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world premiere

A new opera by Walter Braxton

Directed by Joel Bassin

Musical Directors Leilani Fenick and Michael Knowles

with Capitol Opera Richmond

January 18-27, 2018

click here to purchase tix

With Walter Braxton's TO DAMASCUS we're celebrating the Italian Renaissance's discovery of perspective painting and the origins of opera by exploring scale, angle, linearity, depth, dimension, illusion, music, and performance. In our Season of Possibilities we're rejecting traditional ideas and embedded conventions of historicized Opera so we can make an anti-opera for the 21st century.

Style Weekly described Braxton as "one of Richmond's most prolific composers [who] writes music nobody hears." TO DAMASCUS builds on a range of sources including the bible story of Paul's conversion, August Strindberg's THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS, the rivalry between Lorenzo de' Medici's patronage of secular art versus Girolamo Savanarola's bonfire of the vanities and his call for an orthodox religious revival, Thomas Mann's only play FIORENZO, the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, James Marcus Schuyler, Ezra Pound, and the Catholic Mass.


In Firehouse's world premiere production we're asking questions like--

What's opera?

Who is August Strindberg?

Where is Inferno?

How is Gerard Manley Hopkins?

Why is Fiorenza?

What's Existence?

Who is Thomas Mann?

Where is Non-Existence?

Why is Performance?

What is Fiction?

Who is Girolamo Savonarola?

Where is Baggage?

How is Music?

Why is Singing?

What is the Italian Renaissance?

Who is Lorenzo de' Medici?

Where is Audience?

How is Death?

Why are You?

CLICK HERE to download the libretto


Michele Baez

Elisabeth Dowdy

Michael David Gray

Chase Peak

Imani Thaniel


Flute: Susan Davis

Oboe: Jane Kiser

Clarinet: Myrick Crampton

Bassoon: Anthony Cavanaugh

Horn: Roxanne Williams

Trumpet: Aaron Bottoms

Violin 1: Katharine Wooldridge, Marissa Resmini

Violin 2: Heather Ryan, Alanna North

Viola: Brenda Johnson, Justin Williams

Cello: Ned Haskins, Jacquelin Spears

Bass: Ayça Kartari

Production Team

Director - Joel Bassin

Musical Directors - Leilani Fenick + Michael Knowles

Environment Designers - Isabel Layton

Lighting Designer - Bill Miller

Costume Designer - Kathleen O'Connor

Stage Manager - Corrie Yarbrough

Assistant Stage Manager - Taylor Rumbley

Performance Schedule
Thu, 1/18 - 7:30pm (preview)

Fri, 1/19 - 7:30pm (press opening)

Sat, 1/20 - 7:30pm

Sun, 1/21 - 4pm (post-show panel/talkback at 6pm)

Thu, 1/25 - 7:30pm

Fri, 1/26 - 7:30pm

Sat, 1/27 - 7:30pm

Tickets $15 - $40


click here to purchase tix

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