Thursday, August 24 at 7:30 Sunday, August 27 at 3:00

“It is everything art should be: beautiful, thought-provoking, engrossing, chilling, disturbing, breathtaking.”


Dark Sisters is a story of resilience, survival, and ultimately of hope, as seen through the eyes of one extraordinary woman. Living within the confines of a polygamist, patriarchal cult, the opera follows the journey of Eliza, a sister-wife who questions what she has been taught and emerges as a singular voice, one who is no longer content to be one of many. This haunting work by Nico Muhly, one of America’s most popular and prolific composers, charts one woman’s quest for self-discovery in a world where personal identity is forbidden.

Eliza: Lindsay Ohse
Presendia: Sarah Beaty
Ruth: Hannah Penn
Almera: Vanessa Isiguen
Zina: Emily Way
Lucinda: Madeline Ross
Prophet/King: Nathan Stark

Conductor: Deanna Tham
Director: Kristine McIntyre
Set Design: Megan Wilkerson
Costume Design: Lucy Wells
Lighting Design: Solomon Weisbard

From the Artistic Director, Christopher Mattaliano

I saw the world premiere production of Dark Sisters in 2012. This one has stayed with me. Actually, it’s haunted me for the past 10 years. I think it’s one the best modern operas in the rep today—a powerful libretto with deeply expressive music.

Nico Muhly is a true “vocal” composer who understands the human voice. His background as a choral singer is deeply felt in the ensembles for the six women’s voices, which is some of the most beautiful vocal writing I’ve ever heard, not only in “modern” opera, but in all opera. This is a rich, moving work. I believe it’s here to stay.

From the Stage Director, Kristine McIntyre

It is still unusual in opera to center women’s voices and women’s stories, and yet this is exactly what composer Nico Muhly and librettist Stephen Karam have done. Muhly’s score is the embodiment of one among many, with beautiful choral moments that lets us hear these women united in grief, in longing, in desire. But it also allows Eliza to emerge as a singular voice, one who is no longer content to simply be one of many.

It is so fitting that this opera is conceived as one young woman’s journey, because it is largely women who brought down FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, through their brave testimony and willingness to speak out against injustice and abuse. These women continue to support others who have left and the sisters and children they left behind. They bear powerful witness to women’s resilience against evil and to the strength and beauty of the human spirit. I am proud to be part of telling their stories.

From the Conductor, Deanna Tham

Nico Muhly’s musical language so expertly pits expansiveness against passionately personal voices. Bringing the complexity of this musical language to light has been particularly exciting for me, as I find much of the joy and meaning in music is the ability to bring into harmony conflicting voices, colors, and even senses of the passing of time. Muhly brings each woman’s personal story, coping mechanisms, survival techniques, and personalities into specific light, while never losing sight of how all these traits work together to build a full scope of humanity in this little society in which the opera is set. And this is all painted against the vastness of the red Utah landscape bringing the weight of the geologic expanse of time as we explore this tiny microcosm of our experience.

Working on this production has been a catharsis for me. To explore a work where these women are finding or losing themselves in a world that is not theirs—I think many of us, no matter our upbringing or belonging can relate as the world rapidly continues to change. It is a true honor and challenge to work on a piece that so adeptly brings emotionality to the complexity of modern existence.

Composer and Librettist

Nico Muhly

Nico Muhly


Nico Muhly (b.1981) is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Philadelphia Orchestra and others, he has written more than 80 works for the concert stage, including the operas Two Boys (2010), Dark Sisters (2011), and Marnie (2017), which premiered at the English National Opera and was staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018; the song cycles Sentences 2015), for countertenor Iestyn Davies, and Impossible Things (2009), for tenor Mark Padmore; a viola concerto for violist Nadia Sirota; the choral works My Days (2011) and Recordare, Domine (2013), written for the Hilliard Ensemble and the Tallis Scholars respectively and most recently Register (2018), a work for organ and orchestra written for James McVinnie and premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Muhly is a frequent collaborator with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and, as an arranger, has paired with Joanna Newsom and Antony and the Johnsons, among others. Planetarium, a large work co-written with Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner, was released on 4AD records. He has composed for stage and screen, with credits that include music for the 2013 Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie and scores for the films Kill Your Darlings; Me; the Academy Award-winning The Reader; and the BAFTA nominated BBC mini-series Howards End. Born in Vermont, Muhly studied composition with John Corigliano and Christopher Rouse at the Juilliard School before working as an editor and conductor for Philip Glass. He is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes (2006) and Mothertongue (2008). He currently lives in New York City.

