The Unknowable: An Operatic Ballet in Two Acts

The Unknowable: An Operatic Ballet in Two Acts at Lowell House Opera

Dates: (2/10/2024 - 2/11/2024 )

Theatre:

Lowell House Opera


45 Quincy St Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
Cambridge,MA 02138

Tickets: 20 dollars for the public. 10 dollars for students

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Lowell House Opera excitedly invites you to its 78th production: the World Premiere of The Unknowable: An Operatic Ballet in Two Acts by Benjamin T. Rossen featuring additional music by Hector Berlioz and Gustav Mahler.

The Unknowable follows a young woman and her path to sincere curiosity – both intellectual and emotional – in the face of a demoralizing reality. It centers around the listening experience of ‘Les nuits d’été’ by Hector Berlioz and ‘Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen’ by Gustav Mahler. In considering the form of operatic ballet, Rossen explains: "Throughout history, ballet in opera has been treated as episodic and disjunct from the larger narrative – as a brief visual delight. The form of ‘operatic ballet’ found in The Unknowable interweaves dancers and vocalists like never before. This story explores how artists can communicate and understand one another not only with words, but also with kinesics and haptics. Empathy, frustration, compassion, and inquisitiveness mysteriously blossom in this multi-sensorial experience.” The Unknowable takes what audiences love about opera and ballet – bravura singing and a highly refined movement aesthetic – and makes it real.

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Cast and Creative team for The Unknowable: An Operatic Ballet in Two Acts at Lowell House Opera

Cast

Aurora Martin

Edith Brookenberg
Aurora Martin is known throughout New England for her colorful, full soprano. She is an ensemble member of Boston Baroque and Boston Lyric Opera and collaborates regularly with Odyssey Opera, The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Emmanuel Music, Cambridge Chamber Ensemble, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra the Arlington-Belmont Chorale, Sounds of Stow, Opera del West, and Opera on Tap. Aurora received 2nd place in The American Prize in Vocal Performance Professional Opera Division 2023. She was named a semi-finalist in the prestigious Partners for the Arts 9th National Opera Competition. She joined Opera Company of Middlebury as a 2021 Young Artist, covering “Agnès Sorel" in The Maid of Orleans. Solo concert performances include Haydn’s Harmoniemesse Hob. XXII/14, Satie’s Socrates, Mahler’s Das Knaben Wunderhorn, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, and Fauré’s Requiem. Operatic highlights include Pamina, Micaëla, Dalila, Second Lady, Miss Silvertone, Noèmie, Liesgen, and Mieke. Aurora holds a MM from The New England Conservatory and degrees in Music and Chemistry from Virginia Tech.


Lavinia Kosher

Edna
Lavinia is a student at Boston University, minoring in dance. She has danced for 15 years, primarily training at The Nutmeg Conservatory (CT). She is a dancer, choreographer, and Concert Coordinator of BU's Dance Theatre Group and dancer with the Harvard Ballet Company. She has worked as an administrator, teacher and freelance professional dancer for three years and her choreography has twice been adjudicated at the American Collegiate Dance Association. She’s attended intensive programs including Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Boston Ballet.


Kathryn Nairn

Hannah
Kathryn, performing the role of Hannah, is a sophomore at Harvard College in Lowell House studying Neuroscience and English. Originally from Chicago, she has trained in pre-professional programs at the Joffrey Ballet Academy and Ruth Page Ballet, along with summer intensives at companies nationwide, including American Ballet Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and BalletMet. This is her second opera performance at Harvard, and she is thrilled to dance in the debut of The Unknowable.


Emerald Barbour

Anna Reminwake
Emerald Barbour is a Boston-based mezzo-soprano with a versatile voice and skillset, plus a penchant for early and new music. Singing the role of Anna Reminwake, this will be her second production with Lowell House Opera, having made her role debut as Dorabella (Così fan tutte) in 2019. Recent solo credits include Andrew List’s Journey of Seasons, Bach’s St. John Passion, and Handel’s Lucrezia. Emerald is a winner of the Rhode Island Civic Choral and Orchestra’s 2019-20 Vocal Competition, and a 2019 vocalist of Emmanuel Music’s Bach Institute. She holds degrees in Voice Performance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee (M.M) and Webster University (B.M).


Caroline Wolfe

Adèle
Caroline Wolfe (soprano) has a strong pull toward the avant garde and intimate programming and a mission to break down antiquated barriers in classical music. She looks both to revitalize old works in a new light and to bring new music to the table. Caroline is currently attending Longy School of Music to pursue a Masters of Music in Vocal Studies and Historical Performance. She also holds a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory.


