Baryshnikov Arts Presents: Jupiter’s Journey to the Earth

Opera | World Premiere
the little OPERA theatre of ny

May 10 at 7 PM, May 11 at 2 PM & 6 PM, May 12 at 2 PM
Baryshnikov Arts Center
Jerome Robbins Theater

Running time: 50 minutes

Costumes by Lara de Bruijn


Jupiter’s Journey to the Earth is based upon the story of Philemon and Baucis from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Franz Joseph Haydn’s opera Philemon und Baucis, oder Jupiters Reise auf die Erde was originally written for a marionette theater at the Royal Castle of Esterhazy in the 18th century. In the story, the gods look down upon the Earth and observe mankind’s cruelty towards one another and the world in which they live. At first, they throw storms upon the Earth as punishment for the humans’ bad behavior. But before destroying everything, the gods decide to search for any good people remaining. Jupiter and Mercury descend upon the Earth and discover a husband and wife whose kindness proves humanity is worth saving. 

Jupiter’s Journey to the Earth was created in part during a Baryshnikov Arts 2024 spring residency.


Gregory Sheppard* | Paul Whelan+

Rebecca Marchan-Espino* | Heather Jones+

Brian Downen* | Rufus Müller+

Jennifer Roderer* | Heather Johnson+ 

David Morgans* | Gabriel Hernandez 

Sara LeMesh* | Abigail Raiford+ 

The Olympians (Puppeteers)
Elise Wunderlich
Fergie L. Philippe
Manatsu Tanaka
J Hann
Aaron Banes



Opera by Franz Joseph Haydn
Libretto by Pfeffel & Bader
After a story by Ovid from Metamorphoses
Translation by Mark Herman & Ronnie Apter
Philip Shneidman, Director & Adaptation
Maria Camia, Puppetry
Seth Reiser, Lighting & Scenic Design
Lara de Bruijn, Costume Design
Jamil Chokachi, Production Stage Manager
Samantha Robbins, Production Manager
Cordelia Senie, Assistant Stage Manager
Catherine Miller, Associate Music Director
Angus Goodearl, Assistant Lighting Designer
Caitlyn Koester, Music Preparation
Elise Wunderlich, Assistant Puppet Builder
Stephanie Fisher, Assistant Costume Designer
Sarah Poultney, Company Manager
Anthony Francavila, Form Theatricals/Financial Management
Hallets Cove Studio, Graphics
Ralph Somma, Legal Counsel
Rich & Bander, Accountants


Elliot Figg, Conductor & Harpsichord
Kako Miura, Concert Master
Jeremy Rhizor and Jimmy Drancsak, Violins
Dan McCarthy, Viola
Caroline Nicolas, Cello
John Stajduhar, Double Bass
Kelsey Burnham, Traverso
Clay Zeller-Townson, Bassoon


Brian Downen
Highly regarded for his performances of the bel canto operatic repertoire, tenor Brian Downen made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the spring of 2016 as Lord Cecil in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. He returned in 2017 to sing Triquet in Eugene Onegin.  He has sung leading roles in more than 70 productions for opera houses in the U.S., Europe and Canada, with numerous productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, L’Italiana in Algeri, Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte to his credit. Recent engagements include performances of Sir Phillip Wingrave/Narrator in Britten’s Owen Wingrave with the little OPERA theater of ny, Tamino in The Magic Flute with El Paso Opera and Il padre in the New York premiere of Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe with LOTNY. Other appearances with LOTNY include The Reformed Drunkard and Mitridate.

Gabriel Hernandez
A life-long performer, Puerto Rican American tenor Gabriel Hernandez has been heralded for recent performances as “a wonderful tenor” (OperaWire), and “the highlight of the performance.” (Maryland Theater Guide) Gabriel’s strong belief in the power of community and collaboration to create meaningful art has inspired them to collaborate with other queer community members in New York City on showcasing their locational and personal experiences. Through this, Gabriel debuted their photo series Taking Up Space: Queer Identity in Opera in 2021 at the Countee Cullen Library in New York City. In the fall of 2022, Gabriel was spotlighted for their portrayal of a queer Abraham Lincoln by America’s oldest LGBTQ newspaper the Washington Blade. Gabriel’s 23/24 season includes four role debuts as well as the mounting of a new production of Carmen. This spring they return to Opera Ithaca to portray Peter Quint in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, then make a company and role debut as Aret in Little Opera Theatre of New York’s production of Haydn’s Jupiter’s Journey to the Earth. Learn more about Gabriel’s work at

Heather Johnson
Mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson, hailed by Opera News as “a dramatic singer in the truest sense”, has received critical acclaim for her work both on the opera and concert stage. Recent engagements include Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Sarasota opera, Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with Minnesota Orchestra, Jan Arnold in Everest with Austin Opera, Despina in Cosi fan Tutte with Mill City Summer Opera Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with Boston Lyric Opera, Laura in Luisa Miller at the Metropolitan Opera, La Musica, La Messaggera and La Speranza in the U.S. stage premiere of Respighi’s realization of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Chautauqua Opera, the title role in Rossini’s Tancredi with Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Southwest, Jo in Adamo’s Little Women with Madison Opera, Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress and the title role of Lizzie Borden both with Boston Lyric Opera. In 2012, Ms. Johnson made her house debut at the Metropolitan Opera as a Flower Maiden in Parsifal. Ms. Johnson performed in the world premieres of The Long Walk by Jeremy Howard Beck with Opera Saratoga, Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus with The Dallas Opera, and Fierce Grace: Jeannette Rankin, a song cycle commissioned by OPERA America and performed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Heather Jones
Heather Jones (they/them) is a mezzo and performance artist based in Brooklyn, NY. In the 2023–2024 season, Heather makes operatic debuts with Kentucky Opera as Hannah in As One, with Intermountain Opera Bozeman in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea as Nerone, and reprises a favorite role as Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Savannah Voice Festival. Concert appearances include: five-time Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari at Carnegie Hall, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Requiem, Britten’s Canticles II and IV, Bach’s St. John Passion with Trinity Wall Street, and Handel’s Israel in Egypt with Apollo’s Fire and the New York Philharmonic. And later this spring, Heather will make their Lincoln Center soloist debut originating the role of Brittain in Bryce McClendon’s operatic play The Smallest Sound in the Smallest Space. Website:  |   instagram: @hbeeejay

