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Idaspe follows two children from the post-war Middle East who came to Naples as refugees. They are separated in an underworld where organized crime is more welcoming than ‘legitimate’ business, and grown to adulthood, the siblings become powerful bosses of two opposing clans. Artaserse, the more brutal, kidnaps two women from his rivals, an incident that will force a face-to-face clash in this escalating war.

The prison of the captives is a literal one, but all the characters are chained by circumstance and their emotions. Their existential struggle is described in transcendent music. Might they find that all-consuming power and violence are not the only means to survive?

Sung in Italian, English text projected above stage.


October 7 – 15, 2022 | 7:30 pm
Byham Theater

This performance has passed.


Vivica Genaux


Vivica Genaux

Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux plays the role created by composer Riccardo Broschi for his
brother, who would be known as Farinelli, heroic Dario, fitting for this renowned singer who has thrilled audiences and critics throughout the world with her vocal agility and artistic integrity. Her acclaimed career has taken Vivica from her native Alaska to many of the world’s most prestigious theaters and concert venues, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s Barbican Centre, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and the Wiener Staatsoper.

In 2022, Vivica celebrates the vitality of the Performing Arts by visiting new and favorite venues for performances of a broad array of music. Beginning the year in Italy, she returns to Opernhaus Zürich for Pergolesi’s L’olimpiade. Performances with Concerto de’ Cavalieri in Rome, Milan, and Naples are followed by a recital with Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera. She reunites with Les Musiciens du Louvre for a concert in Genoa before appearing in a special performance at Händel-Festspiele Halle, featuring fellow recipients of the Händel-Preis. Also in Germany, she sings Alcina in Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso at Konzerthaus Dortmund. Additional engagements in 2022 include performances in Asia, Europe, and the USA.

Vivica’s 2021 engagements included performances in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Sweden. She debuted in the title role of Vivaldi’s pasticcio opera Argippo and as Holofernes in Vivaldi’s oratorio Juditha triumphans and expands her Händel repertoire with portrayals of the title role in Tamerlano, Disinganno in Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, and Counsel in the final version of The Triumph of Time and Truth. She also presented the first performances of two new concert programs, Capriccio: temi e variazioni and The Court of Dresden.

Recent highlights of Vivica’s career include reprising the role of Vagaus in Juditha triumphans; her Il divino Sassone; the first performances of her solo show Vivica & Viardot and Gender Stories with countertenor Lawrence Zazzo; and her debuts in the title role of Hasse’s Irene and as Trasimede in Riccardo Broschi’s Merope. Encompassing music from five centuries, Vivica’s repertoire is anchored by lauded portrayals of Baroque
and bel canto roles, including many travesti parts. Her Metropolitan Opera debut was in the role that she has sung most frequently, Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Additionally, Vivica has been instrumental in introducing neglected works to modern audiences. Vivica is a passionate advocate for the renewal of interest in the music of Johann Adolf Hasse, and her efforts were recognized with the 2019 Hasse-Preis.
She received the City of Halle’s Händel-Preis in 2017, expanding a gallery of prizes that includes the 1997 ARIA Award, New York City Opera’s 2007 Christopher Keene Award, and Pittsburgh Opera’s 2008 Maecenas Award. Vivica’s dedication to sharing her expertise and love for the voice is manifested in her creation of V/vox Academy and in fruitful teaching engagements. Vivica continues to expand her discography with celebrated recordings.

John Holiday


John Holiday

Countertenor John Holiday creates the title role Idaspe, friend and comrade-in-arms to Dario. He has performed at world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican Center, and the Philharmonie de Paris. His career highlights include a tour with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the world premiere of Daniel Bernard Roumain’s We Shall Not Be Moved with Opera Philadelphia and the Dutch National Opera.

In addition, John has curated The John Holiday Experience (JHE) to showcase his affinity and talent for many different genres from pop and jazz to R&B. The 2021-22 season is filled with many exciting debuts for John, beginning with his debut at the Hollywood Bowl under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in an all-Gershwin program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; followed by his Metropolitan Opera debut in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice as Orpheus’s Double under the baton of Yannick NézetSéguin; as well as his debut with the New York Philharmonic in Handel’s Messiah under the baton of Jeannette Sorrell; and capping off the season with his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Barrie Kosky’s
production of Agrippinain in the role of Nerone.

