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Guerilla Opera to Showcase Five Cutting-Edge Composers at Brandeis University

Guerilla Opera to Showcase Five Cutting-Edge Composers at Brandeis University

Guerilla Opera's season starts Saturday, March 14, 2020! Experience a showcase of five world premiere one-act operas written by composers from Guerilla Opera's inaugural Emergence Composer Fellowship in Slosberg Recital Hall at Brandeis University in Waltham. Featured composers and librettists include: Leah Reid, Caroline Louise Miller, Daniel Reza Sabzghabaei (دانیال رضا سبزقبایی) and Mina Salehpour (librettist), Jeremy Rapaport-Stein, and Niko Yamamoto and Athanasia Giannetos (librettist).

Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 7:30pm
Emergence Fellowship Showcase
Slosberg Recital Hall at Brandeis University, Waltham MA
Tickets: $30-$15


The Angle of Death
Music by Daniel Reza Sabzghabaei (دانیال رضا سبزقبایی) and libretto by Mina Salehpour

Music by Leah Reid with poetry by Gertrude Stein

The Monster
Music and libretto by Jeremy Rapaport-Stein

Clapping-Game Songbook
Music and libretto by Caroline Louise Miller

Yellow Bird Log
Music by Niko Yamamoto and libretto by Athanasia Giannetos

Guerillas featured in the ensemble include soprano Felicia Chen (debut), soprano Mary MacKenzie (debut), baritone Brian Church, clarinetist Amy Advocat, saxophonist Philipp Stäudlin, and percussionist Mike Williams, with dramaturgy and stage direction by Brenda Huggins, stage direction for Yellow Bird Log by Athanasia Giannetos, lighting design by Keithlyn Parkman and production design by Julia Noulin-Mérat.

Guerilla Opera's Emergence Composer Fellowship was created to fill a gap in the current landscape of opera development, and addresses directly the need for apprenticeships for emerging professional composers and librettists to gain experience writing theatrical music, learn about their own creative practices, and have more insight into the process of opera production.

The Fellowship is funded in part by OPERA America's Innovation Grant which supports exceptional projects that have the capacity to strengthen the field's most important areas of practice, including artistic vitality, audience experience, organizational effectiveness and community connections.

As one of the first strictly contemporary opera companies in the country, the ensemble finds it imperative to be at the forefront of the musical community. The fellowship engages high-level composers selected from an open call for proposals, which can be one act operas, scenes from a larger work, or a short work of concert theater. They work directly with the ensemble's experienced performers, dramaturg and designers for an entire season with a libretto reading, music and theater workshops, culminating with a showcase concert.


Guerilla Opera is committed to providing a deeper, more immersive experience to patrons who are blind and visually impaired.

At the Emergence Fellowship Showcase on March 14, 2020 Guerilla Opera offers the following amenities to support these patrons:

Tactile tour of the production in Slosberg Recital Hall at Brandeis University directly following the performance.

A podcast featuring short audio guides to each of the five one-act operas, which can be found embedded on our website event page at the following link or on the iTunes Podcast App.

Online accessible documents such as libretto and concert programs.

Large print programs available at the door.

Reserved seating for patrons with ADA certified service animals. The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.

Tickets are now on sale and are $30 for general admission, $15 for senior citizens, students as well as for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. Brandeis students get in for free via Student Rush! Rush tickets are available one hour before the performance with a valid student ID at-the-door only. Purchase tickets online at Patrons who are blind or visually impaired may call 866-615-2723 Ext. 3 to reserve their tickets.

This program is made possible through the generosity of an Opera America Innovation Grant and through partnerships with Brandeis University and HC Media of Haverhill, MA. This season is supported by the Aaron Copland Fund for New Music, The Amphion Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund, and the Boston Cultural Council, as well as through additional partnership with Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Leah Reid is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. In recent reviews, her works have been described as "immersive," "haunting," and "shimmering." She has won numerous awards, including IAWM's Pauline Oliveros Prize for her piece Pressure, the Film Score Award for her piece Ring, Resonate, Resound in Frame Dance Productions' Music Composition Competition, and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Reid's compositions have been presented at festivals, conferences, and in major venues throughout the world, including Aveiro_Síntese (Portugal), BEAST FEaST (England), ICMC (USA), IRCAM's ManiFeste (France), LA Philharmonic's Noon to Midnight (USA), Série de Música de Câmara (Brazil), SMC (Germany), the Tilde New Music Festival (Australia), and WOCMAT (Taiwan), among many others. Reid received her D.M.A. and M.A. in music composition from Stanford University and her B.Mus from McGill University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia. (