Sara LeMesh
Soprano Sara LeMesh, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “powerhouse performance of vocal majesty and expressive translucency,” is a dramatic presence on the opera stage, an avid chamber musician, and an advocate of contemporary music. Garnering praise in international vocal competitions, the “mesmerizing” and “affectingly plangent” soprano (Opera News) won First Prize in the 2023 Federation of the Art Song Fellowship Competition and Third Prize in the 2023 Serge & Olga Koussevitzky Young Artist Awards. In March 2024, Ms. LeMesh won the Third Prize and Audience Choice Award in the Josep Palet International Singing Competition in Martorell, Spain.

Rebecca Marchan
Described as having a “beautiful rich timbre” and an ability to sing with “confidence, artistry, and poise,” 18-year-old Rebecca Marchan has been studying classical voice for over six years. She has won awards such as the 2023–2024 CS All-State Award, the Charleston 2022 Romantic Music Competition, and was picked for the From The Top Jack Kent Young Artist Fellowship. She has performed such works as Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K. 339, and Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, both at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School.

David Morgans
Grammy Award-winning Kansas City native David Morgans is a promising young Afro-Latinx tenor. He most recently appeared with LOTNY as Nate in American One Acts: a double bill as well as onstage at the Metropolitan Opera as Ally in X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. He has also performed at the Metropolitan Opera on teams for Lohengrin, Der fliegende Holländer, and Champion. Based out of New York City, David Morgans calls Kansas City his home. He holds his Bachelor of Science in Music from William Jewell College and his Master of Music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Rufus Müller
The British-German tenor Rufus Müller was acclaimed by The New York Times following a performance in Carnegie Hall as “. . .easily the best tenor I have heard in a live Messiah.” He is celebrated as the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions, his unique dramatic interpretation of this role confirming his status as one of the world’s most sought-after performers (“a sensational Evangelist” —The New York Times). Rufus is also a leading recitalist, performing worldwide with pianist Maria João Pires, notably in an extended Schubertiade in the Wigmore Hall, and on tour in Spain, Germany, and Japan with Schubert’s Winterreise. With LOTNY, he appeared in the streaming project of Mozart’s The Shepherd King, Owen Wingrave, and Travelers. Rufus was part of the little OPERA theatre of New York’s inaugural concert. 

Abigail Raiford
Lyric coloratura soprano Abigail Raiford has been noted for her “powerful, luxurious soprano voice, as well her wonderfully comic way of weeping as the woebegone Elvira” in Tulsa Opera’s 2022 production of Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. In 2023 she was a District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition for the Tulsa District, received an Incentive Award from the 2022 SAS Performing Arts Company Vocal Competition, and was a finalist in the Emerging Artist Division of the MI Opera Vocal Competition. That same season she joined Central City Opera as a Bonfils-Stanton Studio Artist, performing Krysia in Heggie’s Two Remain and Ida in Die Fledermaus. Abigail was also awarded the prestigious Central City Opera Guild’s McGlone Award.

Jennifer Roderer
Jennifer Roderer previously appeared with LOTNY as Aunt Sue in Carlisle Floyd’s Slow Dusk. She sang Giovanna in Rigoletto and La duègne in Cyrano de Bergerac with the Metropolitan Opera. Career highlights include Fricka in Die Walküre with Teatro Colòn, Kabanicha in Kat’a Kabanova with Spoleto USA, Quickly in Falstaff at Chautauqua Opera, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel for New York City Opera and Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. On the concert stage, Jennifer has performed Marfa in Rothschild’s Violin and Klementia in Sancta Susanna with American Symphony Orchestra, and The Defiant Requiem (Verdi’s Requiem) at Terezin and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. She holds a Bachelor of Music from USC, a Master of Arts from Hunter College, and she is a DMA candidate at The Graduate Center. Jennifer teaches at Hunter College, Queens College and for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

Gregory Sheppard
Gregory Sheppard, bass-baritone, has been heard in opera, concert and recital throughout the United States in Canada and Europe. He has appeared with Syracuse Opera, NYCOpera, Central City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, San Francisco Opera Merola and Western Opera Tour, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Denver Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Society New Music, and countless others. European engagements include Munich Biennale Festival, Vienna Festival, Savonlinna Opera, Orchestra Solisti di Roma. With LOTNY, Gregory Sheppard appeared in American One Acts, the preview concert at Merkin Hall.