Stephen Karam

Stephen Karam


Stephen Karam is the Tony Award-winning author of The Humans, Sons of the Prophet and Speech & Debate. For his work he’s received two Drama Critics Circle Awards, an OBIE Award and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Stephen recently directed his first feature film, a rethought version of The Humans for A24 films, to be released in 2021. He wrote a film adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull starring Annette Bening, which was released by Sony Picture Classics. His adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard premiered on Broadway as part of Roundabout’s 2016 season. Recent honors include the inaugural Horton Foote Playwriting Award, the inaugural Sam Norkin Drama Desk Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, Drama League Award, and Hull-Warriner Award.

Stephen teaches graduate playwriting at The New School. He is a graduate of Brown University and grew up in Scranton, PA.


Lindsay Ohse

Lindsay Ohse


Soprano Lindsay Ohse continues to illuminate four centuries’ worth of repertoire with her “dazzling and crystal clear” voice. In 2022-2023, Ms. Ohse will return to the Metropolitan Opera as Papagena in The Magic Flute and cover Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore. She will also sing Musetta in La bohème with Annapolis Opera, Violetta in La traviata with Opera Delaware and Opera Baltimore, and Countess Adele in Le comte Ory with Opera Southwest.

During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Ohse returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Naomie in Cinderella and reprised the role of Bekhetaten in the critically acclaimed Akhnaten. She also made her Bayerische Staatsoper debut singing 1st Niece in a new production of Peter Grimes – a role she will reprise with the company in 22-23.

During the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Ohse returned to the Metropolitan Opera to cover the Crowned Child in Macbeth, sing Bekhetaten in Akhnaten and cover Clorinda in La cenerentola as well as returning to Opera Delaware as the title role in The Coronation of Poppea (COVID19) and debuting the role of Violetta in La traviata with the Princeton Festival (COVID19). During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Ohse was slated to return to the Metropolitan Opera to cover the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel and Frasquita in Carmen as well reprising the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Opera Southwest. As part of the Opera Southwest COVID19 programming, Ms. Ohse did sing the role of Serpetta in La serva pedrona. In 2021, Ms. Ohse returned to Sarasota Opera to perform the role of Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

Sarah Beaty

Sarah Beaty


Mezzo-soprano Sarah Beaty has been hailed as “the model of bel canto clarity and brilliance” (Cleveland Classical). Her versatile voice showcases a wide range of repertoire, with a specialty in contemporary opera. Sarah is “mesmerizing” and “sings with a purity of sound that filled the room with an array of colors” (Cleveland Classical). Her “warm musicality” and “vitality” (The New Yorker) captivates audiences across the country in her adventurous performances.

She recently moved to Portland from Los Angeles, where she was a frequent soloist with the LA Philharmonic, including in a landmark new production of Meredith Monk’s Atlas directed by Yuval Sharon, John Cage’s Europeras 1 & 2, and Hindemith’s Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen. In 2022 she had another triumphant performance with the LA Phil of Louis Andriessen’s De Staat, conducted by John Adams. Highlights of the 2021-22 season also included Sarah’s debut with Eugene Opera as Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, her debut with Long Beach Opera in Philip Glass’s Les Enfant Terribles, Bach cantatas with Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the commercial release of an album on the Naxos label featuring Margaret Brouwer’s 12-tone song cycle Declaration.

Sarah is an inaugural Company Member with The Industry, Yuval Sharon’s experimental opera company in LA. She has collaborated with them on multiple world premieres including Hopscotch, Galileo, Bonnie and Clyde, and Invisible Cities, the 2014 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A champion of new music, Sarah is in demand by composers to bring their work to life for the very first time. She has premiered works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Ellen Reid, Chris Cerrone, Margaret Brouwer, Marc Lowenstein, Andy Akiho, Andrew McIntosh, and Victoria Bond, among others.

