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January 24 & 25

The Eurydice Festival

WAUKESHA, WIS.—A collaborative, original production three years in the making will debut at Carroll University Jan. 24-25, 2014.

The Eurydice Festival will transform the Otteson Theatre and the Humphrey Memorial Chapel and Art Center into an enchanted garden, where each path leads to a different experience and unknown treasures hide in unexpected corners. The buildings are connected and located at 238 N. East Ave., Waukesha.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. A pre-show discussion with casts and composers will be before the Jan. 25 performance. Cupcakes and other refreshments will be offered after both events.

Three years ago, Milwaukee Opera Theatre (MOT) and the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Carroll University joined forces for an experimental project. Each year, commissions were awarded to area composers, with the stipulation that they use the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice as their inspiration. Joel Boyd wrote a 25-minute chamber opera for three performers. Nathan Wesselowski wrote two songs for two sopranos, set to text by poet H.D. Joanna Kerner wrote a duet for soprano and tenor to be accompanied by electric guitar.

Jill Anna Ponasik is the artistic director at MOT. She said, “We thought we might eventually weave the compositions into a single evening-length production, but when we presented the new pieces in concert last January, they were so distinct, and so fully formed, we began to plot a different type of event: a festival featuring 45 artists, working on four different productions, in four venues, over two days, all inspired by the same great story.”

The Eurydice Festival will include:

  • Boyd’s “The Crawling Dove” chamber opera, featuring The East Side Chamber Players, presented on the Otteson Theatre main stage.
  • “Eurydice,” Wesselowski’s six-song cycle, performed in Humphrey Memorial Chapel.
  • Kerner’s piece, “Crumbling Love,” as the backbone of “Go to Hades,” written by Danny Brylow and Joanna Kerner, staged in in the Otteson Theatre basement by a cast of Carroll students.
  • Excerpts from Ricky Ian Gordon’s theatrical song cycle “Orpheus and Euridice,” a piece for soprano, clarinet and piano, and a dancer, presented in the Otteson Studio Theatre.

Tickets are $30 premium reserved, $25 general admission and $20 students/seniors. Order online at or call 800.838.3006.

For more information, contact Ponasik at 917.684.0512 or, or visit

About Milwaukee Opera Theatre
Milwaukee Opera Theatre was founded in 1998 by Charissa York Glazner, an enterprising young soprano who recognized the need for a community-based professional opera company in the Milwaukee area. Currently, MOT produces five to six projects each season, ranging from full productions to readings of new works, with special emphasis on local art and artists.

About Carroll University
Carroll, Wisconsin’s oldest four-year institution of higher learning, is an independent, co-educational comprehensive university grounded in the liberal arts tradition. Incorporated in 1846, it offers bachelor’s degrees in 57 majors and master’s degrees in business administration, education, exercise physiology, graphic communication, nursing, physician assistant studies and software engineering, as well as a clinical doctorate in physical therapy.


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