Paul Whelan
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Paul Whelan’s international career has included debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Bolshoi Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Netherlands Opera, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Opera Australia, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, New Orleans and Boston Lyric Opera. Recent roles have included Gremin in Eugene Onegin (Lyric Opera of Kansas City), Daland in Der Fliegende Hollander (Hawaii, NZ) Timur in Turandot (Opera New Orleans) Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor (ENO) Seneca in L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Lille, Dijon) Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress (New Zealand Opera), Banco in Macbeth (Opera North), Dikoy in Katya Kabanova (Scottish Opera), Giorgio in I Puritani (Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Victoria), Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera Festival, Theatre de Champs Elysee), Sarastro in The Magic Flute (Hawaii Opera Theatre), Claudio in Hamlet (Gothenburg), Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia (Opera Norway), Ramfis in Aida (Opera Australia), Claggart in Billy Budd (Glyndebourne Festival) and Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle (NZO).

Aaron Banes
Aaron Banes is a versatile Filipino-American artist. Raised in Honolulu, HI, he grew up honing his skills in singing, acting, and martial arts. Later, he pursued musical theater at New York University’s Steinhardt School. Throughout his career, Aaron has toured internationally with PJ Masks Live, performed in Off-Broadway productions like The Big One Oh! and Heart Strings, and appeared in various short films, web series, and commercials such as Mott & Spy, Stuck, and Hello Toothpaste. Recently, Aaron showcased his talents as a composer, music director, and pianist in his Off-Broadway debut, The Healing Shipment. Together with his close friend Sienna Aczon, he released an EP titled “The Princess and the Witch Boy,” with more music projects on the horizon. Beyond his artistic pursuits, Aaron is also known for his expertise as an astrologer and tarot reader.

Fergie L. Philippe
Fergie L. Philippe is a New York City-based actor currently freelancing as an actor, puppeteer, and director. He was most recently seen as the principal puppeteer for Jupiter in Jupiter’s Journey to the Earth as presented by the little OPERA theatre of ny. He also recently performed in Aanika’s Elephants at New Victory Theater and in Jason Robert Brown’s world premiere of The Connector Off-Broadway at MCC. Up next, he will be making his Off-Off Broadway directorial debut with Kali Production’s Death of a Driver at the Chain Theater from June 14th–23rd. He will also be puppeteering in The Muny’s The Little Mermaid this summer as directed by The Jim Henson Company’s own and Tony Award–nominated John Tartaglia. 

Manatsu Tanaka
Manatsu Tanaka is a non-binary Japanese multidisciplinary artist based in New York City and Tokyo. They have been performing in immersive, physical, contemporary, and musical theater works as a dancer/actor/singer in both countries. Simply from the love of expression and sharing, they also enjoy expressing creativity in origami, aerial silks, drawing, creative cocktails, and playing the piano. Aside from performing, they have been sharing their stories about their O-1 visa (artist visa) process, as a versatile LGBTQ artist and all the unique perspectives gained being a bicultural (13 years in Japan, 13 years in the US!) performer in two amazing cities.

J is an NYC based puppeteer, builder, fiber artist, and dancer. They have puppeteered both onstage and on film in a wide range of puppetry and performance styles. They create surreal fantastical worlds and stories about the queer/agender experience. They make weird and wonderful fiber art sculptures and puppets. They teach puppetry and needle felting to students of all ages! They design, build and fabricate puppets for some pretty cool companies and shows. They have a background in movement and dance.

Elise Wunderlich
Elise Wunderlich (b. Portland, OR, 1993) is a multimedia artist working primarily in sculpture, video, and performance. She received her BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2016 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Elise has been a member of Wayfarers Studio Program since 2017. She has exhibited with Nitemind and Secret Friend (New York) at Mana Contemporary (New Jersey), the Wurks Gallery, Expose Gallery, and the RISD Museum (Providence, RI). 


Lara de Bruijn
Costume designer Lara de Bruijn was born and raised in the culturally rich Canadian city of Winnipeg, where her love and training in all things theatrical began. She moved to New York for graduate school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Design for Stage and Film. A dedicated lover of theater and opera, it took a theater director to swing her over to design her first feature film, The Good Catholic, which premiered at Santa Barbara International Film Festival where it won Best Independent Feature Film. From there, she extended her love of the live arts to the world of filmmaking. For LOTNY, she has designed eight productions, including Owen Wingrave, Piramo e Tisbe, Prince of Players, and Opportunity Makes the Thief

Maria Camia
Maria Camia, creator of the MARICAMA brand and universe, is a Filipino American Visual Theatre Artist who creates spiritual theater, visual art, and fashion with the intention to globally inspire healing and play. Her transformative storytelling leaves audiences rewired and enlightened to the infinite potential of the MARICAMA mindset. She has performed original work for established theaters including The Jim Henson Company, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and The International Puppet Fringe Festival.

Jamil Chokachi
Jamil Chokachi is very happy to be working with LOTNY once again! Jamil has been in the entertainment world for over 30 years wearing many hats: actor/director/stage manager and everything in between. Some theatrical favorites include: Stage Management—Highway 1 USA & Down in the Valley—little opera theatre of NY, Sabbath Girl and Mr. Parker—Penguin Rep, A Wilder Christmas—The Peccadillo Theatre Co. and Junie B. Jones—TheatreWorks USA Tour. Director—Marat/Sade, Animal Farm and In the Heart of America. On stage, Jamil has been seen in a national tour of Cabaret as the Emcee U/s, Off-Broadway in Channeling Kevin Spacey and Sierra Rep. in Sweeney Todd. Many thanks to family and friends for the years of continued support.