Since moving to Portland, she has been a soloist with Cappella Romana, In Mulieribus, Resonance Ensemble, and the Eugene Symphony. Although her specialty is contemporary opera, Sarah is also passionate about early music. Her interpretation of Hildegard’s songs and hymns were praised as “sung with blinding luminosity” (LA Times). She is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and teaches private voice lessons from her studio in Milwaukie.

Hannah Penn

Hannah Penn


Hannah Penn, a mezzo-soprano, enjoys a diverse career as a performer of opera, oratorio, and recital literature. Frequently praised for her musicality and the timbre of her voice, Ms. Penn has recently been called “…a major talent”, and “…an intelligent and wonderfully musical singer” by Portland’s Willamette Week, and was praised for having “…intriguing colors at both ends of her range” by The Oregonian. She has sung more than twenty operatic roles with Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Tacoma Opera, Opera Bend, Eugene Opera, Opera Coeur D’Alene, and many other companies.

As a past member of Portland Opera’s studio artist program, Ms. Penn sang the roles of Diana (LA CALISTO), Thisbe (LA CENERENTOLA), Mercedes (CARMEN), Flora (LA TRAVIATA), and Nancy (ALBERT HERRING). She also sang her first CARMEN with Portland Opera, which garnered critical acclaim and resulted in a chance to reprise the role following season with the Teatro National Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. Ms. Penn has since returned to Portland Opera many times as a guest artist, most notably as “Hannah After” in AS ONE, Julie in SHOW BOAT, and L’enfant in Ravel’s L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILEGES.

A strong proponent of new works, Ms. Penn has performed in the American premiere tours of John Adam’s EL NINO and Sven-David Sandstrom’s HIGH MASS, and has been involved in the American premiers of several operas, including Anthony Davis’ WAKONDA’S DREAM, Richard Rodney Bennett’s THE MINES OF SUPLHUR, and David Carlson’s ANNA KARENINA.

Ms. Penn also enjoys a full concert schedule, having been featured with orchestras around the country, including many appearances with the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Sunriver Music Festival, the Florida Philharmonic, and the Seattle Baroque.

A dedicated and passionate teacher, Ms. Penn maintains a large private studio, in addition to positions on faculty at Portland State University, Linfield University, and Aquilon Music Festival. She has been Portland Opera’s regular pre-show lecturer for the past six years. Ms. Penn received her doctorate of musical arts from New England Conservatory last fall, after rediscovering the manuscript parts and reconstructing the full score for a lost American opera, SHANEWIS, by Charles Wakefield Cadman. The semi-biographical piece tells the life story of Cadman’s friend and colleague, Native American operatic mezzo-soprano Tsianina Redfeather.
This season’s engagements include two concerts with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, concerts, and recording projects with Portland’s medieval music group In Mulieribus, concerts with the Salem Festival Chorale and Salem Winds, and a series of Bach cantatas in Leipzig, Berlin, and Prague, with the Leipzig Bach Festival. Next season, Ms. Penn will perform Peter Maxwell Davies’ one-woman show, MISS DONNITHORNE’S MAGGOT with Third Angle.

Vanessa Isiguen

Vanessa Isiguen


Acclaimed by the New York Times as “radiant” American soprano Vanessa Isiguen recently joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera to cover the dual role of Kitty/ Vanessa in the premiere of THE HOURS by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Greg Pierce, conducted by Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Maestro Kensho Watanabe. During the 2022-2023 season she made her Dublin debut in the title role of MADAMA BUTTERFLY with Lyric Opera of Ireland and had engagements as the soprano soloist with the Oregon Symphony conducted by David Danzmayr, Eugene Opera as Mimi LA BOHEME, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic as the Soprano Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. She looks forward to singing the role of Almera in DARK SISTERS by Nico Muhly with OrpheusPDX this summer. Ms. Isiguen will return to the Metropolitan Opera in the 23-24 season to cover the role of Liù in TURANDOT in addition to Kitty/ Vanessa in the THE HOURS.

