Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Resonance Works Announces Genre-Defying 10th Anniversary Season

Pittsburgh performing arts nonprofit offers fresh perspective on traditional classic music performances.

Resonance Works Announces Genre-Defying 10th Anniversary Season

Resonance Works will celebrate its tenth anniversary season with four powerful, intimate productions that showcase the depth and range of classical music performance, including two world premieres, orchestral favorites, awe-inspiring masterworks, and an evocative new opera.

Since its founding in 2013, Resonance Works has produced beloved operas, rare and new concert works, and exciting choral performances, including 12 world premieres and dozens of regional premieres. With a commitment to collaboration and innovation, Resonance Works highlights leading artistic voices exploring urgent contemporary issues.

Now in its tenth year, this genre-defying performing arts nonprofit announces its tenth season will kick off with the Pittsburgh premiere of Jorge Sosa and Cerise Lim Jacobs' contemporary opera, I am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams in October, and celebrate the holidays with the beloved classic Amahl and the Night Visitors, paired with Margaret Bonds' uplifting The Ballad of the Brown King in December. 2023 opens with To Breathe Free, a concert that pairs Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring with two contemporary works by Caroline Shaw and Gilda Lyons, followed by the season's finale of Johann Sebastian Bach's monumental B Minor Mass.

"Over the past decade, Resonance Works has presented innovative productions that subvert the expectations of classical performance and invite audiences to connect with this diverse genre in new and deeper ways," says Maria Sensi Sellner, the organization's Founder and Artistic Director. "Our tenth season honors our past while also looking to the future with a mix of new works and timeless classics that showcase our dynamic community of performers and collaborators. We are so excited to continue bringing Pittsburgh audiences powerful, timely musical experiences in intimate local settings."

Box Office: Subscriptions for Resonance Works' tenth anniversary season and single tickets for I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams are on sale now. I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. Friday and Sunday, October 14 and 16, 2022

Resonance Works opens its tenth anniversary season with the Pittsburgh premiere of Jorge Sosa and Cerise Lim Jacobs' contemporary opera, I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. Dreamer explores the complex relationship between Rosa, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who is awaiting deportation, and Singa, her court-appointed attorney, an ethnically Chinese immigrant from Indonesia living in the U.S. on a green card. Through Rosa and Singa's parallel yet divergent immigration experiences, Dreamer examines the complexities of American identity.

Pictured: White Snake Projects' 2019 premiere of Dreamer • Photo by Kathy Wittman Resonance Works alum Maria Dominique Lopez, a Mexican-American mezzo-soprano, brings her "vocal instrument of exceptional beauty, range, and flexibility" to the role of Rosa. Soprano Helen Zhibing Huang makes her Pittsburgh debut as Singa, a role she originated "with gusto and clarity" (The Boston Intelligencer) in the Boston world premiere of Dreamer in 2019. The Resonance Works production takes shape through the vision of acclaimed stage and film director Estefanía Fadul, who "aims to connect diverse communities through inventive, visceral, and socially conscious storytelling." Resonance Works alum Natalie Polito, a versatile soprano who previously performed in productions of Falstaff and Rusalka, performs as Mother/Gangster/Prosecutor.

Described by The Boston Globe as "...a timely tale haunted by American dreams," Dreamer's music is an eclectic mix of styles and influences, including traces of Asian and Mexican folk music, jazz, Afro-latin rhythms, as well as western classical traditions. Building on its reputation for bringing new American music to Pittsburgh audiences, Resonance Works is the second company to present this celebrated work. Amahl and the Night Visitors
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, December 16-18, 2022 • New Hazlett Theater

The holiday tradition returns with a program inspired by the magic of the season, featuring the classic story Amahl and the Night Visitors and Margaret Bonds' uplifting The Ballad of the Brown King, performed by the fabulous Resonance Chamber Orchestra and Festival Chorus.

