Bring immersive, site-specific opera to you!
On Site Opera partners with regional organizations to bring our critically acclaimed, site-specific operas to venues around the country.
All of our productions are created and conceived for performances outside of a traditional opera house, in spaces that connect directly with the stories. They are all acoustic and require no audio, visual or lighting support, making them easy to remount in the location of your choice.
There are currently three productions in our touring repertoire: Shostakovich’s The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse, Mozart’s The Secret Gardener and John Musto’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt. Many of our other past productions are also available for revival as well.
OSO productions are a wonderful way to augment your season, create community partnerships with non-arts organizations, and engage audiences in exciting new ways! On Site is always interested in partnering with organizations to create new productions as well!
To inquire further about OSO rentals, tours, and new projects, please contact
Eric Einhorn, General & Artistic Director
The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse
Music: D. Shostakovich
Libretto: Manashir Iakubov
Watch video highlights HERE.
Originally conceived for immersive performances at the Bronx Zoo, On Site Opera’s production of Shostakovich’s The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse is perfect for any location! This 12-minute opera, which features a bubbly score and vivid, large-scale puppets, is the perfect introduction to opera. The performance can serve as a wonderful companion piece to a “What is Opera?” or “Meet the Orchestra” lesson, or a question-and-answer session with the cast and orchestra.
The Plot: It’s bedtime, and Baby Mouse refuses to go to sleep. When Mrs. Mouse and all of the other neighbors are unsuccessful in getting Baby Mouse to sleep, they turn to Mrs. Cat for help. Unfortunately, Mrs. Cat has other plans for Baby Mouse. When the other animals realize what Mrs. Cat is planning, they team up to save Baby Mouse…who finally falls asleep.
Running Time: 12 minutes
– 6 singers (2 sopranos, 2 mezzo sopranos, 1 baritone, 1 bass-baritone)
– 7 instrumentalists (flute/piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano/alto saxophone, horn, trumpet, percussion) or solo piano.
The Secret Gardener
Music: W. A. Mozart
Libretto:Kelley Rourke (new English translation & dialogue)
Watch video highlights HERE.
On Site Opera partnered with The Atlanta Opera’s Discoveries series to bring Mozart’s The Secret Gardener (La finta giardiniera) to life in a new 90-minute, site-specific production. Written by an 18-year-old Mozart, this production of The Secret Gardener, a story of love, madness, and redemption, is perfect for a local botanical garden, a community green space, or a lush private setting. This production features a new English translation by Kelley Rourke and a new reduced orchestration (9 musicians) by Yoni Khan and Thomas Carroll. Floral-inspired costumes by Beth Goldenberg and boldly colored garden-related props add to this high energy production.
The Plot: In the garden of the Mayor, Lady Violet is disguised as a gardener in order to hide from the jealous, and quick-tempered Count Belfiore. Belfiore is engaged to Arminda, the niece of the Mayor, while Ramiro is still in love with Arminda. In the midst of this love quadrangle, Violet’s attendant Nardo courts the Mayor’s maid Serpetta.
Running time: 90 minutes (no intermission)
– 7 singers (3 sopranos, 1 mezzo, 2 tenors, 1 baritone)
– 9 instrumentalists (2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, double bass)
Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt
Music: John Musto
Libretto: Eric Einhorn
Watch video highlights HERE.
In the early 20th century, the leaders of the American Museum of Natural History turned to painter Charles R. Knight to bring their fossil collection to life for museum visitors. Through his paintings, Knight took views millions of years back in time to view dinosaurs as active, fast-moving creatures. Every weekend, Knight’s granddaughter, Rhoda Knight accompanied “Toppy” (as she called him) to the museum while he worked. As Knight painted, little Rhoda watched in awe as the massive fossils unpacked by the museum’s paleontologists were transformed into living, breathing creature’s on Toppy’s canvases.
In collaboration with Rhoda Knight and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, On Site Opera developed a new opera for young audiences based on Rhoda’s experiences with her grandfather, Charles Knight, during his prolific career as the “father of paleo-art.” This opera presents the ideal opportunity to connect the natural sciences to visual and performing arts, allowing children to fully appreciate the interconnectedness of the world around them. Co-commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago ‘Lyric Unlimited’, and Pittsburgh Opera.
The Plot: 8-year old Rhoda greets her friends (the audience at the museum) and is excited to introduce them to her grandfather, Toppy. When Toppy arrives, he tells Rhoda that a new dinosaur has been discovered, but that only a partial fossilized skeleton has been found. Dr. Osborn, the head paleontologist, asks Toppy to create a painting of the new dinosaur, despite the incomplete skeleton. Toppy enlists Rhoda’s help to find the missing fossils, empowering her with his trust tools: patience, passion, and imagination. Rhoda sets out on her fossil hunt around the hall, and quickly discoverers that it is more difficult than she expected. Just as she is about to give up, she uses her imagination and scientific inference to “discover” the missing fossils. Rhoda returns to Toppy with her discovery, and Toppy is able to complete the painting of the new dinosaur — which he has named Rhodasaurus.
Flexibility for new venues: Portions of the libretto that reference specific dinosaurs can be altered to reflect the fossils in the halls of each local museum. As a site-specific production, the staging can be customized to fit the space around the museum’s fossil exhibits.
Running time: 20 minutes
– 3 singers (soprano, tenor, baritone)
– 7 instrumentalists (2 violins, viola, cello, bass, clarinet, flute)