Ms. Isiguen has a great passion for new music and was thrilled to create the role of Nila in the world premiere of chamber opera TRES MINUTOS with the Seattle Symphony/ Music of Remembrance last summer. She worked closely with composer Nicolas Benavides and librettist Marella Martin Koch singing a tour of performances in Seattle and San Francisco. She looks forward to reprising the role with the San Diego Symphony in 2024. Ms. Isiguen began the 2021-22 season with her New Orleans Opera debut, reprising her signature role as Mimì LA BOHEME with Maestro Joseph Colaneri. Previously Ms. Isiguen made her Florida Grand Opera debut as Cio-Cio-San MADAMA BUTTERFLY garnering praise from Palm Beach Arts, “Isiguen’s Butterfly was moving and beautifully sung… she has a big fresh voice with plenty of stamina f o r an opera that requires her almost constant presence, and serious acting chops that made her lovable, believable, and tragic on the stage «the performance was a triumph, and the audience loved her.” Vanessa was subsequently featured as a soloist at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, UK singing the famous aria “Un bel dì vedremo”, with Maestro Nicola Luisotti for the Insights Program Concert.

Other notable engagements include the starring role of Roberta Alden AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Tobias Picker and librettist Gene Scheer with Glimmerglass Opera Festival. She was featured in The New York Times video clip depicting her singing at the beginning of the eerily famous drowning scene. New York Arts wrote, “Vanessa Isiguen (Roberta) was completely convincing as the tragic heroine both vocally and dramatically”, and Classical Voice America described Vanessa as “A strong, well rounded soprano who sang the fiendishly high and difficult role easily.” She sang the role of Spirit in the Metropolitan Opera workshop of THE SORROWS OF FREDERICK by Scott Wheeler, conducted by Steven Osgood, and the New York City premiere of the Spanish opera IL POSTINO by Daniel Catan as Beatrice Russo.

Vanessa made her debut with the Oregon Symphony as a featured soloist under the baton of Maestro Carlos Kalmar, and her Portland Opera debut as Mimì LA BOHÈME with Maestro George Manahan to rave reviews. Opera News boasts, “Vanessa Isiguen brought to Mimì good looks, a lovely soprano, and loads of personality… ‘Si, mi chiamano Mimì’ had variety and nuance from spinto bloom to light chatter.”

Other roles include Nedda I PAGLIACCI, Violetta LA TRAVIATA, Liù TURANDOT, Micaëla CARMEN, THAЇS, RUSALKA, La Contessa and Susanna LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Donna Elvira DON GIOVANNI. Vanessa has performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, New Orleans Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Tampa, Vashon Opera, Opera Idaho, and Eugene Opera. She has won top prizes from Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, The Gerda Lissner Foundation NYC, Connecticut Opera Guild, Jenny Lind Competition, and the Bel Canto Competition. Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Music from UNC Chapel Hill, a Master of Music from Boston Conservatory, and a Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music – The New School in New York City.

Emily Evelyn Way

Emily Evelyn Way


Hailed as “captivating in her performance” (The Register-Guard, Eugene OR) and “lovely… with a well-focused tone” (Opera News), Emily Evelyn Way is a lyric coloratura soprano based in the Pacific Northwest. She was most recently seen as Madame Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor in a joint production with Opera Bend and the Central Oregon Symphony, in recital at Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel, Oregon, and in concert with Ping and Woof Opera, singing works from L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Pasquale and La Traviata. Past roles include Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore (Opera Bend), Adele in Die Fledermaus (Eugene Opera), Laurie in The Tender Land, Héro in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Benedict (Eugene Opera), Beth in Little Women (Eugene Opera, Astoria Music Festival), Flora in The Turn of the Screw (Eugene Opera, Opera on the Avalon), and Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel (Opera on the Avalon). Ms. Way has also served as the cover for Violetta in La Traviata (Amore Opera) and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor (New York Opera Exchange). Other notable operatic roles include Königin der Nacht, Nanetta, and Zerlina, among others. This season, Ms. Way is thrilled to make her debut with OrpheusPDX in Portland, OR.

An active recitalist and a frequent presence on concert stages, she was recently seen as the Soprano Soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in the Portland area. Notably, Ms. Way made her Mexican debut as the Soprano Soloist in Carmina Burana with the Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado in Alamos, Mexico, which was broadcast nationally. She has performed in concert with Music at the Gate in Queens, NY as the Soprano Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Exsultate, Jubilate, as well as Bach’s Cantata No. 51. Other notable concerts include Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at Immaculate Conception Church in Bronx, NY, and a recital series based at St. Martin and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan.

