of Ford (Falstaff) with Resonance Works in Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received accolades for his performance as the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth with Opera Company Middlebury, where he was described as having a “marvelous voice,” and giving “a nuanced, fascinating performance as a conflicted Macbeth.” Other recent appearances include: Col. Von Kalle (Mata Hari) 2017 Prototype festival; Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with Hawaii Opera Theater; Rigoletto, Arizona Opera; Iago (Otello) with Berks Opera; Sonora (La fanciulla del West) and Starek (Jenůfa), Des Moines Metro Opera; concerts with the New Haven Symphony; and the title role of Gianni Schicchi, Mobile Opera.  Back to top of Bios

David Langan HeadshotDavid Langan’s (Rabbi/Neighbor) vast professional operatic repertoire spans many of the major bass-baritone roles, among them Mephistopheles in Faust, Sarastro & Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, Colline in La Bohème, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Alfonso Cosi Fan Tutte, Seneca in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, CountWalter in Luisa Miller, and Lord Gualtiero Walton in I puritani. He has appeared as a principal singer in close to 800 performances with opera companies throughout North and Central America, as well as Europe. San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Vancouver Opera, Theater Hansestadt Lübeck, Osnabrück Stadttheater, Wolf Trap, Sarasota Opera, Opera Colorado, as well as the opera companies of Guatemala City, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, Chautauqua and New Orleans, among others, have all been beneficiaries of Mr. Langan’s work. He also appeared as the King in Verdi’s Aida on the PBS Great Performance series opposite Plaçido Domingo. He has shared the stage as principal singer with many of today’s finest performers including Renee Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Joyce DiDonato, Eric Owens, Mirella Freni, and Lawrence Brownlee. Among his faculty appointments were posts at Westminster Choir College, Indiana University and Shenandoah Conservatory. Mr. Langan grew up in Middletown, NJ, has vocal performance degrees from  Rowan University (BA) and Indiana University (MM), and currently resides in Ridgewood, NJ. He is married to Cristobel Langan, who is employed as a stage manager at The Metropolitan Opera, and is the father of seven year old twins, Jamie & Sophie. Back to top of Bios

Andrew Lovato HeadshotCalled a “winning baritone” by The New York Times and “sensitive and sympathetic” by Cincinnati’s City Beat, young American baritone Andrew Lovato (Harry) is garnering excitement across the nation.  Highlights of the 2017 – 2018 season include Connie Rivers in The Grapes of Wrath with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, both El Dancairo in Carmen, and Harlequin in Ariade auf Naxos with Austin Opera and Harry Engel in Morning Star with On Site Opera.  In upcoming seasons he will be heard as Schaunard in La bohème with Austin Opera.

Recent engagements include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, Young Raymond in the World Premiere of The Manchurian Candidate, El Dancaïre in Carmen, and Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, all with the Minnesota Opera.  He performed as Harry Engel in Morning Star with Cincinnati Opera where he gave an “impassioned performance” ( and as Slim in Of Mice and Men with Austin Opera.  Engagements during the 2016-2017 season are highlighted by performances of Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Lakes Area Music Festival and both the roles of Young Raymond and Nominee in The Manchurian Candidate with Austin Opera.  Future seasons include Harlequin in Ariadne with Austin Opera, the role of Connie Rivers in The Grapes of Wrath with Opera Theatre of St. Louis among other engagements.  Mr. Lovato is the winner of the George L. Hackett Prize in the Livingston Mather Competition.  Back to top of Bios

Melanie Mendel headshotSoprano Melanie Mendel (Fanny – cover) is extremely excited to make her On Site Opera debut as the cover of Fanny in Morning Star. Melanie is currently completing her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at Mannes School of Music and holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Westminster Choir College. This past summer she performed in the Minuetto Music Festival and New York Summer Opera Scenes program. Recently, she has performed excerpts from Le Nozze di Figaro as Susanna, Lakmé as Lakmé, Cendrillon as La Fée and La Clemenza di Tito as Servilia. During her time at Westminster, Melanie was delighted to sing Handel’s Messiah with Jane Glover and the New York Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with Daniele Gatti and the Vienna Philharmonic and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Along with classical music, Melanie has a passion for musical theater, in both directing and performing. Her most recent credits include Hodel in Fiddler On The Roof, Kathy Seldon in Singin’ in the Rain and Catherine in Pippin. She has directed A Year With Frog and Toad and a Broadway Kids cabaret production. Melanie would like to thank her family for their constant support along with On Site Opera for this wonderful opportunity to help young artists grow and push the boundaries of opera. Back to top of Bios

