Opera Philadelphia

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Sky on Swings

Watch On-Demand
Through Aug. 31, 2020

Sky on Swings

Digital Premiere on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
World Premiere during Festival O18
Music by Lembit Beecher
Libretto by Hannah Moscovitch
Performed in English with English subtitles
Turn on YouTube subtitles by selecting the "CC" icon

Opera Philadelphia's first-ever Digital Festival continues with Sky on Swings. The stream will premiere on Friday, May 22 at 8:00 p.m. and will be available for viewing through Monday, August 31. Discover more about the Digital Festival.

Digital Festival O is generously funded, in part, by

Is there any grace in forgetting? This chamber opera finds fleeting beauty in memory loss through an unflinching yet uplifting exploration of living with Alzheimer’s disease. Frederica von Stade and Marietta Simpson embody this fantastical world premiere from composer Lembit Beecher, librettist Hannah Moscovitch, and director Joanna Settle.

This broadcast contains some strong language.


Dates are May 2020.

Fri, May 22 8:00 p.m.

The running time is approximately one hour and 32 minutes.

Digital Festival O is generously funded, in part, by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation.

Festival O18 presented in partnership with the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Aurora productions in the Perelman Theater are underwritten, in part, by the Wyncote Foundation at the recommendation of Frederick R. Haas, and Mr. Allen D. Black and Mr. R. Randolph Apgar. Additional production support received by the Allen R. and Judy Brick Freedman Venture Fund for New Opera.

The Composer in Residence Program is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon foundation.

Cast & Creative Team

Geoffrey McDonald
Geoffrey McDonald *Conductor
Joanna Settle
Joanna Settle *Director
Frederica von Stade
Frederica von Stadeas Danny
Marietta Simpson
Marietta Simpsonas Martha
Sharleen Joynt
Sharleen Joynt *as Winnie
Daniel Taylor
Daniel Tayloras Ira
Veronica Chapman-Smith
Veronica Chapman-Smithas Elder #1
Maren Montalbano
Maren Montalbanoas Elder #2 & Elderly Woman
George Somerville
George Somervilleas Elder #3
Frank Mitchell
Frank Mitchellas Elder #4 & Administrator
  • Andrew Lieberman Set Design
  • Tilly Grimes * Costume Design
  • Jorge Cousineau Projection Design
  • Pat Collins Lighting Design
  • Daniel Perelstein Sound Design
  • Kate Bergstrom * Assistant Director
  • Lisa Anderson Production Stage Manager
  • Brandon Ehrenreich Assistant Stage Manager
  • Tracy Hofmann Assistant Stage Manager
  • *Opera Philadelphia debut
Lembit Beecher & Hannah Moscovitch

Composer & Librettist

Lembit Beecher & Hannah Moscovitch

Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as “hauntingly lovely and deeply personal,” Lembit Beecher’s music combines alluring textures and vividly imaginative instrumental colors with a striking emotional immediacy. Learn more about Lembit Beecher.

Hannah Moscovitch is considered one of the strongest playwriting voices in Canada. Her work has won multiple awards, most recently the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Literature. Learn more about Hannah Moscovitch.


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