In addition to singing, Ms. Way is an accomplished church musician and organist, currently serving as Director of Music at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mt. Angel, Oregon. She leads their Parish Choir and Children’s Choir, and founded their Schola Cantorum, which focuses on Renaissance polyphony. Ms. Way is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and St. Olaf College. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two daughters.

Madeline Ross

Madeline Ross


“Tiny powerful soprano”, Madeline Ross recently made her Portland Opera debut as the First Woodspite in Dvorak’s Rusalka and role debuts of Tamiri in Il Re Pastore by Mozart and Lucinda in Dark Sisters by Nico Muhly with OrpheusPDX. In 2024 she won the Anne Marie Gertz Prize at the National Artist Awards competition, and premiered Qaqnus (Phoenix) by Sahba Aminikia with Music of Remembrance in Seattle, WA. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 as a jazz soloist where she “scatt[ed] to beat the band” (NY Concert Review). Ms. Ross has performed with Portland Opera, The Oregon Symphony, Fear No Music, Resonance Ensemble, 45th Parallel, Opera Theater Oregon, Shaking the Tree Theatre, and Music of Remembrance, and was hailed for “effortlessly nailing” her performance as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Oregon ArtsWatch). She won first prize at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Classical Voice Competition in 2020 and was honored to take part in a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. premiering An African American Requiem with Resonance Ensemble and NEWorks Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Ross is a founder and Executive Director of Renegade Opera, Portland’s unconventional and accessible opera company! Upcoming performances with Renegade Opera include Orlofsky’s Party, a new adaptation of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus. |

Nathan Stark

Nathan Stark


Praised by the Washington Post for his voice of “unearthly power,” The Houston Press as a “blow away singer,” and the San Jose Mercury News as a “natural comic actor,” the award-winning bass-baritone Nathan Stark has performed on opera, concert stages throughout the United Staes, Europe and China.

Mr. Stark has performed over 50 professional roles with opera houses throughout North America, including the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Virginia Opera and Opera San José. Some of his noted operatic roles have included Mustafà in L’Italiana in Algeri, both Don Basilio and Don Bartolo in il Barbiere di Siviglia, Leporello and il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Monterone and Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Colline in La Bohème, Banco in Macbeth and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Stark has performed as a concert soloist with the Symphony Orchestras of Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Holland, and San Diego, as well as with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, and Chicago Philharmonic.

This season he is at the Metropolitan opera covering Angelotti in Tosca, Prison Guard in Lady Macbeth of Mtsenk, and Fourth Noble in Lohengrin. Last summer, he sang the role of Moscone in Harvey Milk for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. During the 2020-2021 season, Stark was an artist in residence with Opera San José, writing and constructing on line music programs and fundraisers for the company during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The season also saw his return to Dayton Opera for the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni; Opera Santa Barbara for Fasolt in Das Rheingold; and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for Simone in Gianni Schicchi. He also appeared in a digital recital with Opera Modesto. Cancellations included company returns to the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra as the bass soloist in The Defiant Requiem and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Dr. Podsnap for the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Awakenings.

In the 2021-2022 season, Stark is scheduled to make his company debut as Nerbulone in Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with West Edge Opera. He will return to Opera San José as the Sorcerer in Dido and Aeneas.

Stark has given recitals throughout the United States and Germany, concerts at the Great Wall of China, the U.S. Colombian Embassy, U.S. French Embassy, U.S. Austrian Em- bassy and the Washington National Cathedral. In 2005 he was chosen to be the featured soloist for the nationally televised opening ceremonies of the Air Force One exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library for former First Ladies, Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan, members of the United States Senate and Congress, and President George W. Bush.

Stark has been a recipient of awards from the 2010 Fort Worth Opera Marguerite McCammon Competition, the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, the Brentwood Artist of Tomorrow Competition, the Sun Valley Opera Competition, the Westwood Vocal Competition, the Burbank Aria Competition, the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition, the Pasadena Opera Guild Competition, and the Opera Buffs Competition. He took first place in the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Corbett Scholarship Opera Competition and the Classical Singers Association Vocal Competition in Los Angeles, and was the 2006 San Diego District winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition.

A native of Hughson, California, Stark holds degrees in vocal & opera performance from California State University, Long Beach (B.M. & M.M.) and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (A.D.) His voice teachers have included Dr. Lewis Woodward, Dr. Cherrie Llewellyn, Ms. Shigemi Matsumoto, Ms. Marilyn Horne and Mr. Kenneth Shaw.

