Opera & Musical Theatre

THE NIGHT FLIGHT OF MINERVA’S OWL – a full-length opera

Composer: Guang Yang Librettist: Paula Cizmar

Winner, Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s international Music That Matters/Fight for the Right new opera commission.

An excerpt from the opera was produced at Thornton School of Music for the 2019 Evening of Opera Scenes. Conductor: Brent McMunn. Director: Ken Cazan.

An animated short film of the overture from Owl was produced by Thornton in Spring 2021. Animation by Sean Cawelti. Director: Ken Cazan. Conductor: Brent McMunn.

INVISIBLE – a short opera

Composer: Guang Yang Librettist: Paula Cizmar

Written for The Body Female Collective, curated by Velina Hasu Houston.

INVISIBLE was part of SNAPSHOTS, the annual new opera event produced by West Edge Opera in association with Earplay. Performances: May 15 – 16, 2021. Bruns Amphitheatre, Berkeley CA. Musical director and conductor: Jonathan Khuner. Mezzo soprano: Erin Neff. Soprano: Julia Hathaway.

Notes from the Media: ‘For completeness, one had to turn to “Invisible,” a taut and remarkably effective bolt of dramatic lightning by composer Guang Yang and librettist Paula Cizmar. It’s about a museum curator (Erin Neff) organizing an exhibition themed to mythological rape victims — particularly Medusa, the fearsome Gorgon — and her assistant (Julia Hathaway) who has suffered a perfectly real, non-mythic sexual assault. As if that dramatic palette weren’t spare enough, the singers are accompanied by nothing more than a single violin (Terrie Baune, in a fiercely fine performance). The result feels like a compressed explosive bundle, just primed to erupt.’ —San Francisco Chronicle

INVISIBLE was performed in the Eurydice Found Festival presented by LA Opera Connects in January 2020. Director: Diana Wyenn. Soprano: Victoria Lawal. Mezzo soprano: Nandani Sinha.

GOLDEN – musical theatre

Music by Nathan Wang Book & lyrics by Paula Cizmar

Commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute of Warsaw, Poland for the international Paderewski Cycle. Act 1 was presented at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Director: Diana Wyenn. Musical director: Nathan Wang. A work in progress.

FIRECRACKERS – a short opera

Composer: Guang Yang Librettist: Paula Cizmar

Commissioned by White Snake Opera, 2020.

Premiering in Boston in December 2022. Featuring Helen Zhibing Huang as Mei; Kelly Guerra as Nessa; Evan Bravos as Father, with musical direction by Tianhui Ng and stage direction by Laine Rettmer.

A HOLE IN THE SKY – a micro opera

Composer: Guang Yang Librettist: Paula Cizmar

Performed at LA – At the Intersection at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County as part of the 2019 Climate Change Theatre Action. Producer: Ilana Gustafson. Director: Giovanni Ortega. Sopranos: Emma Elliott and Gbeke Fawehinmi.

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