Emily Pulley headshot

Acclaimed soprano Emily Pulley’s (Becky) radiant voice and electrifying acting have won her both national and international acclaim on the operatic stages. Not settling for complacency in her already established career, Pulley continues to add some of opera’s greatest roles to her repertoire, including the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with Central City Opera last summer. One reviewer noted, “She also has that other thing every Carmen needs to succeed: a killer voice. Pulley’s is rich and earthy, full of charisma. It yanks a listener in; turns an unlikable dragon deadly enchanting.” Last season, she performed Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera, Mrs. P in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat with UrbanArias, and Amneris in Aïda and Mere Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites as a part of Eugene Opera’s Opera Trio.

In her thirteen seasons with the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Pulley’s roles have included Marguerite in Faust, Nedda in Pagliacci, Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Musetta in La bohème, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, and Thérèse in Les mamelles de Tirésias, and Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte.

She created the title role in Adamo’s Lysistrata with Houston Grand Opera, which she then reprised for New York City Opera, earning her the coveted Christopher Keene Award. She made her NYCO début two seasons before as Lavinia Mannon in Mourning Becomes Electra and was chosen to receive the Richard F. Gold Début Artist Award.  Back to top of Bios

Chrystal E. Williams headshotA native of Virginia, Chrystal E. Williams (Mary) appears nationally and internationally in both opera and concert work. Recent engagements include Olga in Eugene Onegin with Northern Lights Festival, Rebecca Parker in Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD with English National Opera and Hackney Empire, a Philadelphia Orchestra debut under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the role of Publia in Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira and covering the role of Arsace at Caramoor, soloist in Petite Messe Solennelle with OperaDelaware and Coretta Scott King in Philip Glass’s Appomattox with Washington National Opera. This season she is Charlotte in Werther with Baltimore Concert Opera and OperaDelaware and is soloist with the Annapolis Opera. She is slated to return to Birmingham Opera in 2019.

Other notable engagements include Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, Cairo Symphony, Dido and Aeneaswith Birmingham Opera Company (UK), Portsmouth Community Concerts Series (VA), The Apollo Theater, Opera Philadelphia, Hänsel und Gretel with Knoxville Opera and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Sarasota Opera.

She has been honored by the Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition, the International Belvedere Singing Competition, Giulio Gari International Music Competition, New England Region Finals of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Liederkranz Foundation and the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition.

Ms. Williams holds degrees in music from the Academy of Vocal Arts, Yale University and Carnegie Mellon.

The Chrystal E. Williams Scholarship was founded by the artist in 2004 to help students wishing to pursue a career in the Performing Arts and is funded in part by her solo concerts in Norfolk, VA annually.  Back to top of Bios

Jennifer Zetlan headshot

Soprano Jennifer Zetlan (Fanny) is internationally recognized for her artistry and captivating stage presence. She has been seen and heard on opera and concert stages worldwide, as well as recital venues and on Broadway. In the current season, Ms. Zetlan performs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the American Museum of Natural History, reprising her role in Matt Aucoin’s Crossing (American Repertory Theatre), creating the title role of Rhoda in John Musto’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt  (On Site Opera), and reprising her role as Fanny in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star.  In concert, she performs at the De la Cruz collection with IlluminArts Miami, Carmina Burana with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, in recital in Savannah, GA, and as Xenia in Boris Godunov with the San Francisco Symphony.

Known for her passion for contemporary music, Ms. Zetlan has been featured in the premieres of numerous American operas, including Nico Muhly’s Two Boys (The Metropolitan Opera) and Dark Sisters (Opera Company of Philadelphia and Gotham Chamber Opera), Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s opera The Classical Style (Carnegie Hall and the Ojai Festival), Daron Hagen’s Amelia (Seattle Opera), Ned Rorem’s Our Town (Aspen Music Festival and Juilliard Opera Center; Western US and NYC premieres), Matt Aucoin’s Crossing (American Repertory Theatre), Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star (Cincinnati Opera), Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre (also recorded for Naxos), and arias from David Diamond’s The Noblest Game (Seattle Symphony). Other contemporary works she has performed include Henry Purcell and Kaija Saariaho’s The Tempest Songbook (Gotham Chamber Opera), György Ligeti’s Requiem (American Symphony Orchestra), Osvaldo Golijov’s 3 Songs for Soprano (Lexington Philharmonic), John Tavener’s Requiem (Sacred Music in a Sacred Space at St. Ignatius Loyola), David Hertzberg’s Nympharum, (Juilliard Orchestra) and Richard Ayres’ In The Alps (Alarm Will Sound), for which her last minute substitution was described as “flawless” by the New York Times. Back to top of Bios