Production Team

Deanna Tham

Deanna Tham


Powerfully compelling, Deanna Tham is known for her captivating and tenacious spirit on and off the podium. She is currently Associate Conductor of the Oregon Symphony and Music Director of the Union Symphony Orchestra.

Previously, Tham was the Assistant Conductor of the Omaha Symphony, following her tenure as Assistant Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony and Principal Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras. She has performed at the Proms in Royal Albert Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and Seiji Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Center working with Maestros James Ross, Joseph Young, and Sir Antonio Pappano, as well as renowned artists Isobel Leonard and Joyce DiDonato. Highlights of the 2019-2020 season included leading the Jacksonville Symphony’s first educational Martin Luther King Jr. tribute concert and the Union Symphony’s first city-community Pops on the Plaza collaboration of Latin American pop and classical music. Additional recent engagements include Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra (NYO-USA and NYO2) and Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta with Maestro Mei-Ann Chen. Tham has also regularly guest conducted with the Boise Philharmonic and Ballet Idaho, is a cover conductor for the San Francisco Symphony, and has worked with world-renown soloists in a variety of genres including Melissa White, Capathia Jenkins, and Cherish the Ladies. Her past positions include those with the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Louisville Youth Orchestras, and American Chamber Opera.

Tham is also equally at home with a variety of musical genres. These projects include full-feature blockbuster movie scores, collaborations with Cirque Musica, Broadway artists, pop cover groups like Jeans ’n Classics, and independent artists like Silent Film Score connoisseur and composer, Ben Model.

Tham is a staunch advocate of music education from school education engagement and youth orchestral performing opportunities to lifelong learning. In 2018, Tham and the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras made their debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. Previously, she has worked with the Louisville Youth Orchestras and the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Tham has also created and presented educational concert series in a variety of formats. She has written original school-curriculum-based programs for numerous symphony orchestras and collaborated with organizations including Really Inventive Stuff, the Louisville Ballet Academy, and the International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute.

Tham is a second-place winner in the Youth Orchestra Conductor division of the American Prize. She was invited as a scholarship participant to the 2015 Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music working with renowned conductors Marin Alsop and James Ross. Additionally, she was the recipient of the 2015 Wintergreen Summer Music Academy Conductor’s Guild Scholarship where she worked with Master Teacher Victor Yampolsky. In 2013, Tham’s work with the National Music Festival was featured on National Public Radio as well as American Public Media. She has also made appearances at the Cadaques Orchestra International Conducting Competition.

Tham has been the Music Director of the American Chamber Orchestra. Her work with the company includes a groundbreaking semi-staged version of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, staged in English for the South Chicago community. During her time with the company, she worked with many talented musicians, including those who sing with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She made great strides making the company a strong presence in the Chicago area and has sold recordings of her work with the company on iTunes.

Tham holds a Professional Studies Certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Orchestral Conducting studying with Maestro Carl Topilow. She received her Master of Music in conducting with conducting program honors from Northwestern University studying with Dr. Mallory Thompson. There, she additionally worked with Dr. Robert Harris, Victor Yampolsky, and Dr. Robert Hasty, making her equally at home in wind, orchestral, and vocal settings. Tham received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in horn performance studying with Dennis Abelson, Zachary Smith, Bob Lauver, and Steven Kostyniak at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kristine McIntyre

Kristine McIntyre


Stage director Kristine McIntyre has directed more than 100 operas across the U.S.
with a focus on new, contemporary, and American works. Productions include Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby Dick (Utah Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Chicago Opera
Theater, Opera San Jose); Dead Man Walking (Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Des Moines
Metro Opera, Madison Opera); the world premieres of Karchin’s Jane Eyre (Center for Contemporary Opera), Mark Lanz Weiser and Amy Punt’s The Place Where You Started (Art Share, LA) and Celka Ojakanga and Amy Punt’s Mirror Game; new productions of Wozzeck, Billy Budd (regional Emmy award) and Peter Grimes as well as As One, Glory Denied and Soldier Songs (Des Moines Metro Opera, Urban Arias), Dove’s Flight (Pittsburgh Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Austin Opera), Heggie’s The End of the Affair (Lyric Opera of Kansas City) and Three Decembers (Des Moines Metro Opera); Florencia en el Amazonas (Madison Opera), Elmer Gantry (Tulsa Opera), Of Mice and Men (Utah Opera, Austin Opera, Tulsa Opera), the world premiere of Mechem’s John Brown(Lyric Opera of Kansas City); new productions ofStreet Scene, The Tender Land (Michigan Opera Theater), Horovitz’s Gentleman’s Island (Utah Opera) and Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit; and updated English-language version of Poulenc’s The Human Voice (Utah Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera), a staged concert version of Vanessa (Toledo Opera) and the world premiere of The Canticle of the Black Madonna (Newmark Theater, Portland).