Amahl and the Night Visitors is a beloved tale of hope and generosity that tells the story of a young boy, Amahl, his Mother, and their life-changing encounter with three mysterious strangers on their way to Bethlehem. Victory Brinker, a dynamic young opera singer from Latrobe, PA, who recently melted hearts on America's Got Talent, makes her Resonance Works debut with the role of Amahl on December 16 and 17. The cast from Resonance Works' inaugural production of this holiday favorite returns, with alum Barbara LeMay, "a brilliant musician, a sensitive and compelling actress with a most beautiful voice," playing the Mother, and Robert Frankenberry, Daniel Teadt, and Jonathan Stuckey performing as the Three Kings.

Resonance Works pairs the beloved Amahl with The Ballad of the Brown King, a piece by celebrated 20th-century composer Margaret Bonds featuring soloist Anqwenique Kinsel. Set to a libretto by the poet Langston Hughes, Ballad uplifts the role of the African king Balthazar in the Christmas story through Bonds' unique blend of classical, spiritual, calypso, and blues music. The program also features the live world premiere of Resonance Works' contribution to the Decameron Opera Coalition's Holiday Songbook, a streaming production of new holiday songs commissioned by the company partners from around the country, with a piece by composer Nancy Galbraith and librettist Sara Stock Mayo, both longtime Pittsburghers.

To Breathe Free

Friday and Sunday, March 3 and 5, 2023
First United Methodist Church, Bloomfield

To Breathe Free embodies the spirit of reflection and renewal with a reprise of Copland's beloved Appalachian Spring and poignant new works by Caroline Shaw and Gilda Lyons.

The Resonance Chamber Orchestra takes the spotlight, echoing Resonance Works' first season with a performance of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring. This dynamic piece hums with the optimism and possibility of building a new life, but also the trepidation of facing an uncertain future. The original version for 13 instruments was written as a ballet for Pittsburgh-born dancer/choreographer Martha Graham, and heightens the parallel threads of American nostalgia and cultural dissent woven throughout Copland's music.

Conducted by Resonance Works Artistic and General Director Maria Sensi Sellner, To Breathe Free places this iconic score into conversation with two contemporary works. Resonance Works is honored to present the Pittsburgh premiere of Caroline Shaw's To the Hands, for choir and strings, inspired by 17th-century Danish composer Dietrich Buxtehude's Membra Jesu nostri patientis sanctissima. To the Hands is a meditation on empathy, refuge, and communal responsibility through a diversity of texts, including a riff on Emma Lazarus's sonnet, The New Colossus, which is engraved on the Statue of Liberty.

To Breathe Free features a new commission celebrating Resonance Works' tenth anniversary by Grammy-nominated composer and genre-defying artist Gilda Lyons, a University of Pittsburgh alum, whose music has been described as "powerfully effective" and "masterly." Her clever and moving "Sourdough: Rise Up" was Resonance Works' contribution to the inaugural streaming production by the Decameron Opera Coalition, which won multiple awards and has since been inducted into the Library of Congress as a part of their Performing Arts Covid-19 Response Collection. This world premiere, featuring baritone Daniel Teadt, mezzo-soprano Timothi Williams, and the Resonance Chamber Orchestra, will look back and leap forward as Resonance Works crosses the threshold of this organizational milestone.

Bach B Minor Mass

Friday-Sunday, April 28-30, 2023
Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church (April 28), Coraopolis United Methodist Church (April 29), Heinz Memorial Chapel (April 30)

Johann Sebastian Bach's profound and magnificent Mass in B Minor is the summation and culmination of a life's work. The Resonance Chamber Orchestra, Festival Chorus, and an impressive cast of soloists bring this magnum opus to three inspiring spiritual spaces across the Pittsburgh region-a fitting and triumphant note to close this tenth anniversary season and welcome Resonance Works' future.