Bruce Coughlin (Orchestrator) has created the orchestrations for many shows, on Broadway and off, including the recent productions of War Paint and Amélie on Broadway, Dolly Parton’s 9 To 5Giant, and Grey Gardens. He co-orchestrated The Light in the Piazza, orchestrated the memorable Floyd C ollins, the Broadway hit Urinetown, and the Grammy Award-winning revival of Annie Get Your Gun. Other Broadway shows include: Guys and Dolls (2009 revival), The Wild PartyOn the TownThe Sound of MusicTriumph of LoveOnce Upon A Mattress, and The King & I (1996 revival with Donna Murphy). He has also contributed orchestrations to the recent Broadway hits Something RottenOn the Twentieth Century and On the Town.

In the classical realm he has collaborated frequently with Ricky Ian Gordon, including work on three operas by Mr. Gordon: The Grapes of Wrath (libretto: Korie), Morning Star (libretto: Hoffman), and 27 (libretto: Vavrek), and many other projects.  He has also worked frequently with Michael Tilson Thomas (including recordings of Arias and BarcarollesOn the Town and The Thomashevsky Project ).

He was principal arranger for the Disney epic Fantasia 2000 and has worked with singers such as Bruce Hornsby, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Patti LuPone, Nadine Sierra, and others. He has won a TONY award, Drama Desk award and an OBIE. He has also received two additional TONY nominations and nine additional Drama Desk nominations.  Back to top of Bios

Eric Einhorn (Stage Director, Morning Star | General & Artistic Director, On Site Opera) has been praised by The Austin Chronicle as “a rising star in the opera world” and by Opera News for his “keen eye for detail and character insight.” He is the co-founder of On Site Opera, a company dedicated to immersive, site-specific productions. Mr. Einhorn has directed productions for Chicago Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Florentine Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Utah Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, the Pacific Symphony, and Gotham Chamber Opera. He has been a member of the stage directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera since 2005. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named Mr. Einhorn’s production of Dialogues des Car mélites for Pittsburgh Opera one of the top ten classical music performances of 2011. He originally created the production for Austin Lyric Opera in 2009 and was awarded “Best Opera” at the Austin Critics’ Table Awards in addition to garnering him a nomination for “Best Director.” During summer of 2014, he directed Rameau’s Pygmalion at Madame Tussauds New York and the Lifestyle-Trimco mannequin showroom. This production featured the world’s first implementation of supertitles for Google Glass.  Back to top of Bios

Ricky Ian Gordon (Composer) studied piano, composition and acting, at Carnegie Mellon University. After moving to New York City, he quickly emerged as a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera, and musical theater. Mr. Gordon’s songs have been performed and or recorded by such internationally renowned singers as Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Nathan Gunn, Judy Collins, Kelli O’Hara, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Nicole Cabell, the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Frederica Von Stade, Andrea Marcovicci, Harolyn Blackwell, and Betty Buckley, among many others.

A highly prolific composer, Ricky Ian Gordon’s catalog includes Morning Star (2014, libretto by William Hoffman, premiered by the Cincinnati Opera) about Jewish immigrants in New York’s Lower East Side in the beginning of the 20th century; 27 (2014, libretto by Royce Vavrek, premiered at Opera Theatre of St. Louis) about Gertrude Stein’s salons at 27 rue de Fleurus; A Coffin In Egypt (2014, libretto by Leonard Foglia, premiered by the Houston Grand Opera, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and Opera Philadelphia) a haunting tale of memory and murder, racism and recrimination; Rappahannock County (2011, libretto by Mark Campbell, premiered at the Harrison Opera House) inspired by diaries, letters, and personal accounts from the 1860s; Sycamore Trees (2010, libretto by composer) a musical about suburban secrets and family; The Grapes of Wrath (2007 and 2010, libretto by Michael Korie, 2007 premiere by the Minnesota Opera, 2010 premiered by The American Symphony Orchestra); Green Sneakers (2008, libretto by the composer, premiered by the Miami String Quartet) a theatrical song cycle for Baritone, String Quartet, and Empty Chair; Orpheus and Euridice (2005); My Life with Albertine (2003); Night Flight To San Francisco and Antarctica (2000) from Tony Kushner’s Angels In AmericaDream True (1999); States Of Independence (1992); The Tibetan Book of the Dead (1996); Only Heaven (1995).