Kristine recently returned to Des Moines Metro Opera to stage the world premiere of Kuster/Puts’ A Thousand Acres. Also in the 2022-2023 season, she creates a newly imagined production of The Magic Flute at Jacksonville Symphony, helms Rusalka at Pittsburgh Opera, returns to The Atlanta Opera for Don Giovanni, and returns to Madison Opera for their double-bill of Trouble in Tahiti/The Seven Deadly Sins. Highlights of the 2021-2022 season included Hometown to the World at Santa Fe Opera, revivals of her production of Flight at Utah Opera and Dallas Opera, a new production of Sweeney Todd for Des Moines Metro Opera (where she was recently appointed Artistic Consultant), the world premiere of Mark Lanz Weiser and Amy Punt’s Galaxies in Her Eyes – the first opera ever written specifically for a planetarium – and UNKnown, the cinematic premiere of a dramatic song cycle by Shawn Okpebholo and Marcus Amaker, commissioned by UrbanArias.

Other recent directing credits include a film-noir style Don Giovanni (Utah Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kentucky Opera, Pittsburgh Opera); an Emmy-award winning production of Manon (Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Santa Barbara); Semele, Otello, La Cenerentola, Tosca, Le nozze di Figaro, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria and La clemenza di Tito (Pittsburgh Opera); The Pearl Fishers (Utah Opera); Jenůfa, Eugene Onegin and La bohème (Des Moines Metro Opera); Lucia di LammermoorandMadama Butterfly(Arizona Opera);Cosìfan tutte,Norma,andThe Turn of the Screw(Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Il ritorno d’Ulisse, Lucia di Lammermoor and La traviata (Portland Opera); The Tales of Hoffmann, Un Ballo in Maschera, Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci and Così fan tutte (Madison Opera); Verdi’s Un giorno di regno (Wolf Trap Opera); La bohème (New Orleans Opera); Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci, Carmen and Werther (Kentucky Opera); Don Giovanni and Rigoletto (Tulsa Opera); Hansel and Gretel (Skylight Opera Theatre); Lucia di Lammermoor (Anchorage Opera); Tancredi (Opera Boston); La rondine (Oberlin in Italy); Béatrice et Bénédict and Viva la Mamma (Tacoma Opera), and Die Fledermaus, A Little Night Music, Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, and seven Gilbert and Sullivan operettas for Mock’s Crest in Portland.

Kristine began her career at San Francisco Opera and then spent eight years on the staff of the Metropolitan Opera where she directed revivals of La traviata, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Luisa Miller, and directed La traviata on tour in Japan and for HD broadcast as part of the Renée Fleming gala. She has trained opera singers in the studio programs at the Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, Portland Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera and has written and directed operatic adaptations for Portland Opera To Go, which reached over 100,000 people. Her recent bilingual adaptation of The Barber of Seville was produced to great acclaim at Atlanta Opera, Portland Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Houston Grand Opera/HGO CO and Chautauqua Opera.

Megan Wilkerson

Megan Wilkerson

Set Designer

Megan is a Resident Artist at Artists Repertory Theatre and a member of Chicago’s only women’s theatre, The Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Megan was a founding member of the artistic collective Bad Soviet Habits and was a Recipient of Chicago’s After Dark Award for Outstanding Scenic Design for her “thoroughly creepy” set for Marisa Wegrzyn’s PSALMS OF A QUESTIONABLE NATURE. Her Design work has also been recognized by The Chicago Tribune, The Oregonian, The Austin Critics Circle, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Regionally, Megan has worked with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Third Rail Repertory Theatre, The New Conservatory, Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Profile Theatre, Bag & Baggage Productions, Broadway Rose, Teatro Milagro, deFunkt Theatre, Theatre Vertigo, Northwest Classical Theatre, Next Act Theatre, The Skylight Opera, First Stage Children’s Theatre, The Michigan Opera Theatre, Pittsburgh Public, Portland Center Stage, and the Portland Opera.