Marcus Schenck

Immanuel
Marcus Schenck, baritone, is overjoyed for his third appearance with Lowell House Opera in The Unknowable world premiere. Previous LHO appearances include Le Gouverneur (Le comte Ory) and Truffaldin (Ariadne auf Naxos). Recent performances include Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Miami Music Festival, the title role in Marc Hoffeditz’s Mr. Twister and the Tale of Tornado Alley, and the Baritone Soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra.


Logan Trotter

Grace
Logan Trotter is a Boston-based soprano where she is an active performer of choral music and opera. She is currently performing in the choruses of Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, and the Marsh Chapel Choir at Boston University. Logan is the soprano Choral Fellow at Marsh Chapel. Recent solo highlights include Bach BWV 63 and 147 and Kallembach’s Most Sacred Body (Marsh Chapel) and Mozart’s Il re pastore (New England Conservatory Opera). Logan received her Master of Music from the New England Conservatory where she studied with Karen Holvik.


Benji Pearson

Thomas
Benji is a Senior at Harvard College and is excited to dance with the Lowell House Opera.


Sula Frausto

Sara
Sula, from Denver, Colorado, is a graduate of Butler University with a degree in Dance - Pedagogy. Within Butler Ballet, she performed corps and soloist roles in The Nutcracker, Giselle, The Little Humpbacked Horse, George Balanchine's Serenade, and original modern and contemporary works. Sula is now a Research Assistant in Emergency Medicine at Boston Medical Center and is currently applying to medical school. She is delighted to explore the role of Sara in The Unknowable!


Isabella Meyer

Carol
Isabella Meyer is a senior at Harvard College studying Music & English, and she is thrilled to be performing the role of Carol in the world premiere of The Unknowable. She is originally from Seattle, WA, where she trained and performed with the Seattle Opera Company. She is now the President of Harvard College Opera, and performs daily as a Ferris Choral Fellow of the University Choir.


Leo Balkovetz

Michel
Leo Balkovetz (tenor) is a performer and librettist in the Boston area. His second season with Lowell House, Leo also performed in the world premiere of NIGHTTOWN (Buck Mulligan) in 2022. This year, you can also see him on stage in “L’Amico Fritz” (Federico) with West End Lyric and “I Pagliacci” (Peppe) with Opera51. Off stage, Leo penned the libretto for Quinn Gutman’s “Violetta” a queer re-telling of Verdi’s “La Traviata” , a modern treatment of Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito for Opera del West’s 2023 season and is serving as NEMPAC’s 2024 Artistic Associate and supertitleist for “Orfeo Ed Eurydice”. Find out more at www.leobalkovetz.com


Sarah Erickson

Spirit/Sarah
Sarah Erickson is a junior in Eliot House studying biomedical engineering. She is so excited to make her debut in the Lowell House Opera as a Spirit. Sarah has also performed in the Harvard College Opera’s The Merry Widow as a grisette last year. She is the Co-Director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company, serves as the Executive Producer of the Harvard Undergraduate Tap Company, and photographs for The Harvard Crimson.


Sedina Ackuayi

Spirit/Sedina
Sedina Ackuayi is a junior at Harvard University studying Molecular and Cellular Biology! She is so excited to be dancing in her first opera, let alone her first operatic ballet!


Catherine Martinez

Spirit/Catherine
Catherine Martinez is a Senior at Harvard College and is delighted to dance in the world premiere of The Unknowable. For nine years, she trained with The Art of Classical Ballet, performing in The Nutcracker and in excerpts from Satanella, Le Corsaire, La Bayadère, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Paquita, and La Esmeralda. On campus, she is a member of the Harvard Ballet Company and the Candela Latin Dance Troupe.


Holly Stone

Spirit/Holly
Holly Stone is a dancer and choreographer based in Greater Boston. Currently teaching at Tufts and Boston University, their movement backgrounds in ballet, contemporary, and ballroom dance allow them to move seamlessly between genres and to challenge expectations of gender and partnership. They received a B.S. in Bioengineering and Neuroscience from Syracuse University and an MFA in Dance from Florida State University--and believe in the power of "what if?"


Trinity Stevens

Spirit/Trinity
Trinity Stevens is a dancer from northeast Ohio, having received an A.A. from Kent State University and a B.A. from Cleveland State University. At CSU, they completed the coursework for the Dance in Community major, Theatre Studies minor, and Arts Management certificate, while writing for two university publications- the CSU Dance Blog and the CSU Cauldron. Stevens has danced with Seiche Dance Collective and the Dancing Wheels Company.


Katherine Byunn-Rieder

Spirit/Katherine
Katherine Byunn-Rieder is a first year student from Northern California living in Ivy Yard. She is excited to be a part of The Unknowable.


