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April 6, 2016
Tickets available at the door
Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450
“It’s not a traditional opera – it’s more like weird little operettas”
— Rolling Stone


— the curiously refreshing composer collective â€”

announces its newest venture:

“Video Operas”

at Anthology Film Archives

Five visionary opera premieres
made for the big screen


Emily Manzo


Anna Mikhailova

in the distance go on forever/
the story of contemporary frankenstein


Aaron Siegel

Tea Before You go

Jason Cady

I Screwed Up the Future

Dorian Wallace/David Kulma

The Rest is Shit: Stories from the Microchasm

May 6 & 7, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Anthology Film Archives

32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
$11 at the door

WATCH: Trailer for Video Operas

From EiO's Founders:
“From the beginning of Experiments in Opera, we have created commission opportunities that are not usually available to composers. We want composers to express their unique stories, characters and visuals. Video Operas is a natural extension of this desire. We started this project to see how composers would translate their musical ideas into film. We supported composers putting together production teams with the same DIY ethos that we apply to our work on stage.”
— Jason, Aaron and Matthew
Building on the pioneering work of composer Robert Ashley, who believed that the America of his time was a culture of TV, the fun and fearless composer collective Experiments in Opera presents VIDEO OPERAS, a collection of five premieres created specifically for the video screen (no live performers or musicians).

The five videos, which range from 10–20 minutes, will be screened as one continuous program and will take place twice at Anthology Film Archives: on Friday, May 6, 2016 and Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

The works were commissioned by Experiments in Opera from a wide range of composer/artists and conceived of as a unique way to tell stories through music in a format that is most relevant to our multi-screen culture and digital universe. 

The commissioned artists are Jason Cady, Emily Manzo, Anna Mikhailova, Aaron Siegel and Dorian Wallace/David Kulma. They come from diverse musical backgrounds, bringing to their Video Operas experiences with chamber and electronic music, improvisation, indie rock, and varying approaches to vocal production. Their works demonstrate a range of story-telling interests, from time-travel, hallucinogenic therapy, personal histories, and contemporary takes on monsters of lore. 

Together, the five Video Operas reveal personal visions of the anxieties of life and triumphs of the imagination in the twenty-first century.

The Video Operas


(Emily Manzo)
Screen capture from Emily Manzo's PUBLIC
PUBLIC is an operatic experimental film centered around stories of Sonny Singh’s and Mawia Khogali's experiences with Islamophobia.

Music and concept by Emily Manzo
Videography by Christine Edwards
Sonny Singh, trumpet and voice​
Mawia Khogali, voice
Arooj Aftab, voice
Shayna Dunkelman, percussion
Jace Clayton (aka DJ Rupture), additional music
Gus Solomons, Jr., dance
Shalya-Vie Jenkins​, dance​
Emily Manzo, piano and keyboard

Recording by Jeff Cook

Emily Manzo ( is a pianist, vocalist and composer who Time Out New York considers “a uniquely protean artist who makes several scenes move.” The New York Times has described her “attention to detail exceptional." Emily has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe in concerts and festivals of chamber music, experimental music and rock music. She is a member of the Julius Eastman Memory Depot, Till by Turning, Arooj Aftab’s band and Christy & Emily. She is in a current touring production with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. As a vocalist and pianist she can be heard on Tzadik, New Amsterdam Records, SHSK’H, The Social Registry, Big Print, Klangbad, Merge, and Jagjaguar. 

in the distance go on forever/
the story of contemporary frankenstein

(Anna Mikhailova)
Screen capture from Anna Mikhailova's
in the distance go on forever/ the story of contemporary frankenstein
An unnamed heroine discovers herself through interactions with everyday materials (plastic, slime, meat, branches) and experiences a profound transformation.
​Music and s​​tory by ​Anna Mikhailova

Stephanie Pan, ​voice
Sid Ahmat, voice
Rodrigo Parejo, flute
Anna Mikhailova​, bass guitar, synthesizer and instruments by Loek Vellekoop

Isabell Schulz costumes
Ko de Kok, body paint
Jesse Bom, Flora Reznik, Rob Verbuntphotography
Pim Piet and Dylan Hallegraeff, tools

Anna Mikhailova ( graduated from Rotterdam University of Arts as a theater director (2013), Den Haag Royal Conservatory composition and sonology department (2011), Chicago Columbia University film music (2008) and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory (2007) as a composer, organ and koto player. She creates fusions of contemporary music, theatre and performance art. The key of her work is not only to express herself through art but to make work that resonates with contemporary society and creates space for the audience to discover their personal reasons to be. This approach culminates in her current work on the New Opera Project. By bringing the opera into a new multiple and dimensional language, narrative structures and media.

Tea Before You Go

(Aaron Siegel)
Screen capture from Aaron Siegel's Tea Before You Go
Rich, a terminally-ill sixty-year old, agrees to an experimental hallucinogenic treatment with his psychologist. Reluctant at first, Rich eventually embraces the opportunity to explore the sounds and visions of his subconscious mind. 

Music and story by Aaron Siegel
Videography by Antonia Colodro

John Hagan, actor
Nathaniel Adams, voice
Jessica Pavone, viola
Aaron Siegel, synthesizer

Aaron Siegel ( is a composer, writer, educator and producer from Brooklyn, NY.  In addition to his work with Experiments in Opera, his most recent activities include a collaboration with Young People's Chorus of New York City, a song cycle for soprano Michele Kennedy based on the poems of Tess Taylor, and a book of short works for prepared vibraphone.  A recently recorded collection of duos for piano and vibraphone called Book of Notions will be released in spring 2016.  Aaron is one of the co-founders of Experiments in Opera and is on the education staff at Carnegie Hall.