Upcoming and recent projects include the opera Intimate Apparel with Playwright, Lynn Nottage, commissioned by New York’s Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater, The House Without A Christmas Tree (libretto by Royce Vavrek) commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, for a November 30, 2017 premiere, Private Confessions with Playwright, Richard Nelson, commissioned by The Goodman Theater in Chicago, Ellen West (libretto by Frank Bidart) commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects for a 2019 premiere, and an opera based on Giorgio Bassani’s novel, The Garden of the Finzi Continis with librettist Michael Korie.

Mr. Gordon has been a visiting professor at colleges and universities throughout the country including Yale, NYU, Northwestern, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Bennington, Vassar, Carnegie-Mellon, Elon, Michigan State, University of Michigan, Point Park (McGinnis Distinguished Lecturer), Texas Lutheran University, Eastman School of Music, Florida State University, Texas Christian University, and San Francisco Conservatory. He has been the featured Composer-in-Residence at Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, The Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, The Van Cliburn Foundation, Voices of Change, Santa Fe Song Festival, Songfest at Pepperdine University, Chautauqua, Aspen Music Festival, and Ravinia.

Among his honors are an OBIE Award, the 2003 Alumni Merit Award for exceptional achievement and leadership from Carnegie-Mellon University, A Shen Family Foundation Award, the Stephen Sondheim Award, The Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Theater Foundation Award, The Constance Klinsky Award, The National Endowment of the Arts, The American Music Center, and many awards from ASCAP, of which he is a member.

Mr. Gordon’s works are published by Williamson Music, Carl Fischer Music, and Theodore Presser Company and available everywhere.

His works are also widely recorded on various labels. Back to top of Bios

William M. Hoffman (Librettist) (1939-2017) was the author of the play As Is, which pioneered the subject of AIDS on Broadway. It earned him a Drama Desk Award, an Obie, as well as Tony and Pulitzer nominations, and was one of Time magazine’s best plays of the year 1985.

Hoffman was the librettist of The Ghosts of Versailles (composer John Corigliano), The Cows of Apollo, or The Invention of Music (composer Chris Theofanidis), and the opera Morning  Star (composer Ricky Ian Gordon).

Other credits include Riga, which premiered in Los Angeles. In collaboration with Anthony  Holland he was the author of Cornbury: The Queen’s Governor, Shoe Palace Murray and After the Orchard. Some other plays of his are the comedies Chico de Jazzzz, Cyberian Nights, and The Stench of Art, adopted from Carlo Gozzi’s The Blue Monster.

Hoffman was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, three National Endowment Awards, ASCAP and Fund for New American Plays awards, two grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Erwin Piscator Award. His television work brought him an Emmy nomination and he received a Writers Guild award. Hoffman has written critically for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, and Vogue.

Hoffman was a professor of theatre at Lehman College, in New York City, where he was the Artistic Director of Conversations with William M. Hoffman, the award-winning interview show which he regularly hosted on CUNY-TV.  Back to top of Bios

Summer Lee Jack (Costume Designer) is a Brooklyn based costume designer. Recent design credits include: Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt (On Site Opera), Angel’s Bone (Oberlin Conservatory), A Good Farmer (American Theatre Group), Measure for Measure, The Tempest at Shakespeare Academy at Stratford (Stratford, CT), Baghdaddy: the Musical (Theatre at St. Lukes), La Boheme, The Wedding, Beatrice and Benedict, Roméo et Juliette, The Classical Style, The Cows of Apollo, Così fan tutte, Carmen, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Eugene Onegin (Aspen Opera Center), Otello, Cenerentola (Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra), The Tower (HERE Arts Center), The Elephant in Every Room I Enter (NYTW, La Mama ETC), The Cunning Little Vixen, La Doriclea, L’Roi a Dit, Das Land des Lächelns and A Little Night Music (Manhattan School of Music), Die Verschworenen/Die Winterreise (Hofstra Opera Theater). MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama. Member of Wingspace Theatrical Design. Back to top of Bios

Shawn Kaufman (Lighting Designer) is an Emmy nominated Lighting Designer with over 20 years of experience in opera, theatre, television, fashion and special events. Recently, Shawn founded the design firm ENLUMEN, with friend and colleague Pamela Kupper.