Linda Wnetrzewska

Spirit/Linda
Linda is a sophomore in Currier House concentrating in Physics with a secondary in Music and a language citation in German. She sings soprano 1 in the Radcliffe Choral Society and is currently taking voice lessons with Carley DeFranco through the Holden Voice Program. She is thrilled to be involved with the Lowell House Opera!


Creative Team

Benjamin T. Rossen

Composer, Librettist, and Music Director
Native New Yorker Benjamin T. Rossen is the Executive Director of Lowell House Opera and the composer and librettist of The Unknowable: An Operatic Ballet in Two Acts. Concurrently, Benjamin is completing his Master of Music in piano performance in the Harvard / New England Conservatory of Music Dual Degree Program. Benjamin '23 completed the degree of Bachelor of Arts with a double concentration in Economics and Music, with high honors, in just three years. During his time as an undergraduate, Benjamin founded the Harvard Ballet Orchestra, which premieres original student choreography set to ballet repertory. By extension, he was the inaugural Music Director of the Harvard Ballet Company for its 30th season. Further, Benjamin was Music Director for the Harvard College Opera's (HCO) 30th season. He led HCO in its Winter 2023 production of Lehár's "The Merry Widow," which also saw the premiere of Benjamin's original overture. For this composition, he was awarded by the Harvard Music Department the 2023 Hugh F. MacColl Prize. Benjamin is a 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a Young Steinway Artist.


Emily Parker

Choreographer
Emily Parker (she/her) is a Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program student at Harvard Extension School and the Research Coordinator for the Foot and Ankle Division within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Emily was a professional ballet dancer with Oregon Ballet Theatre for six years. During that time, she also performed as a guest artist with American Contemporary Ballet (Los Angeles, CA) and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.


Haley Marie Stark

Stage Director
Haley Stark is a junior at Harvard University. Haley has directed hundreds of cast and crew members from Harvard and the greater Boston area, and she is grateful to add The Unknowable family to this growing community of artists who inspire her!


Ross Simmons

Business Manager
Ross Simmons '21 is a Marketing Manager for Insurify by day, but by night he is the Business Manager of the Lowell House Opera. He was a Lowellian as an undergrad, serving as the co-chair of the Lowell House Committee. He was also the President of the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan players. He is from Higginsville, Missouri and won't let you forget it. He feels so lucky to be involved in Harvard theater once more!


Lauren Perl

Artistic Producer
Lauren Perl (She/Her) is thrilled to serve as the Artistic Producer for LHO. She is a junior at Harvard College in Quincy House studying History and Literature. She grew up performing in a musical theater performance ensemble in Maryland, and has acted as a vocal coach and band manager for original works in the Boston area. She performs as an alto 1 with Radcliffe Choral Society. Brava to the cast and crew!


Liza de Figueiredo

Marketing Producer
Liza de Figueiredo (she/her) is a sophomore at Harvard College in Winthrop House studying Applied Math and Economics. She has a background in singing, both musical theater and classical, and grew up performing. She currently serves as the Vice President for the Harvard LowKeys acapella group. She is thrilled to join the LHO team as the Marketing and Development Producer!


Lara Tan Rui Qi

Dramaturg
Lara (she/her) is a soprano and freshman at the College and is thrilled to be working with Lowell House Opera for the very first time. Originally from Singapore, she has been singing opera and art song since 2016 with New Opera Singapore and looks forward to continuing her musical trajectory in Harvard and the Boston area. She currently studies with Jayne West.


Ioana Belu

Stage Manager
Ioana Belu is a sophomore at Harvard University who engages creatively in the vibrant intersection of economics, art, and visual studies. Her journey in the performing arts includes stage managing "Footloose" and assisting stage managing "Post Mortem." Offstage, she channels her creativity into directing and scripting films, exploring diverse narratives enriched by her Romanian roots.


John Holmes

Lighting Designer
John (he/him) is a Boston-based lighting designer, and a recent graduate of Boston University. Lighting design credits include White Christmas (Massasoit College); Jado Jehad (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre) and Our Town (BU Opera Institute). He is Electrics Supervisor at Boston College, with upcoming designs at Greater Boston Stage Co. and Dean College. When not working on a show, John can be found running along the Charles, painting a landscape, or blending a smoothie. @johnholmesdesign


Cam Parsons Muniz

Set Designer
Cameron Parsons Muniz is an Art, Film, and Visual Studies concentrator at Harvard College living in the Dudley Coop. He is thrilled to serve as the set designer for The Unknowable.


Rachel Jacobs

Poster Graphic Designer
Rachel Jacobs is a San Diego State University alum with a degree in Graphic Design. She spent her college days designing posters and sets for Skull and Dagger Dramatic Society and Musical Theater Club’s productions. She is excited for the opportunity to meet and work with Lowell House on this exciting project.


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