Elliot Figg
Elliot Figg (Harpsichord & Conductor) returns for his fifth project with LOTNY, after the 2016 U.S. premiere of Chevalier de St. Georges’ L’Amant Anonyme, the 2018 production of Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe, and two virtual projects: The Shepherd King and the livestream Monteverdi & Other Treasures of the Seicento. Other recent engagements include: Conductor and harpsichordist for Death of Classical’s production of Dido and Aeneas in the catacombs of Green-Wood Cemetery; Deputy Music Director and harpsichordist for Farinelli and the King on Broadway; assistant conductor and harpsichordist for Vivaldi’s Farnace and Cavalli’s Veremonda, both with Spoleto Festival USA; and assistant conductor and harpsichordist for Dido and Aeneas with L.A. Opera. In 2020, Elliot tours as duo recital partner with violinist Monica Huggett, performing Bach’s Obbligato Sonatas for violin and harpsichord. Elliot is an active member of several New York-based early music and contemporary ensembles, including New Vintage Baroque, ACRONYM, and Ruckus. He is a graduate of the Historical Performance Program at The Juilliard School where he studied harpsichord with Kenneth Weiss. At the Yale School of Music, Elliot studied with Arthur Haas. Having received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Composition from the University of North Texas, Elliot studied composition with Cindy McTee and Joseph Klein, as well as harpsichord with Lenora McCroskey.

Stephanie Mae Fisher
Stephanie Mae Fisher is a costume designer, maker, deep thinker, and artist. Currently finishing up her Master of Fine Arts degree in costume design at the University of Texas at Austin, she will soon be based in NYC. As a costume designer, she has created work for dance, stage plays, opera, and musical theatre in many parts of the country, and is eager to push beyond these boundaries as well. She has been nominated for B. Iden Payne Awards for her work on Matawan and Mammoth at UT Austin. After earning a BA in Theatre (Arts Management) from Baldwin Wallace University, Stephanie worked for several years in various costume-related capacities at regional theatres, including Washington National Opera (Kennedy Center), Signature Theatre (Virginia), Great Lakes Theater (Ohio), Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. She has been the costume shop manager at New York Stage and Film and Peterborough Players.

Mark Herman & Ronnie Apter
Mark Herman & Ronnie Apter (Translators) have written numerous translations for the musical stage, many of which have been successfully performed in the United States, Canada, England, and Scotland, and praised in publications ranging from The New York Times to The [London] Times. Their book, Translating for Singing: The Theory, Art and Craft of Translating Lyrics (London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2016), has been called “a welcome contribution” (The Translator), “perhaps the definitive discussion of the subject” (Translation Review), and “a thorough and expert guide” (In Other Words). Another book by Ronnie Apter is A Bilingual Edition of the Love Songs of Bernart de Ventadorn in Occitan and English: Sugar and Salt, Book and CD (Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1999), containing all the extant words and melodies of the 12th-century troubadour, together with literal, poetic, and singable English translations. In addition to their works for the musical stage, Herman and Apter have translated numerous poems and children’s books. Mark Herman writes the “Humor and Translation” column for the online editor of The American Translators Association Chronicle. Ronnie Apter, professor emerita of English at Central Michigan University (CMU), is a published poet and translator of poetry. Her awards include the Thomas Wolfe Poetry Award from New York University and the President’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity from CMU. With little OPERA: Opportunity Makes the Thief (L’occasione fa il ladro), and the newly commissioned The Shepherd King after Mozart/Metastasio’s Il re pastore.

Caitlyn Koester
Caitlyn Koester surrounded herself with music in a multifaceted way from a young age. She has worked under the mentorship of harpsichordist Joseph Gascho, and is a graduate of the Historical Performance programs at the Juilliard School and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and studied both piano and harpsichord while pursuing a Bachelor of Music at the University of Michigan. She has played under the direction of Monica Huggett, Rachel Podger, William Christie, Masaaki Suzuki, Robert Mealy, Alfredo Bernardini, and Jonathan Cohen, and studied with harpsichordists Peter Sykes, Richard Egarr, Béatrice Martin, Joseph Gascho, and Corey Jamason. She was the featured harpsichord soloist in San Francisco Conservatory’s performance of Bach’s D Major Harpsichord Concerto, and the Juilliard415 Orchestra’s performance of Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto for Music Before 1800.  She has directed and assistant directed for organizations including dell’Arte Opera and i Cantori Carmel, most recently music directing Il Ritorno d’Ulisse for dell’Arte Opera’s 2022 summer series. Alongside violinist Shelby Yamin she was a Resident Artist at St. John’s Episcopal Church SF, where the two curated monthly concerts for the community in 2022 / 2023.

Catherine Miller
Catherine Miller (Assoc. Music Director) for LOTNY: Zemlinskys Zimmer (Zemlinsky’s Room); The Bohemians; The Mother of Us All (Act I) Assoc: American One Acts, a double bill, Owen Wingrave, Mozart & Friends, Other: Mannes College of Music, voice recitals, song literature class, accompanist for independent and regional opera companies, choral groups in NYC. Education: UMKC Conservatory of Music.