Shawn is currently working on the Harry Connick Jr tv show and is resident lighting designer for On Site Opera. Recent opera includes Carmen at Portland Opera, Dialogues of the Carmelites at Austin Lyric Opera and Pittsburgh Opera, Orpheus in the Underworld at Glimmerglass Opera, I Pagliacci and Xerxes at Pittsburgh Opera.

Clients include Ferragamo, The Row, Lexus, Adidas, Nike, Infiniti, Tom Ford, Estee Lauder, Hugo Boss, Moncler, Marchesa, the Wexner Foundation, the Wexner Center, Phillips Auction House, Tiffany, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Kohl’s, Public School, Greg Lauren, Zimmermann, Isabel Marant, Celine, Givenchy, Chloe, Armani Exchange, Vogue Magazine, St. John, Bombardier, Target, GQ, Hermes, Y3, The Elder Statesman, Microsoft, Halston, Lands End, Carolina Herrera, Rockefeller Center, Zegna.

Television: QVC Red Carpet StyleThe Face Finale, CNBC, Wendy Williams, The Apprentice Martha Stewart, Martha Liveand Rachael Ray LiveBack to top of Bios

Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a “promising and confident” member of the new generation of American conductors, Geoffrey McDonald (Conductor, Morning Star | Music Director, On Site Opera) commands a broad repertoire with extensive experience in operatic, symphonic, and choral works. He is steadily gaining recognition for his versatility – “an agile conductor…whose pacing is sure in both reflective and restless passages” (The New York Times) – and for his “original and flexible musical imagination” (The New York Observer). Geoffrey’s passion for promoting new or neglected pieces and his enthusiasm for fresh, innovative presentation combine in his work as Music Director of On Site Opera, whose immersive production of Paisiello’s Barbiere di Siviglia in the summer of 2015 earned wide critical acclaim. Opera News wrote: “[McDonald] led with brio and admirable ensemble,” while The New York Times noted, “the conductor, Geoffrey McDonald, drew stylish, nimble playing”. This success followed recent productions of Handel operas, Orlando and Alcina, for which he partnered with director R.B. Schlather to create inventive art-installation-opera: “Conductor Geoffrey McDonald repeated the miracle of nuanced coordination [in On Site Opera’s production of Paisiello’s Barber of Seville] between orchestra and singers he recently accomplished with Orlando downtown” (The New York Observer). He has acted as Assistant Conductor for Opera Philadelphia, the American Symphony Orchestra, and Gotham Opera. A dedicated educator, he has served on the faculties of Bard College and the Longy School of Music, and was Music Director of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra and the Columbia University Bach Society. He is an active composer, and an original member of indie rock band Miracles of Modern Science. He earned his Masters in Conducting at Mannes College, and his Bachelors in Music at Princeton University. Back to top of Bios

Sydney E. Schatz (Props Master) comes to On Site Opera for the first time after working as the props assistant on Broadway for Bright Star and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Radio City’s New York Spectacular, and off Broadway as Assistant Prop Master of The Public’s production of Hamilton. She also prop mastered Dry Powder at the Public, DOT and Billy and Ray at The Vineyard, and is ready for more!



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Museum at Eldridge StreetThe 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, tourscultural 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.


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On Site Opera

On Site Opera produces site-specific operas in non-traditional venues throughout New York City (and beyond!). By staging each opera in an environment specific to the piece, OSO surrounds the audience and artists in the music and drama of the story, amplifying the connection between the world of the opera and the reality of the audience. To date, OSO has produced operas in more than a dozen unique venues, including Shostakovich’s The Tale of The Silly Baby Mouse using large-scale puppets in performances for families at the Bronx Zoo; Gershwin’s Blue Monday in the historic Cotton Club of Harlem; and Rameau’s Pygmalion in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum which explored new technology in opera through the use of Google Glass supertitles. Learn more about past productions.