I Screwed Up the Future

(Jason Cady)
Screen capture from Jason Cady's I Screwed Up the Future
In 2016 the world still suffers from the after effects of massive power outages, food shortages, and nuclear explosions caused by Y2K. Cassandra, a computer programmer, builds a time machine and travels back to 1996 to prevent it. But will she succeed? And would things be better if Y2K had not happened?
Music and story by Jason Cady
Videography by Malik Isasis

Katie Eastburn, voice
Sasha Zamler-Carhart, voice
Tomas Cruz, voice
Jessica Pavone, bass guitar
Jason Cady, pedal steel and modular synthesizer

Jason Cady ( writes music and stories for small-scale operas. He also composes instrumental and electronic music. He performs on pedal steel, modular synthesizer and other instruments. Pitchfork described his most recent work—The Captives—as “funny and engaging.” WQXR praised his opera Happiness is the Problem for keeping “the energy hovering at 11 consistently, fusing the coloratura of Mozart’s ‘Queen of the Night’ with Glass at his most hyper-caffeinated; you’re left gasping at the end, while admiring the psychological underpinnings.” Cady was born in 1974 in Flint, Michigan and has lived in New York City since 2001.

The Rest is Shit:
Stories from the Microchasm

(Dorian Wallace/David Kulma)
Screen capture from Dorian Wallace and David Kulma's 
The Rest is Shit: Stories from the Microchasm
In a world not unlike our own, we experience moments in many lives. A man joins street protests and considers his sister’s problems with family and friends.  A man has thoughts when he is pushed onto the subway tracks.  Given the recent events here… The rest is shit. 

Music and story by Dorian Wallace/David Kulma
Directed and filmed by John Sanborn

David Kulma, voice
Dorian Wallace, piano
Michael Eaton, saxophone
Lathan Hardy, saxophone
Carl Limbacher, bass
Max Maples, drums
Hajnal Pivnick, violin
Diane Skerbecdance

Dorian Wallace ( is a composer, improviser and pianist of contemporary classical music, new music, radical avant-garde, spontaneous improvisation and free jazz. His works encompass chamber ensembles, spontaneous improvisation, orchestral, opera, classical dance, large jazz ensemble, vocal, percussion, electronic, electroacoustic, and film. He is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Tenth Intervention, a contemporary classical presenter in New York City, The Free Sound Ahn-somble, an inventive and improvisational septendectet, and Trystero, a surreal night-club act that constructs theatrical performances and electronic music. Wallace is a staff musician/composer for dance at Columbia University, NYU Tisch, Martha Graham Dance Company, Juilliard, and Doug Varone.
David Kulma ( is a musician living in South Carolina and hates writing in the third person. I make videos on YouTube, including Surreality (short daily strange comedy videos) and Music Corner (an educational channel about music). As Trystero with Dorian, we do the craziest and most fun things we can think of. Our version of Robert Ashley's Perfect Lives has me perform Raoul de Noget from memory. I have two degrees from Kent State University: oboe performance and music composition. I teach music classes at Winthrop University. 

About Experiments in Opera

Left to Right: EiO Founders Matthew Welch, Jason Cady, Aaron Siegel
Co-founded in 2010 by a trio of “talented, fearless, and congenial” (The Brooklyn Rail) composer-performers in Brooklyn—Matthew WelchJason Cady, and Aaron Siegel—EXPERIMENTS IN OPERA is a composer-driven initiative, featuring recent and new works with innovative answers to the traditional questions about how to connect words, story and music.

EiO's work is playful and funny as well as serious and dark. They catalyze opportunities that make strong connections to life and art in the twenty-first century. EiO makes no meaningful distinction between the merit of short works and long works, full productions and concert presentations, live works and works on video. Artists from a variety of styles and backgrounds find common cause with their efforts and feel at home in their productions.

Since 2011, Experiments in Opera has produced 37 new works, collaborating with over 100 performers, designers and directors from the New York City artist community. Experiments in Opera has presented the work of more than 26 composers including Georges Aperghis, Robert Ashley, Gelsey Bell, Roddy Bottum, the Cough Button collective, Jason Cady, Joe Diebes, Ruby Fulton, Nick Hallett, Gabrielle Herbst, Sam Hillmer, John King, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Daniel Kushner, Jonathan Mitchell, Jessica Pavone, Paul Pinto, Dave Ruder, Aaron Siegel, Justin Tierney, Leaha Maria Villarreal, Matthew Welch and John Zorn.

Over the last four years, EiO has produced its events at Abrons Arts Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Spectrum, Roulette, and Issue Project Room.

EiO's subversive impulses and numerous commissions from both rising and established composers has led The New Criterion to hail the organization as “a vital part of the subculture.” The 2015-16 season alone will see 20 world premiere vocal works, from newcomers such as Emily Manzo to experimental master Elliott Sharp. 

This current year, in addition to performances at The Stone and Anthology Film Archives, EiO will continue to organize What Goes On, an annual publication that features writings on and about contemporary opera, written and edited by other creators of contemporary opera.

All of the work developed with Experiments in Opera is documented extensively in videos, images and writings that are available in an online catalogue at These insightful looks into the origins of artists’ ideas and their working habits help to support EiO’s mission of building a more robust conversation about how and why opera works the way it does.
“An innovative opera venture”
— The New York Times

“Experiments in Opera is telling stories that are not being told in other places”
— The Wall Street Journal

“Some of the most avant-garde players in the game today”
— Huffington Post

Experiments in Opera
Upcoming Events

July 28, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
Experimental Choral Works
The Stone, at the corner of Avenue C and 2nd Street
$15 General Admission at the door
Ghostlight Chorus
Composers: Jason Cady, Jessica Pavone, Aaron Siegel, Matthew Welch
For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,
please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or

Copyright © 2016 Aleba & Co., All rights reserved.

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