Opera Philadelphia


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Sky on Swings

World Premiere
Music by Lembit Beecher
Libretto by Hannah Moscovitch
American Repertoire Program
Performed in English with English supertitles

Part of  O18

Lembit Beecher's music is "hauntingly lovely and deeply personal."—San Francisco Chronicle

Frederica von Stade is "one of America's finest artists and singers."—The New York Times

Is there any grace in forgetting? Don’t miss the next new work brought to life at Opera Philadelphia, one of “the most creative and ambitious companies in this country” (The New York Times). This new 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.

World Premiere Dinner: September 20 at 9:30 p.m.

Following the final, stirring notes of the World Premiere of Sky on Swings, join us on Opening Night in the Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden for a dazzling evening with the artists. Learn more>>

Behind the Scenes: The set of Sky on Swings>>

MapPerelman Theater

Dates are Sept. 2018.

Thu, Sep 20 8:00 p.m.
Sat, Sep 22 1:30 p.m.
Tue, Sep 25 8:00 p.m.
Thu, Sep 27 8:00 p.m.
Sat, Sep 29 1:30 p.m.

The running time is approximately one hour and 18 minutes with no intermission.

Festival O is 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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