John will also reprise his signature role of the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Utah Opera and The Dallas Opera. In the midst of his operatic season, John has also released two pop singles - “Alive in Me” and “Waste Mine”. He has received numerous accolades, such as the 2017 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, the 2014 Richard Tucker Foundation’s
Sara Tucker award, first place at the 2013 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, the 2012 Sullivan Foundation, the 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and third place in the 2014 OPERALIA competition.

Karim Sulayman


Karim Sulayman

Lebanese-American tenor Karim Sulayman is perfectly cast as the complex character Artaserse. He has garnered international attention as a sophisticated and versatile artist, consistently praised for his sensitive and intelligent musicianship, riveting stage presence, and beautiful voice.

The 2019 Best Classical Solo Vocal GRAMMY® Award winner, he continues to earn acclaim for his programming and recording projects, while regularly performing on the world’s stages in opera, orchestral concerts, recital and chamber music.

Current and recent season highlights include engagements at Carnegie Hall (solo recital debut, 2022), Spoleto Festival USA, where his original piece Unholy Wars will have its world premiere in May, Aldeburgh Festival, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and Ravinia Festival, as well as with Chicago, Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras, and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. He will additionally perform leading roles with Drottningholms Slottsteater, Houston Grand Opera, Florentine Opera, New York City Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera.

Karim won the 2019 GRAMMY® Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album for his debut solo album, Songs of Orpheus. His second solo album, Where Only Stars Can Hear Us, a program of Schubert Lieder with fortepianist Yi-heng Yang, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart and has received international critical acclaim, including being named “Critic’s Choice” by Opera News and included in the New York Times’ Best Classical Music of 2020. Karim has been featured on PBS Great Performances, and appears on the second season of Dickinson on Apple TV+.

In November 2016, Karim created a social experiment/performance art piece called I Trust You, designed to build bridges in a divided political climate. A video version of this experiment went “viral” on the internet and was honored as a prize-winner at the My Hero Film Festival. Karim has been invited to give talks and hold open forums with student and adult groups about inclusion, empathy, healing from racism, and activism through the arts.

Pascale Beaudin


Pascale Beaudin

Pascale Beaudin lends her strong and lyrical soprano to Berenice, beloved of Idaspe. A native of Quebec, Pascale sings on operatic stages in Canada, in France and the United States in roles such as Zerlina, Papagena, Fiordiligi, Oscar, and Marzelline, earning praise from the Washington Post, the New York Times and Opera News Magazine.

Her incomparable diction, intelligent musicality and expressivity make her much-sought for concert and recital work. Pascale has been a soloist with Chatham Baroque, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Lanaudière Festival and the Orford Festival. One of six singers featured on the critically acclaimed 5-disc release Mélodies complètes de Francis Poulenc with pianist Olivier Godin, on the ATMA label, she is also featured on the world premiere recordings of Les femmes vengées by Philidor, with Opera Lafayette on the Naxos label, and Nicandro e Fileno by Lorenzani with Les Boréades on the ATMA label.

Her performances in Léonore by Gaveaux and Leonore by Beethoven with Opera Lafayette have been released to DVD on Naxos. Pascale is a member of the Four Nations Ensemble, based in New York and specializing in Baroque chamber music.

Zoie Reams


Zoie Reams

Mezzo-soprano Zoie Reams has been lauded by Opera News for her “velvety mezzo” and for how she “phrase[s] with elegance and articulate[s] coloratura nimbly.”

In the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Reams makes her house debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Lily in James Robinson’s acclaimed production of Porgy and Bess. She is also a Company Member with Minnesota Opera, where she performs the title role of Carmen in a new production directed by Denyce Graves, and Dorothée in Joseph Bologne’s The Anonymous Lover. Finally, during the summer of 2022, she makes her house debut at Cincinnati Opera as Jane in the world premiere of Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith’s Castor and Patience. On the concert stage, she joins Minnesota Opera for Ópera Afuera, an outdoor concert at Allianz Field celebrating Latinx vocal music, as well as Voices United, a choral concert featuring operatic favorites.