Seth Reiser
Seth Reiser (Lighting & Scenic Design) is a New York–based designer who works in theatre, opera, dance, and music. Seth’s work has been seen throughout the United States and internationally. With LOTNY, Seth recently designed the lighting for Highway 1, USA and Down in the Valley. Recent work in music includes Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Kagami with Tin Drum, Handel’s Aci Galatea é Polifemo with the Philharmonia Baroque Opera in San Francisco directed by Christopher Alden; Henze’s El Cimarrón at Festival Impulso in Mexico City directed by Robert Castro; the set and lighting design for Bernstein’s MASS at the LA Philharmonic and NY Philharmonic, directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer; JS Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (Berlin Philharmonic) at the Park Avenue Armory directed by Peter Sellars; John Adam’s Gospel According to the Other Mary at the San Francisco Symphony directed by Elkhannah Pulitzer; Messiaen’s Des Canyon Aux Étoiles with the St. Louis Symphony, directed by Deb O’Grady. He received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and MFA from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.

Cordelia Senie
Cordelia Senie is an AGMA stage manager working in NYC and Paris, and an alumna of the Juilliard Professional Apprentice Program. She is excited to be returning to LOTNY this year! Favourite credits include: Il barbiere di Siviglia (Tri-Cities Opera), The Immersive Coffee Cantata (On Site Opera), I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams (Tri-Cities Opera/Syracuse Opera), Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals (Little Orchestra Society), American One Acts (LOTNY), Le Nozze di Figaro (Tri-Cities/Syracuse Opera), The Rake’s Progress (Juilliard), Hamlet/Oresteia (Park Avenue Armory), and Dido & Aeneas (Death of Classical). Find her at

Philip Shneidman
Philip Shneidman (Director) founded the little OPERA theatre of ny. Recent productions include Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave, J.A Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe, the NY Premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players, an original adaptation of Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ L’Amant Anonyme, Floyd’s Slow Dusk & Markheim, and Gioachino Rossini’s Opportunity Makes the Thief. Previous seasons include Gluck’s The Reformed Drunkard; an evening of two one-act operas by Gustav Holst entitled Travelers. Other operas include Eugene Onegin and Dialogues of the Carmelites at The Mannes College of Music as well as Purcell’s The Tempest at Rutgers. His theater directing credits include: Fully Committed (Adirondack Theatre Festival); and Romeo & Juliet (Queens Theatre in the Park), A Drowned Girl [1919] (HERE). As an assistant director on Broadway, he worked on The Full Monty, and the Gutierrez productions of A Delicate Balance and The Heiress.


Kelsey Burnham
Flute and recorder specialist Kelsey Burnham is a South Baltimore native based in New York City. Having graduated from Oberlin Conservatory (BM ’19) and The Juilliard School (MM ’21), Burnham enjoys all aspects of making and sharing music with others. Her performance career has most recently included performances with Juilliard 415 and Les Arts Florrisants in New York City, across both islands of New Zealand, and Thiré, France, as well as recording for an upcoming album release of original cantatas by Doug Balliett. With a passion for teaching, Burnham has years of experience from Oberlin Conservatory and from being one of Virtu.Academy’s founding private instructors. She has experience with students of all ages and skill levels with a teaching style that prioritizes the comfort, confidence, and success of the individual student. As a historic flute specialist, Burnham is capable of teaching flute styles from the Renaissance through current Modern performance practice.

William Drancsak
William Drancsak, known by his friends and colleagues as Jimmy, is a violinist  and violist living in the New York City area. In May of 2023, Jimmy completed a Master of Historical Performance degree from The Juilliard School, and prior to that he received a Bachelor of Violin Performance and Music Education from The State University of New York at Fredonia. Jimmy has performed with various groups across Europe and the United States including Juilliard415, Les Arts Florissants, New York Baroque Incorporated, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and Teatro Nuovo. He is also proud to be the violist in the Arrow Quartet and violinist with In Nomine Ensemble, two newly formed ensembles from The Juilliard School.

Dan McCarthy
Dan McCarthy’s playing has been described as “virtuosic” by Seen and Heard International. He was a part of the first class of baroque violists ever to be accepted into the historical performance program at The Juilliard School, where he was often featured in performances playing violin, viola d’amore, and viola da gamba. Dan employs the ‘Equal Feel’ approach to stringing his instruments as defined by Mimmo Peruffo, and used by the Aquila and Cordedrago brands of gut strings. He is the North American distributor for Cordedrago strings, based in Bologna. With his approach to stringing, Dan is able to play on more historically accurate setups using only plain gut strings with no metal winding. Dan has served as section violist with the Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, concertmaster of the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and tenor gambist with Parthenia. He has also toured extensively throughout North America, East Asia, and Europe with artists and groups such as Jordi Savall, Masaaki Suzuki, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and American Bach Soloists. Here on the east coast he plays with Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, Washington Bach Consort, New York State Baroque, Artek, REBEL, Clarion Music Society, Early Music New York, Teatro Nuovo, Queens Consort, Academy of Sacred Drama, Brandywine Baroque, and Tempesta Di Mare.

Kako Miura
Originally from Tokyo, Japan and now based in New York, NY, Kako Miura is a violinist who performs on historical and modern instruments. Kako has appeared internationally as a soloist, performing alongside orchestras in Asia, Australia, and the United States, and her solo and chamber music performances have taken her to such distinguished venues as Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center, Weill and Zankel Halls at Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. As an ensemble musician, Kako has performed with many renowned musical groups around the United States and abroad, including Handel and Haydn Society, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, New York Baroque Incorporated, New York Classical Players, and Tafelmusik. She is a co-founder and co-leader of Relic, a chamber orchestra founded in 2022 which has quickly garnered acclaim across the country for its compelling and innovative performances of Baroque music. In addition to music, Kako loves food, tea, and naps.