Unlike all of Bach's previous sacred works, the B-Minor Mass was not written for the urgency of an impending performance, but instead was the creation of a spiritual testament that became his ultimate legacy. It is the masterful assemblage of earlier works, transformed pieces, and newly composed movements written across a quarter-century, and likely among the final compositions of his life.

The Resonance Works performances of this astonishing masterwork bring together more than the usual number of soloists, with alums from throughout the organization's history, including sopranos Katy Shackleton Williams, Charlene Canty, Amelia D'Arcy, and Lara Lynn McGill, mezzo-sopranos Kara Cornell, Timothi Williams, and Thespina Christulides, tenor Javier Abreu, and bass-baritone Matt Scollin.

Resonance Works is a Pittsburgh-based performing arts non-profit that empowers musicians and inspires audiences with intimate, genre-defying productions featuring everything from opera and musical theatre to orchestral, choral, and chamber music. Performed in the intimacy of small theatres, churches, art galleries, and even cemeteries, Resonance Work productions heighten the soul-stirring experience of live music by bringing audiences and artists into close proximity.

The company's work is shaped by collaborations with nationally and internationally recognized artists, whose creative vision and immense talents generate the foundation for each Resonance Works production. Through these dynamic partnerships, Resonance Works creates musical experiences that highlight the artists' voices and speak to urgent contemporary issues.

Resonance Works was founded in 2013 by Pittsburgh native Maria Sensi Sellner, a versatile and innovative classical conductor praised for bringing a "welcome infusion of sophistication and diversity" to Pittsburgh's cultural landscape. Resonance Works has produced beloved operas, rare and new concert works, and cross-genre performances, including 12 world premieres and dozens of regional premieres, living out its mission to bring inspiring musical experiences by globally renowned performers to Pittsburgh stages.

At Resonance Works, we are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment. We will provide venue-specific accessibility details closer to each performance date. If you have questions or require specific accommodations, please contact Brennan Sellner at or 412-501-3330, and we will make every effort to work with you.

Regional Awards

More Hot Stories For You

The Atlanta Opera, Bailey School Of Music Partner To Present BLUEBEARD'S CASTLEThe Atlanta Opera, Bailey School Of Music Partner To Present BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE
September 23, 2022

In partnership with The Atlanta Opera and Kennesaw State University's Bailey School of Music, the North American premiere of Bluebeard's Castle will be presented at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center on October 7, 8 and 9.

Photos: In Rehearsal For TOSCA At English National OperaPhotos: In Rehearsal For TOSCA At English National Opera
September 22, 2022

Opening the 2022/23 Season at the London Coliseum, the English National Opera (ENO) presents Puccini’s much-loved thriller, Tosca. Receiving its UK premiere, this staging was last seen at The Finnish National Opera in 2018. See photos from inside rehearsal!

Desirée Hassler and Colleen Bruton join DR. SEUSS AT THE OPERA at Skokie TheatreDesirée Hassler and Colleen Bruton join DR. SEUSS AT THE OPERA at Skokie Theatre
September 22, 2022

JAM Orchestra is continuing into its 5th illustrious season with something a little different: a family friendly concert of two Dr. Seuss OPERAS!

12 Singers Selected for the 2023/24 Ensemble at The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center12 Singers Selected for the 2023/24 Ensemble at The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center
September 22, 2022

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, the professional artist-development program at Lyric Opera of Chicago, announced the 12 singers who have been selected for its 2023/24 Ensemble at Final Auditions held on September 20 in the Ardis Krainik Theatre.

Greek National Opera's Tribute Concerts Honoring Mikis Theodorakis Continue Throughout 2022–23 SeasonGreek National Opera's Tribute Concerts Honoring Mikis Theodorakis Continue Throughout 2022–23 Season
September 21, 2022

The Greek National Opera (GNO) continues its three-year cycle celebrating and commemorating Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021) throughout the 2022-23 season with concerts presented on its main stage, Stavros Niarchos Hall, and its Alternative Stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center beginning in September and October.