On Site Opera is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and is a proud member of Opera America and the New York Opera Alliance.


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 Mozart’s The Secret Gardener
July 13, 2018
| Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

On Site Opera’s acclaimed production of Mozart’s The Secret Gardener returns for one-night-only at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. Come experience what the Wall Street Journal calls ” a literal breath of fresh air” in the lush setting of Caramoor’s sunken garden. Disguises and mistaken identities abound in Mozart’s charming tale of a triple love triangle!
The production features an English translation by Kelley Rourke and a chamber orchestration by Yoni Kahn and Thomas CarrolI. For tickets and more info, visit


Eric Einhorn, General & Artistic Director
Geoffrey McDonald, Music Director
Piper Gunnarson, Executive Director
Katherine M. Carter, Audience Experience Manager
Margot Sturc, Development/Administrative Assistant
Lucy Mallett, Finance Manager
Megan Nussle, House Manager
Daria Butler, Intern
Unison Media, Publicity


Jane A. Gross, President
Marie Golda, Treasurer
Miriam Sondag, Secretary
Eric Einhorn
Shelley Einhorn
Michael Katz
Corey Kinger
Mark Newhouse

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On Site Opera brings the drama and music closer to opera audiences than ever before! Your contribution will support the development of new site-specific productions for audiences of all ages in countless innovative locations. As a donor, you’ll receive a range of VIP benefits including early access to ticket purchases and opportunities for exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences.

What is the impact of your donation?
Make a donation to On Site Opera and play a critical role in bringing our productions to life!
•$10,000: finances orchestra musicians’ fees for a production.
• $4,000: underwrites a soloist’s fee for a production.
• $1,000: provides housing for an artist.
• $500: covers the cost of one performer’s costume.
• $100: furnishes one performer’s makeup and hair needs.

Make your tax-deductible contribution at


On Site Opera is extremely grateful to our annual fund donors for their philanthropic commitments to our mission!

The Einhorn Family Foundation
New York State Council on the Arts

Jane Gross*
Michael Katz*
National Endowment for the Arts

Christopher Dlutowksi and Peter Occolowitz
Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation
Corey Kinger*
Susan and Graham McDonald
Mark Newhouse*
New Music USA
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Robert Fermann

Alan Agle
Lynn Cohen
Daisy and Luc Dowling
Shelley and Steven Einhorn
Nomi Ghez and Michael Siegal
Beth and Gary Glynn
Marie Golda*
Barbra and Jeff Heller
Karen McLaughlin and Mark Schubin
Robert Ritch
Jacqui and Grant Smith
Howard and Sarah Solomon
Miriam* and Jon Sondag
Kara Unterberg

Mary Ellen and Sal Bianco
Odaline de la Martinez
David Kneuss
Thomas and Janice Luddy
Michael Mayer
David Mellon
Alan Muraoka
Merrill Rose
Jill and William Steinberg

Louisa and Jonathan Brill
Janet and Ivan Brown
Fay and Norman Burger
Chris Creatura
Ilana and Jason Cuttler
William Hereford
Harold and Carolyn Krouse
Deborah Mintz
Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners
Elena Selman
Robert Skolnick
Tri-M Foundation

Alexandra Atkin
Michael Barrett
Astrid and John Baumgardner
Paul Boghossian
William Butler
Katherine Carter
David Curtis
Jacqui Danilow
Richard Evans
GE Foundation
Daniel Gercke and Melissa Clark Gercke
Davis Hall and Ingrid Price
Stephen Hambrecht
Scott Harper
Paula Heil Fisher
Deidre Howley
Lee Ellen Hveem
Arthur Leonard
Jacquie Maddox
Jay Millard
Judith Molodver
Constance Mortell
Janet Nelson
John O’Shea
Jan Opaloach
Aaron Renn
Steven Riskin
Diana and Peter Samponaro
Dyan Yoder
Naama Zahavi-Ely

* Denotes a member of On Site Opera’s board of directors

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The official lighting partner of On Site Opera.

On Site Opera would like to thank the following individuals and organizations:

Suzanne Pred Bass
Bonnie Dimun
High Mountain Graphics, LLC
Hanna Griff
William Gustafson
Shawn Kaufman
Pamela Kupper
Rose Imperato
Mannes College of Music
Victoria Paterson
Rick & Terri Shields
Mary Anne Trasciatti

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