Caroline Nicolas
With an eclectic repertory that spans from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, acclaimed cellist/gambist Caroline Nicolas enjoys an active and multifaceted career as one of the outstanding performers in her field. Noted for her “eloquent artistry and rich, vibrant sound” (Gainesville Times), she has been praised for her unique ability to combine emotionally rich interpretations with a historically inquisitive spirit. She regularly appears with leading ensembles as soloist, chamber musician, and music director. 

Ensembles she has worked with include the English Concert, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Mercury Chamber Orchestra, Ars Lyrica Houston, Juilliard Baroque, Harmonia Stellarum, Philharmonia Baroque, Pacific MusicWorks, Kammerorchester Basel, New World Symphony, and Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein. She recently completed her tenure as music director of New Baroque Orchestra. Festival appearances include the Boston Early Music Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Bach Festival Leipzig, and Styriarte Festival in Austria. Notable venues include the KKL Luzern, Berliner Philharmonie, Alice Tully Hall, and Benaroya Hall. Her performances have been broadcast on KING FM in Washington, KUHF in Texas, WDIY in Pennsylvania, and CCTV in China. Notable collaborations include such eminent musicians as Andrea Marcon, Amandine Beyer, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Jordi Savall, William Christie, Rachel Podger, Harry Bicket, and Stephen Stubbs.

Jeremy Rhizor
Jeremy Rhizor is a violinist, the artistic director of the Academy of Sacred Drama, and the publisher of the Academy Journal. Noted for playing “virtuosically but with fluid grace” by The New York Times, Mr. Rhizor specializes in the performance of Baroque-era sacred music. As a violinist, he performs the work of Bach and Handel with Trinity Baroque Orchestra, is regularly featured at Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity (a series now in its 50th year), and performs the work of classical and romantic masters with the American Classical Orchestra. He is the founder and director of the Academy of Sacred Drama—an artistic and intellectual community that uses historical insights and modern open licensing to explore the forgotten cultural treasures of sacred dramatic music. He has led the modern-day and American premieres of Baroque oratorios by Bassani, Draghi (at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music), Freschi, and Pasquini as well as rarely heard works by Stradella, Scarlatti, and Charpentier. Past seasons included a performance for the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Music Before 1800, a recital tour in Nova Scotia, and the Swedish premiere of Pasquini’s oratorio La sete di Christo. In recent summers, he has played orchestral music at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minnesota. Mr. Rhizor dedicates his time to exploring the world of sacred dramatic music and searching for appropriate boundaries in our understanding of the communal and individual nature of humanity.

John Stajduhar
John Stajduhar began his life in historical performance on a whim during his time at Bard College, joining a nascent baroque ensemble headed by Dr. Alexander Bonus for fun, soon discovering the most gratifying music making he’d yet experienced. Moving to Cambridge, MA, he began lessons with renowned bassists Anne Trout and Andrew Arceci while studying at the Longy School of Music. In 2019 he accepted admission to The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program, performing regularly in the Juilliard415 Orchestra and studying under Douglas Balliet. Now working as a freelance musician in New York, John has played with such diverse groups as Philharmonia Baroque, Kollective366, Harmonia Stellarum Houston, Les Arts Florissants, Decoda, Opera Lafayette, Philharmonie Austin and beyond.

Clay Zeller-Townson
Clay Zeller-Townson is the founder of Ruckus. He is a bassoonist and educator based between Vermont and New York City. He plays with the leading period instrument ensembles in North America including: Tafelmusik, The Handel and Haydn Society, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists and Musica Angelica. He has produced and premiered many new works for early instruments. From 2011–2016 he taught at The North Carolina Governor’s School as Instrumental Music Faculty. He has given coachings on performance practice, masterclasses and lessons at New England Conservatory, UCLA, The Colburn School, The University of Missouri and The Eastman School of Music.


Last spring, the little OPERA theatre of ny [LOTNY] produced American One Acts, a double bill at the Baruch Performing ArtsCenter. The production paired Highway 1, U.S.A. by William Grant Still, libretto by Verna Arvey, with Down in the Valley by Kurt Weill, libretto by Arnold Sundgaard. The NY Classical Review credited little OPERA for “brightly reviving a pair of American rarities” and calling the performances “outstanding.”

Since its founding in 2004, the little OPERA theatre of ny has presented four NY Stage Premieres: Britten/Piper’s Owen Wingrave; Hasse/Coltellini’s Piramo e Tisbe; Floyd’s Prince of Players; Mozart/Cigna-Santi’s Mitridate, re di Ponto; two US stage premieres: Saint-Georges/Desfontaines/De Genlis’ L’ Amant Anonyme; Cui/Pushkin’s A Feast in the Time of the Plague; one world premiere: Zaretsky/Kharms’ Man in a Black Coat; and commissioned a new translation of Mozart/Metastasio’s Il re pastore as The Shepherd King from Mark Herman & Ronnie Apter.

LOTNY’s production of Owen Wingrave was noted in Opera News as “(a) shadowy, haunting, attractive production…superbly prepared.” Piramo e Tisbe again heralded by Opera News as “superlative [and] an excellent and irrefutable case for programming this rare work, [with] indelible performances that should count among the finest and most complete interpretations heard in New York this season.” The NY premiere of Prince of Players was praised by The New York Times as “well made and stylish” and for being “delightful, impressive, [and] affecting” in the NY Classical Review. LOTNY’s concerts have included Past & Present on Governors Island; This Little Light of Mine at Merkin Concert Hall; The Bohemians at Socrates Sculpture Park and Floydiana at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music.