In the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Reams made her role debut as Nancy in Albert Herring at Minnesota Opera conducted by Dame Jane Glover, returned to Houston Grand Opera both as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music and to reprise the title role in Damien Sneed’s Marian’s Song, and returned to Des Moines Metro Opera as Juno in Rameau’s Platée and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd. In concert, she rejoined Houston Grand Opera for the second annual Giving Voice recital, co-hosted by tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and also performed in a special holiday program at Minnesota Opera. Previously scheduled engagements included performances at Houston Grand Opera as Dodo in Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves and at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Witness 2/Singer 2/Woman 2 in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence.

In the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Reams returned to Houston Grand Opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto, sang the title role in the world premiere of Marian’s Song at HGOco, and joined Chicago Opera Theater as Jan Arnold in Joby Talbot’s Everest and Georgia Davenport in the world premiere of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride. In concert, she performed Handel’s Messiah with the Washington National Cathedral Choir and Baroque Orchestra. She had also been scheduled to reprise Maddalena in performances at Opera San Antonio.

Operatic highlights of previous seasons include her house debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Flora in La traviata and performances at Houston Grand Opera as the Third Secretary in John Adams’ Nixon in China, the Alto Winged Angel in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s A Wonderful Life, and Cece in the world premiere of Laura Kaminsky’s Some Light Emerges. In addition, she performed at Opera Columbus as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, sang the title role in Carmen at Opera Louisiane, and made her house and role debut at Des Moines Metro Opera as Margret in Wozzeck. Ms. Reams also completed her studies in the Houston Grand Opera studio, where she sang Flora, Dritte Magd in Elektra, and Rosalia in West Side Story, among other roles.

On the concert stage, she has performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Symphony Orchestra, Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, Bernstein’s First Symphony, Jeremiah, with the Staatstheater Cottbus Philharmonic Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with both the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the combined choirs of Auburn University and the New Choral Society of Scarsdale, New York.

Ms. Reams’ awards include second place at Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition (2016), first place winner of the Emerging Artist division of the Classical Singer Competition (2015), and second place winner of the Gulf Coast Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2016). She holds a Master of Music degree from Louisiana State University, where she sang Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Katisha in The Mikado, and Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict. She earned her Bachelor of Music at Lawrence University.

Shannon Delijani


Shannon Delijani

Iranian-American mezzo-soprano Shannon Delijani is the pivotal character Arbace. Shannon is praised for her versatility in repertoire that ranges from early music and bel canto to musical theater. She has received acclaim as Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito (Trentino Festival), the title role in Agrippina (Mannes Baroque Ensemble), Mrs. Olsen in Street Scene (Mannes Opera), Larina in Eugene Onegin (Mannes Opera), Ursule in Beatrice et Benedict (USC Opera) and Paulette in Kiss Me, Kate (Pittsburgh
Festival Opera).

Also with Pittsburgh Festival Opera she covered Andrey Nemzer in the title role in
Giulio Cesare in collaboration with Chatham Baroque. As a recitalist she has toured in France with Classic Lyric Arts and has appeared as a soloist with the Mannes Sounds Festival. Shannon is passionate about the creation of new work and has premiered or workshopped compositions by Leanna Kirchoff, Rachel J. Peters, Thomas Morse, and Dina Pruzhansky. In addition to her work as a performer, Shannon is a filmmaker and creative producer.

In 2020 she founded MAD SCENE, an interdisciplinary production
company based in Los Angeles. Her most recent film, La Dame de Monte Carlo, was an official selection of the Austin Arthouse Film Festival and earned her a nomination for the Rowlands Award for Best Female Performance.

Wei En Chan


Wei En Chan

Wei En Chan, playing Ircano of the Medes clan, is a Singaporean countertenor whose singing is lauded for its “time-stopping” beauty and technical finesse. He leads an active career in both Asia and North America, performing the major works of Bach and Handel in leading roles with numerous organizations including the Singapore International Festival of Art, The Opera People (TOP, Singapore), Bachfest Malaysia, and Red Dot Baroque (RDB).

