Experiments in Opera commissioned a collection of six ‘Radio Operas’ that explore a wide range of stories highlighting the composers’ interests in Modern abstractionism, science fiction, melodrama, satire, hallucinatory experiences, scientific discoveries, and pop culture icons.

The six featured composers were Jason Cady & Ann Heppermann, John King, Jonathan Mitchell, Paul Pinto, Aaron Siegel, and Matthew Welch.

These are not nostalgic homages to the radio plays of yesteryear. EiO’s Radio Operas are daring new operatic works created by some of the premiere experimental composers of today and designed specifically with this format in mind. Rather than prioritizing stage design and visual storytelling, these opera vignettes feature sound effects performed live by a Foley artist, spoken text, music and singing and will rely on the imagination of the listener to create the image of the stories.

This inversion of standard operatic presentation was made complete when the six featured works were recorded at the studios of Q2 Music for world premiere webcasts and on-demand streaming.

Radio Operas Promo Trailer

Thomas Paine In Violence (radio edit)
Music by Paul Pinto
Text by Rick Burkhardt and Paul Pinto
Joan La Barbara – Thomas Paine (spirit)
Paul Pinto – electronics
Miguel Frasconi – electronics

The Collector
Text and music by Aaron Siegel
Karl Larson – piano
Matt Evans – vibraphone
Jamie Jordan – soprano
Aaron Siegel – The Collector

The Mutt
Text and music by Matthew Welch
Taylor Levine – guitar
James Moore – guitar
Matthew Welch  – words and electronics
Matt Otto – Foley artist

Music by John King
Text by Samuel Beckett
Joan La Barbara – soprano, brake drums
John King – viola, electronics

I Need Space
Music by Jason Cady
Text by Jason Cady and Ann Heppermann
Vince B. Vincent – tenor
Erin Flannery – soprano
Karl Larson – piano
Jason Cady – modular synthesizer, vocoder
Mary Halvorson – guitar
Matt Otto – Foley artist

The Extractor
Story and music by Jonathan Mitchell
produced & directed by Jonathan Mitchell
associate producer: Kerry Kastin
Matt Evans – marimba
Shawn Lovato – double bass
Isabel Kim – clarinet
Ed Herbstman – actor
Kevin Cragg – actor
Annemarie Cullen – actor
Dennis Pacheco – actor
Rebbeca Robles – actor

Levy Lorenzo, Sound Designer
Megan Lang, Lighting Designer