In addition to her theatre work, Megan has worked as an art director and designer for companies such as LAIKA, Jack Morton, Sparks, and Derse Exhibits.

Megan is a member of United Scenic Artists 829 and holds an MFA in Design for the Theatre from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught theatre, design and art courses at Lewis & Clark College, Michigan State University, The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, St. Norbert College, Randolph-Macon Women’s college, Carroll University, Central Michigan University, the Milwaukee High School for the Arts, and The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis/ St. Paul.

Lucy Wells

Lucy Wells

Costume Designer

Lucy is a Portland-based theatrical costume designer and is thrilled to join Orpheus PDX. Lucy is originally from Jackson, Mississippi and holds a B.F.A. from the University of Southern Mississippi. Lucy spent the early years of her career working freelance as a costume designer, costume stitcher, and wardrobe supervisor at such theaters as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Berkshire Theatre Group in Massachusetts, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, The Rev Theatre in upstate New York, and Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts. Lucy is currently the costume shop supervisor/resident costume designer at Portland Center Stage. Lucy is always thankful and excited to be a part of the collaborative processes of bringing a production to life. Lucy is a member of IATSE local 154.

Solomon Weisbard

Solomon Weisbard

Lighting Designer

Originally from Portland, Solomon has created original works in drama, opera, dance, and music across the U.S., Canada, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia, and Slovenia. Highlights include Otello (Festspielhaus Baden Baden, Germany); Il Trovatore (Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Teatro Regio di Parma, Italy); Oedipus (Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, Greece; Ancient Theatre of Pompeii, Teatro Olimpico di Vicenza, and Teatro Mercadante di Napoli, Italy) all with Robert Wilson; Macbeth (directed by John Doyle at Classic Stage Company, NYC); The Shape of Things (created by Carrie Mae Weems at the Park Avenue Armory, NYC); Duat (Soho Rep, NYC); and Men on Boats (World Premiere: Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb, NYC).

Solomon’s work in dance, dance/theatre and avant-garde music includes original full-length pieces with Alethea Adsitt, Jennifer Archibald, Jonah Bokaer, Christine Bonansea, Joshua Beamish/MOVE, Maria Chavez, Ximena Garnica/Leimay, Lane Gifford, Invisible Anatomy, LoudHound Movement, Martha Graham Dance Company, Ofelia Loret de Mola, Patrick Lovejoy, Belinda McGuire, Stefanie Nelson, Patricia Noworol, The Nerve Tank (as resident designer), Jennifer Harrison Newman, Jen Shyu, Waxfactory, and four major works as associate set designer with Bill T. Jones.

Solomon was the associate lighting designer on the Broadway production of Jitney and its national tour, which earned lighting designer Jane Cox a tony nomination. Other associate credits include two seasons at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy (with AJ Weissbard); the Holland Festival in Amsterdam (for Tyler Micoleau); and at Minnesota Opera (with Steve TenEyck) among many others.

With students, Solomon served as a guest artist with Bard, Barnard, Connecticut College, City College, Columbia, DeSales, East Stroudsburg, Fordham, NYU/Tisch, The New School, Princeton, University of the Arts, University of Rochester, Quinnipiac, Willamette, and Yale. He is Assistant Professor of Scenic/Lighting Design at Portland State University.

He holds a BFA from Ithaca College and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he was a Stanley R. McCandless Fellow and a George Harrison Senie Scholar.

Sara Beukers

Sara Beukers

Hair and Makeup Designer

Sara has designed wigs and makeup for theatre, opera and dance companies all over the country including Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theater, Opera San Jose, Indianapolis Opera , Orlando Opera , New Orleans Opera , Tulsa Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Chautauqua Opera, The Wildwood Festival, The Western Opera Theatre Tour, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, The Willows Theatre Company, San Jose Stage Company, Diablo Light Opera Company, and the Aurora Theatre. She has also worked for the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Spoletto Festival USA and on several films and television shows including Metal Lords, Wild, Grimm, Shrill, and Leverage.

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