top of page

Nine newly commissioned Micro Operas for Baldwin Wallace Voice Performance Students

onsiteopera_fullcolor (revised).png

A co-production between Baldwin Wallace Voice Performance, Cleveland Opera Theater, and On Site Opera

OiPALL_White Boarder_1920x1080.jpg

THREE New Operas Premiere Each Day

Feb. 18

Men I'm Not Married To
The Stream

Feb. 19

Cinderella 99
Virtually Dead
For Life

Feb. 20

600 Square Feet
Pandora Jones
Family Adventures


Griffin Candey.png
Griffin Candey
Kermit Cole.png
Kermit Cole
Cote  New.jpeg
David Cote
Lisa DeSpain.png
Lisa DeSpain
Jerre Dye.png
Jerre Dye
Jake Heggie
Sarah LaBrie.png
Sarah LaBrie
Libby Larsen
CCaroline V. McGraw.png
Caroline V. McGraw
Nkeiru Okoye.png
Nkeiru Okoye
Rachel J. Peters.jpg
Rachel J. Peters
Screen Shot 2021-11-21 at 4.24.27 PM.png
Kamala Sankaram
Gene Scheer.png
Gene Scheer
Josh Schmidt
Dawn Sonntag.png
Dawn Sonntag
Royce Vavrek.jpg
Royce Vavrek
Michi Wianko.jpg
Michi Wiancko

A Talkback session will follow the premiere of each opera. 
Go behind the scenes, ask questions, give feedback, and learn about the process of bringing the new operas to life in unique and

challenging circumstances with the Creative Team and Artists.


Register for free to participate in post-premiere Talkbacks


Click below to WATCH LIVE on this site beginning on the premiere dates

February 18, 2022


LISA DeSPAIN, composer

RACHEL J. PETERS, libretto

Adapted from the text by Dorothy Parker

7:00p ET - Digital Premiere
7:30p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles.jpg



SARAH LaBRIE, libretto

8:00p ET - Digital Premiere
8:30p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles3.jpg



CAROLINE V. McGRAW, libretto

9:00p ET - Digital Premiere
9:30p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles2.jpg

February 19, 2022


JAKE HEGGIE, composer

GENE SCHEER, libretto

7:00p ET - Digital Premiere
7:30p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles4.jpg



JERRE DYE, libretto

8:00p ET - Digital Premiere
8:30p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles5ADJUSTED.jpg


DAWN SONNTAG, composer

KERMIT COLE, libretto

9:00p ET - Digital Premiere
9:45p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles6.jpg

February 20, 2022


NKEIRU OKOYE, composer

DAVID COTE, libretto

7:00p ET - Digital Premiere
7:30p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles7.jpg


LIBBY LARSEN, composer


8:00p ET - Digital Premiere
8:30p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles8.jpg


JOSH SCHMIDT, composer

ROYCE VAVREK, libretto

9:00p ET - Digital Premiere
9:30p ET - Talkback Session

OiPseparate_1920x1080no titles9.jpg


How OPERAS in PLACE came to be

Baldwin Wallace Voice Performance had a brilliant '20 / '21 season planned:

Our Playhouse Square debut with a new production of  Monteverdi's L’Orfeo (Nov. '20), the highly anticipated World Premiere production of La Casa de Bernarda Alba (Feb. '21), and a magical production of  Händel's Alcina (March '21).


When COVID-19 made it neither feasible nor safe to produce our season as planned we began exploring alternatives.  Offering a virtual version of those planned live in-person productions felt like a "second best" compromise.  While still sheltered in place we considered programming a season of operas that had been written for TV or radio performance, but although the delivery medium would be conducive to social distance protocols, those operas were written to be rehearsed and performed in a standard in-person format and would be exceedingly difficult to rehearse, collaborate, and perform remotely.  Rather than offer a "second best" or try to retro-fit repertoire that could possibly amplify COVID safety protocol-imposed limitations, the project would need to be flexible in order to facilitate rehearsals and performances in a wide variety of scenarios in a way that would be safe to artists and audience no matter what the virus dealt us. A new project vision emerged to offer a reimagined season designed to embrace our circumstances in a way that would amplify the opportunities, rather than the short comings of our circumstances that required remote collaboration.  


Director of Opera Studies, Scott Skiba reached out to a number of world-renowned composers and librettists to pitch the project vision and ask if they would be willing to participate.  The pitch: Would you please consider writing a Micro Opera - 10-ish minutes in length on any topic of interest - specifically for the BW Voice Performance students? The subject matter and style is wide open to creative freedom.  Since it's likely that university COVID safety protocols would mandate that in-person rehearsal and performance would not be possible, the only stipulation is to write in a way that could be rehearsed and performed separately so that we can embrace remote collaboration that would require cast members to rehearse via Zoom, for the orchestra to rehearse and record separately from the singers and perhaps from each other, and for the cast members to record audio and video separately from each other as well.  

An amazing group of internationally-recognized composers and librettists - fantastic artists and humans all - agreed to take part in this project.  BW students had the unique an unprecedented opportunities to collaborate with exceptional librettists and composers, and to learn about audio, video, and digital techniques that are being advanced and explored in this time, and to develop new repertoire in a never-been-done-before process.  What would ensue is a strange artistic journey of creation, collaboration, rehearsal, recording, and performance that culminates in this virtual festival presentation of nine new Micro Operas.   Along the journey, the students developed and applied skills in the Operas in Place project that are transferable to other future creative recording and production projects.   


Each Micro Opera is unique in style, story, and approach.  Each stands alone individually and each compliments the other among the eclectic array.   These were operas "in place" of what was planned, and accomplishable even if the need to shelter "in place" persisted... but they became much more than that.  Each of these operas became a place to connect over great distances, a place to be together although apart, and a place to come together in the creative art making process in a uniquely memorable and meaningful way.  "In place" and "our place" ...our necessary place to connect, to collaborate, and to create as we all navigated through uncharted territory in every sense imaginable.  Thank you for being part of this unique journey!

bottom of page