Please Save the Date
Friday, September 27th 2024
Merkin Concert Hall
20th Anniversary Concert

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Joseph Haydn PHILEMON AND BAUCIS, Hob. XXIXa:1. Orchestra Parts edited by Howard Chandler Robbins Landon. Used by arrangement with European American Music Distributors Company, U.S. and Canadian agent for Bärenreiter-Verlag, publisher and copyright owner.

This adaptation of JUPITER’S JOURNEY TO THE EARTH incorporates additional music by Haydn.  The duet for Jupiter and Mercury is from Il mondo della luna, the aria for Jupiter is from Orlando Paladino both in entirely new words by the translators, as well as incidental music from The Creation.

Jupiter’s Journey is made possible by the leading support of the AHB Foundation, John Lee Beatty, Joel E. Shapiro, Paula Cooper Gallery, Charina Foundation, Louise Eliasof & James Sollins, Barbara Heizer, Victoria & Peter Kopke, Kraus Family Foundation, Carl Andre & Melissa L. Kretschmer Foundation, Julian Lethbridge, The LeWitt Family, The Sam Spiegel Foundation, Glenn Ligon, and the little OPERA theatre of ny’s other generous supporters.

Special thanks to Baryshnikov Arts, Kate Dale at The Juilliard School, Tara Sansone and team at Materials for the Arts, Barry Brewer/Baroque Keyboard, 4OVER4, Danielle McConnell/Artforum, Jennifer Gordon/Opera America, Alex Mills/Paula Cooper Gallery, Rachael Jenison/DCLA, Pearl Studios, Eric Poland, Charles Kiger, Caryn Campbell/The Misty Copeland Foundation, Jörg-Michael Schwarz, Rebecca Cypess, Caroline Kane/European American Music, Ellie Covan, Cheryl and Heather Henson, Sienna Aczon, Elise Wunderlich, Jenny Camia, Paz Camia, Manuel Camia, E. Wray, Alexis Lim, Luke and Sophia Delvo, Alizeh Ahmad, our production crew, front-of-house staff, and volunteers. 

Philip Shneidman | Michael Freedman
Steven Henry | Ivana Mestrovic | Peter Tear, MBE

Timothy T. P. Robbins | Ellen Staller | Virginia Rutledge

The Anne H. Bass Foundation, The Athena Foundation, Paula Cooper Gallery, Margo Leavin Trust, New York City- Department of Cultural Affairs, Joel E. Shapiro & Ellen Phelan

John Lee Beatty, The Charina Foundation, Louise Eliasof & James Sollins, Barbara Heizer, Steven P. Henry, Victoria & Peter Kopke, Kraus Family Foundation, Carl Andre & Melissa L. Kretschmer Foundation, Carol LeWitt & Bruce Josephy, Sofia LeWitt, Bernice Lindstrom, Glenn Ligon, Linda Macklowe, Benevity, The Sam Spiegel Foundation, Dan Walsh & Laura Tiozzo, The B & M Wright Foundation

Elizabeth Baker, Gilbert DeJean, Paulina do Amaral, Stephanie Altman Dominus & Andrew Dominus, Gregg Gelman & Joseph Hershberger, Russell Issacs, Joshua Mack, Ivana Mestrovic, Neil Patel & Maria Mileaf, Noni Pratt, Beth Rudin de Woody, Marc Saruman, The Doris & Daniel Shneidman Foundation, Elizabeth Szancer

Sandra Billingslea, Maureen Bray, Beth Fertig, Elizabeth Fiore, Spencer Harrington, Kristopher Haynes, David Herskovits/Target Margin Theater, Julia Judge, Louise Lawler, Kate Levin, Mark Schubin, Jack Shneidman, Joel Wachs, Marti Zlatchin


Baryshnikov Arts, founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Mikhail Baryshnikov, is rooted in the belief that artists hold irreplaceable roles in our world, shaping perspectives, offering new approaches, and initiating crucial conversations in complex social, political, and cultural environments. Baryshnikov Arts supports extraordinary performers to experiment with unique artistic expression that asks audiences to view the world in new ways. We offer performance and commissioning opportunities, artist residencies, and more. President and Executive Director Sonja Kostich brings focus to cultivating and supporting new perspectives. With the recent rebrand of the organization in June 2023, Baryshnikov Arts expands its capacity to create multi-platform and collaborative havens for artistic expression, innovation and freedom, further committing to elevating and sharing the stories of artists of diverse cultures and histories.


Dave S. Hattem, Chairman
R. Jarrett Lilien, Treasurer
Steven C. Dupré, Secretary

Mikhail Baryshnikov
Jamie Bishton
Sandy Choi
Frank Cordasco
William James Earle
Sandra Foschi
Jennifer Frautschi
Slavka B. Glaser
Rebecca Goldring
Sonja Kostich
Steven M. Pesner
Darryl Pinckney
Shelley Washington
Andrew Zobler


Mikhail BaryshnikovFounder and Artistic Director
Sonja KostichPresident and Executive Director

Rafayel Nagdimov, Director of Finance and Administration
Alexandra Cook, Administrative Manager

Ashley Baer, Program Manager
Pedja Muzijevic, Artistic Administrator


Chani Sebazco, Development Manager
Apotheosis Events, Event Planning


Lydia Murray, Marketing Manager
Dylan MacDowell, Social Media Associate

Tyler Benware, Director of Production and Operations
Jesse Campbell, Technical Director and Operations Supervisor
Natasha Bruno, Technical and Operations Manager

Margot Becker, Grants Writer
Stephen Viksjo, Graphic Designer
Eric Wolfram, Web Developer
Sean Regan, Perfect Balance Bookkeeping, Inc., Bookkeeper


Baryshnikov Arts is grateful for the support of its generous individual and institutional donors.