Caroline Louise Miller is a composer whose music explores affect, biomusic, tactility, and digital materiality. She works freely across the realms of electroacoustic music, sound art, chamber music, and experimental musical theater, and thus appears at a diverse array of festivals and venues, both in the U.S. and internationally. In 2019 she created Ansible, a meditation on communication, globalization, and open-science tech based on the sci-fi work of Ursula K. Le Guin. Ansible was commissioned by SPLICE Ensemble with funding from Chamber Music America. In 2018, she won the ISB/David Walter Composition Competition for Hydra Nightingale, created with bassist Kyle Motl. She also has an electronics/trumpet duo with Alexandria Smith, and recently performed at The Stone in New York. In 2020, C.L.M. will work with Ensemble Adapter on a new piece drawing on the sonic cultures of wild dogs, insects, birds, cetaceans, and rainforests. She holds a Ph.D in Music from UC San Diego, and is based in California. (

Daniel Reza Sabzghabaei (دانیال رضا سبزقبایی) is a composer and vocalist whose work aims to emphasize the malleability of time and how we experience it. His music has been performed and commissioned by organizations including: Hong Kong's Intimacy of Creativity Festival, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Beth Morrison Projects, [Switch~ Ensemble], the New York Festival of Song, Israeli Chamber Project, Pro Coro Canada, TAK Ensemble, Contemporaneous, Utah's Moab Music Festival, Minnesota's VocalEssence, Dallas' Voices of Change, Seattle's The Esoterics, the Busan Choral Festival, Korea's Ansan City Choir, Romania's ICon Arts Festival, and Festivalul Internațional Craiova Muzicală to name a few. As of late, Daniel has been studying and taking increasing inspiration from Persian melodic and rhythmic systems, folk music, art, and poetry. He holds degrees from the University of North Texas and the Peabody Conservatory. Daniel is currently a doctoral student and Sage Fellow at Cornell University. (

Mina Salehpour (librettist), born in Teheran, from 2007-09 was Assistant Director at the Schauspiel Frankfurt and from 2009-11 at the Schauspiel Hannover. There she staged »Invasion!« by Jonas Hassen Khemiri (2010), which was invited to the Kaltstart Festival in Hamburg. Salehpour has been working as freelance director since 2011. Several productions at the Schauspiel Hannover, among others, »Monster« by David Greig (2012), »Everything Is Illuminated«, an adaptation of the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, (2015) and »Mein Kampf« by George Tabori (2015). Furthermore she directed »Über Jungs« by Daniel Gieselmann (Grips Theater, 2013), which was awarded the German Theatre Prize THE FAUST 2013 in the category Children's and Youth Theatre, »Montecore: The Silence of the Tiger« (Staatstheater Braunschweig, 2013) and »Apathy for Beginners« (Staatstheater Braunschweig, 2013), both by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, as well as »das Ding« by Phillip Löhle (Staatstheater Braunschweig, 2014) and »Traurigkeit und Melancholie« by Bonn Park (Theater Bonn, 2015).

Jeremy Rapaport-Stein is a Boston-based composer and educator whose work explores improvisation, vocality, euphoria, and radios. His music has been performed by several leading ensembles, including Yarn/Wire, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, ~Nois, Iktus Percussion, loadbang, Sound Icon, Guerilla Opera, Quatuor Bozzini, Lydian String Quartet, Ludovico Ensemble, Duo Cortona, and Sō Percussion. His upcoming projects include new pieces for Departure Duo and line upon line percussion. Jeremy holds a BA from Swarthmore College and is currently a PhD student in music theory and composition at Brandeis University, where he teaches courses in musicianship, sound studies, and writing. In addition to his musical interests, he is passionate about language education and specializes in working with young adult English language learners. (

Composer Niko Yamamoto works with integrated systems of sound and action to augment experiences of body and environment. As a composer, his work encompasses an array of performance practices, primarily of music and theatre. His work explores processes of impulse and feedback to guide development and deterioration. He has been commissioned by Musiqa and New Downbeat and has received performances at the FSU Festival for New Music , the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston , and the Etchings Festival . He has previously collaborated with artists and organizations such as the Arditti Quartet , Dan Gelok , Nunc , Ecce , the Experimental Music Studios at the University of Illinois, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications , and the Rice Electroacoustic Music Labs . He has received a MMus in Composition from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and a BMus in Composition & Theory from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (

Athanasia Giannetos (librettist) is a Hellenic-American artist working in the Chicago Theatre community. Some of her recent Chicago theatre credits include Dramaturg for ETHIOPIANAMERICA (Definition Theatre Company), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Raven Theatre), Moon Man Walk (Definition Theatre Company), and Assistant Director for 33 to Nothing (A Red Orchid Theatre). In the past, Athanasia has assisted directors such as Daniel Sullivan (Long Lost) and Struan Leslie (My Case is Altered) and has worked with Victory Gardens Theater. Her own creative work imagines the poetic actions of humans who are constantly emotionally conscious of the natural world, negotiating interactions between the environment, the human body, and technology. Athanasia is a graduate of The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an alumnus of Mystic-Williams: the Maritime Studies Program of Mystic Seaport Museum and Williams College. She began working with the CSPA in 2016.

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