He has appeared with First Lutheran Church of Boston, Boston Opera Collaborative, the American Bach Soloists, and others. Highlights include the title role in Handel’s Oreste with Singapore International Festival of Art, conducted by Tian Hui Ng, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Bachfest Malaysia, conducted by Dr. David Chin, and Ruggiero in
Handel’s Alcina with The Opera People, conducted by Red Dot Baroque’s Alan Choo.

Wei En earned his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with Dr. Ian Howell.

Creative Team

Claire van Kampen

Claire van Kampen, Hon.DMus, ARCM, originally trained at the Royal College of Music in London as a pianist specializing in the performance of 20th century music, premiering many works by today’s leading composers. She subsequently developed an international career as a composer/performer, writing and playing for theatre, radio, television and film soundtracks, and the concert hall. Her theatre career began with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1986, and then the Royal National Theatre in 1987, becoming the first female musical director with either company. From the opening of Shakespeare’s Globe, she served as Artistic Associate to Mark Rylance from 1996-2006. She is currently Globe Associate and Senior Research Fellow for Early Modern Music. In the US, van Kampen has created original scores for Broadway productions True West (2000), Boeing-Boeing (2008) and La Bete (2010), Twelfth Night and Richard III (2013-14) and her own authored play Farinelli and the King (2017) – all of which were nominated for Tony Awards. As well as adapting Farinelli and the King for the screen, van Kampen is involved as a writer and director of upcoming film and TV projects including Elaine de Kooning, soon to be filmed in New York City. Van Kampen’s composition for the ballet ‘Uncaged’- by choreographer Antonia Franceschi – premiered with the New York Theatre Ballet Company in February 2020. Recently, the New York Philharmonic invited Claire to direct a concert version of Hungarian composer György Kurtág’s opera based on Beckett’s Endgame.

Chatham Baroque

Andrew Fouts
Patricia Halverson
Scott Pauley

Chatham Baroque consists of Artistic Directors Andrew Fouts (violin), Patricia Halverson (viola da gamba), and Scott Pauley (theorbo & Baroque guitar) who invite an array of guest instrumentalists and vocalists for productions of world-class early music performed on period instruments. Like Quantum, it was founded in 1990 and celebrates 30 years. Chatham Baroque is “one of the country’s most distinguished period ensembles” (Palisadian Post), and “one of Pittsburgh’s greatest treasures” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). The ensemble has toured across the US, South America, Mexico, the Virgin Islands, and Canada. The New York Times praises their “colorful virtuosity;” the Washington Post calls them “musically impeccable.” Chatham Baroque and Quantum Theatre collaborated in 2015 to celebrate their mutual 25th Anniversary, making a Baroque-pastiche opera from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

The Team

Antonia Franceschi

Antonia Franceschi


Antonia Franceschi creates movement and dance for the diverse company and eight dancers chosen from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and other Pittsburgh performing groups. With a career divided between New York and London, Antonia was selected by George Balanchine for what would be a long, starring tenure at New York City Ballet, where works were created on her by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins, and in London by Mark Baldwin, Wayne McGregor, Michael Clarke, and Arlene Phillips among others.

Antonia is a Time Out Award-Winner for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. She has been a guest artist at Royal Opera House, Tate Modern, Sadler’s Wells, Royal Albert Hall, and Shakespeare’s Globe. She produced four seasons of The New York Ballet Stars (Royal Festival Hall, Harrogate Festival, Festival de Sintra). Her company AFD Just Dance has performed at Valetta Opera House and Royal Winchester Theatre, and she has been commissioned by Ballet Black, Ballet NY, The New York Theater Ballet, Barnard College, Rambert School, and Gala Madrid Real (for a duet for Joaquin de Luz and Katey Culler).

A frequent collaborator with Claire van Kampen and Mark Rylance, she recently choreographed Dr. Semmelweis for Bristol Old Vic and workshopped the play Steel at
Guthrie Theatre. Early in her career, Antonia was seen in mainstream breakout roles in popular films like Grease and starred in Alan Parker’s Fame. Antonia loves teaching, and currently teaches or coaches for the Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, McGregor Random Dance, Alvin Ailey and many other companies.