Dabby and Ric Abel
John H. Abeles
Brian Adams
Deborah and Charles Adelman
Michelle A. Auerbach
Joanne and Tuvia Barak
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lisa Reinhart
Anna Baryshnikov and Teddy Bergman
Douglas Baxter and Brian Hastings
Carol Baxter and Loren Plotkin
Ariel Bengio
Marjorie Berman
Jamie Bishton/Norris and Debra Bishton Foundation
Philip Boroff and Michelle Kaske
Danielle and Thomas Canfield
James Carlson
Laura Cashel
Jesse Chin
Sandy Choi
Peri Clark
Millard Coffin
Anya and Peter Cole
Amy Collins
Theresa Cosmas
Margo Crespin
Anne F. Cutler
Nancy and Leon Dalva
Annette de la Renta
Rupert de Laszlo
Richard and Jennie DeScherer
Elizabeth DeVita
Janet A. Dewan
Robert Dorf
William J. Earle
Teresa Eggertsen
Sofia Elizalde
Erika Ellis
Estate of James H. Duffy
Apotheosis Events/Ryan Hill
Stefano Ferrari
Jennifer Fortner
Karen Freedman and Robert Weisberg
Jenia and Alex Fridlyand
Paul Ghiz
Jane Gladstone
Slavka B. Glaser
Rebecca Goldring
Tara and Daniel Goleman
Sharon Gonen
Nicholas Hare
Gary Hattem
Dave S. and Rita Hattem
Gemzel Hernandez and James Roe
Sylvia Hewlett
Huong M. Hoang
Rodney Hobbs
Sarah Hooker
Joan Hooker, in honor of Roger Hooker
Brody Howatt
Kelly Hubble
Sven Huseby
Pamela Ingram
Christopher Jones and Deb McAlister
Steven Katz
Oona Keating
Collen Keegan
Nadine and Leo Keegan
Karen Kochevar
Sonja Kostich
Olga Kovalishina
Miodrag Kukrika
Linda R. Larson
Anton LeRoy and Lisa Stefanelli-LeRoy
Leonard Levie
Jarrett and Maritess Lilien
Sioux Logan
Clinton Luckett
Cass and Nick Ludington
Carolyn Marks
David Marshall and Cheryl Yeager Marshall
Yukie Matsuno
Kevin McKenzie
Global Atlantic
Yosef Metal
Diane and David Milich
Catherine and Bill Miller
LeConte Moore
Ann Morning
Mark Morris
Mark R. Morris
Fred Nazem and Susie Gharib
Marty Nealon and Richard Allen
Franci Neely
Brian S. O’Neil
Adam J. Oestreich
Ahmet M. Oren
Zaza Pachulia
Paul Painter
Hubert Pedroli and Mary Tiegreen
Steven and Michelle Pesner
Darryl Pinckney
Joseph Plocek
Evelyn Polk
Millicent Powers
Elizabeth and Aidan Quinn
Rick Rarick
Thendara Foundation
Judy Ross
Isabella Rossellini
Karen Roth
Marc J. Rowan
Howard Sacks and Vesna Todorovic
John Sansone and Barbara Jordan
Laura Schoen and Robert Kaufman
Alan Schuster
Rb Schlather
Marty Secada
Joel Shapiro and Ellen Phelan
Wallace Shawn and Deborah Eisenerg
Edward Shenderovich and Olga Kouraptseva
Lois and David Sherwin
Denise Simon
Genevieve Springer
Matthew Steimel
Christina Sterner and Steven Poses
Madison and Glenn Stevens
Angèle Surault
Lisa Takemoto
Michael Tersigni and David Palachek
Julie C. Van Camp
Reginald Van Lee
Illiana Van Meeteren
Louis Venturelli
Nicola Walter
Deborah Elizabeth Ward
Shelley Washington
Julie Waterbury
Suzanne S. Weil
Linzee Weld
Jedediah Wheeler
David N. White
Vicente Wolf and Matthew Yee
David York
Andrew Zobler

A G Foundation
Alex Katz Foundation
Alphadyne Foundation
Arison Arts Foundation
Arnhold Foundation
Bloomberg Philanthropies
The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
The Enoch Foundation
Equitable Foundation;
Howard Gilman Foundation
Goldring Family Foundation
The Harkness Foundation for Dance
Irving Harris Foundation
Francena T. Harrison Foundation Trust
William Talbott Hillman Foundation
The Hyde and Watson Foundation
Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation
Consulate of Latvia in New York
The Marshall Frankel Foundation
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Mertz Gilmore Foundation
New Dramatist
Princess Grace Foundation – USA
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
The Jerome Robbins Foundation
The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation
The Shubert Foundation
Thompson Family Foundation

As of March 2024

Baryshnikov Arts is grateful for:

Funding of the Bloodlines Interwoven Festival made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts

Funding made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature

Yamaha is the official piano of the Baryshnikov Arts Center.