Narelle Sissons

Narelle Sissons

Scenic Design

Narelle Sissons has provided scenic design previously for Quantum Theatre on The Task, Dream of Autumn, All The Names, Collaborators and An Odyssey. On Broadway she designed All My Son's at The Roundabout Theatre, and for Off-Broadway, the original productions of How I Learned To Drive, Stop Kiss, In The Blood, Kit
Marlowe, Julius Caesar and Little Flower of East Orange, at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre.

Also in NYC, Narelle designed many productions with: Mabou Mines, LAByrinth Theatre Company, where she is a company member, Playwrights Horizons, WP Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop.

Narelle is a Fulbright Specialist, and has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, and Kevin Kline Awards, amongst others, and she is an exhibitor at the Prague Design Quadrennial, 2007 and 2011. Narelle is a Professor of Design at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.

Mary Ellen Stebbins

Mary Ellen Stebbins

Lighting Design

Mary Ellen Stebbins (Lighting Design). Recent credits include MCC Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Florentine Opera, Working Theater, Northern Stage, Talking Band, Prototype, Harvard University. She is a member of Sightline Arts and the Resident Designer for HOWL Ensemble and Third Space. Recognitions include a 2020 Bessie Award nomination, a 2019 Opera America Tobin Finalist, a 2016 Henry Hewes Award nomination, a 2014 Live Design Young Designer to Watch, the 2011 USITT Barbizon Lighting Design Award winner, and a 2009 Hangar Theatre Lab Company Design Fellow. Member USA 829. MFA, Boston University; AB, Harvard College. Mary Ellen currently teaches lighting design at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.
Ilona Samogyi

Ilona Somogyi

Costume Design

Ilona Somogyi is thrilled to make her Quantum Theatre premiere and be reunited with director Claire van Kampen. Theater credits include: London West End: Nice Fish (Previously at St. Ann’s Warehouse and ART.) Broadway: Clybourne Park. Off-Broadway: Gloria (Vineyard, currently playing at the Goodman Theater, Chicago,) Body of an American, Satchmo at the Waldorf, Dinner With Friends, My Name is Asher Lev, A Soldier’s
Tale (Zankel Hall), The Lying Lesson, Almost an Evening, Scarcity (Atlantic), Maple and Vine, A Small Fire (Playwrights Horizons), Jerry Springer: The Opera (Carnegie Hall), and the original production of Wit. Recent Regional: Carousel, King Hedley II, Smokey Joe’s Café (Arena Stage), Oklahoma at Glimmerglass Opera, Grey Gardens (Ahmanson/LA,) Will Rogers Follies, Anything Goes, (Goodspeed Opera House,) Jane Eyre (also currently
playing at the Geva Theater in Rochester), Cloud 9, Heartbreak House, Romeo & Juliet, The Crucible, Gem of the Ocean, Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hartford Stage,) Richard III (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike, Nice Fish, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Guthrie), Disgraced, 4000 Miles (Long Wharf), Julius Caesar (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Good People (Huntington Theater),
Assassins, Three Sisters, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and Passion Play (Yale Rep). She is a graduate of the Yale MFA program and also an Associate Professor of Design at The David Geffen School of Drama.
at Yale.
Daniel Nesta Curtis

Daniel Nesta Curtis


Daniel Nesta Curtis is a conductor noted for his adventurous programming and advocacy for underrepresented composers. Curtis joined the faculty of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. As Artistic Director of the CMU Contemporary Ensemble, Curtis has premiered more than 100 compositions by Pittsburgh composers and in 2015 Curtis launched Co-Opera, a collaborative project between CMU and Pittsburgh Opera which has, to date, produced 12 new chamber operas.

From 2011-2013, Curtis was the Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and in November 2016, Curtis made his debut conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony in an interactive family concert. Curtis is a frequent collaborator with Kamertōn, Alia Musica, BrassRoots, Resonance Works, and Nat28.

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