Two savvy american travelers decide to leave their life of home ownership behind to become agents of adventure and stewards of the natural world.It soon becomes clear that their best intentions are not the medicine that the world needs. A ghost from the dystopian future arrives and tries to right the path of the travellers. The opera uses both humor and drama to sound the alarm about the consequences of our actions. The musical world of the changelings will combine popular music styles with instrumental composing and creative sound design. The opera is designed to be experienced in an immersive style with the intimate audience surrounding a camp fire.
Michael Zapruder, Composer
As a performing and recording songwriter, Michael Zapruder has made more than a dozen albums, including five solo albums and 52 Songs, a 1999 project in which he wrote, recorded and posted online one song each week for a year.
Megan Tabaque, Librettist
Megan Tabaque is a multi-ethnic Filipina-Canadian playwright, actor, director, producer, and sometimes musician. Her plays have been produced or developed by Salvage Vanguard Theater, Tofte Lake Center, Paper Chairs, InFusion, 20% Theater, and Tympanic among others.
Hannah Wolf, Director
Hannah Wolf is an Los Angeles based stage director, dramaturg, teacher and creative producer originally from Juneau Alaska. She makes “subversively shiny” work for the stage that experiments with form, content and the role of the audience.
with Emilie Whelan, Brian Rosen & Alexa Anderson
Artist Interviews: The Changelings
InFocus Issue 11
Get to know them: First Opera Stories
previous work samples
Librettist megan tabaque introduces
"Batman Returns Returns"
Composer michael zapruder introduces excerpts from
"in light" and "golden"
"Batman Returns Returns"
"in light" and "golden"
michael zapruder Bio:
Michael Zapruder is a composer, performing songwriter and interdisciplinary artist whose works freely use, mix, combine and explore contemporary composition and songwriting.
In 2019, Zapruder was in residence at San Francisco’s Z-Space, as composer and sound designer for Maureen Whiting Dance Company’s Burden of Joy. Also in 2019, Zapruder, along with director Hannah Wolf and playwright Megan Tabaque, was artist-in-residence at Tofte Lake Center in Ely, Minnesota, where they continued development of a campfire song-cycle theatrical work entitled The Changelings, which mixes immersive theater, folk and popular songwriting, choral music, and drama. In Spring 2019, Zapruder’s second chamber opera, a monodrama entitled In Light was premiered at the 2019 Cohen New Works Festival in Austin, Texas. In 2018, Zapruder was composer and sound designer for Texas Performing Arts’ award-winning production of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. As a creator of physical interactive sound- objects, Zapruder’s Pink Thunder in Portmanteaus were shown in art exhibits in San Francisco (Curiosity Shoppe) Chicago (Rational Park), and Washington, DC (AWP).
Zapruder’s first opera premiered in 2017. His work Polysong was commissioned in 2018 by Austin’s Tetractys and was premiered at Austin’s Museum of Human Achievement in September of that year. His 2016 work entitled Understory, written for guitar trio and live electronics, was presented by Texas Performing Arts in their Sound in Sculpture series in association with the Fusebox Festival. His 2015 piece How You Found It was performed in Fairbanks, Alaska as part of the Composing in the Wilderness concert of that year. Zapruder’s awards for composition include the Glenn Glasow Fellowship, awarded annually to the outstanding graduate composer at California State University, and a Seattle Composers’ Alliance Composition Competition award for his 2015 string quartet piece entitled Tritone Arch.
As a performing and recording songwriter, Zapruder has made more than a dozen albums, including five solo albums and 52 Songs, a 1999 project in which he wrote, recorded and posted online one song each week for a year. He has performed across the United States as well as in Canada and Europe, and has been invited to perform at South by Southwest and Pop Montreal festivals. Zapruder’s records have been acclaimed by critics, with Pitchfork, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Tiny Mixtapes, and many others lauding Zapruder’s ambition, uniqueness and songcraft. His 2012 project Pink Thunder, for which he made twenty-two songs from poems by living American poets, was hailed by the Huffington Post as “a work of extraordinary merit and historical significance,” and was selected as the Boston Globe’s 2012 Best Poetry Project of 2012. His 2008 record Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope won an Independent Music Award for Best Singer-Songwriter Album and its song Second Sunday in Ordinary Time was nominated for Best Folk Song.
As a visiting artist and an expert in songs and songwriting, Zapruder has given artist talks and participated in panels internationally, including at NYU’s Writers’ Program in Paris, France, at the New School in New York City, NY, at the University of Wyoming, and others. Zapruder spent many years living and working in Oakland, California and has deep roots in the Bay Area. He now lives and works in Austin, Texas.
Performed by soprano: Jaimie Lowe, flute: Kenzie Slottow, percussion: Jordan Walsh, guitar: Thomas Echols
electronics: Michael Zapruder, Conductor: Nicholas Perry Clark
"The Poor Man" from Golden
Ellie Shattles; Mezzo-soprano, Andrew Breuninger; Baritone, Suzanne Lis; Soprano, Mikhail Smigelski; Bass
Conductor, Nicholas Perry Clark
Music by Hear No Evil + Michael Zapruder (electronics)
megan tabaque Bio:
Megan Tabaque (Book/Lyrics) is a multi-ethnic Filipina-Canadian playwright, actor, director, producer, and sometimes musician. Her plays have been produced or developed by Salvage Vanguard Theater, Tofte Lake Center, Paper Chairs, InFusion, 20% Theater, and Tympanic among others. Megan has performed on storefront and AEA stages across Austin, Chicago, and north Florida. She is a James A. Michener Fellow, Kundiman Fiction Fellow, Sewanee Writers' Conference Scholar, Tofte Lake resident, Seattle Public Theater Emerald Prize finalist, Austin Critics' Table nominee, and a company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater. She has her MFA in Playwriting and Fiction from the James A. Michener Center for Writers in Austin, TX. She is currently a visiting faculty member in playwriting at Bennington College.
Batman Returns Returns
Gretchen Phillips as Alfred, Sabrina Ellis as Batman, Sean Tillman (HarMar Superstar) as Penguin, Jane Claire Hervey as Catwoman, John Christopher as Schreck
hannah wolf Bio:
Hannah Wolf (Director) is an Los Angeles based stage director, dramaturg, teacher and creative producer originally from Juneau Alaska. She makes “subversively shiny” work for the stage that experiments with form, content and the role of the audience. Hannah collaborates with playwrights, musicians, magicians, craft brewers, dancers, puppeteers and many others to develop new plays and to subvert old ones.
Recent projects include: Ride Sally Ride by Tara Sissom and Katerina Pruitt (B Street Theatre), She Buried the Pistol by Lydia Blasidell (La Jolla’s WOW Festival) Instructions for a Séance by Katie Bender (MoHA), Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, Franklin by Samantha Noble (Perseverance Theatre), TITLE LOADING (Fusebox Festival), The Bigot by William Glick, Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spigel, ENRON by Lucy Prebble (UT Austin), and The Sky Game by Kimberly Belflower (Peppercorn Theatre). Her production of ENRON by Lucy Prebble (UT Austin) received a total of six Austin Critics Table Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Production.
She’s directed and developed new plays, musicals and plays with music with the Geffen Playhouse, Perseverance Theatre, Chance Theater, Greenway Arts, We the Women Collective, IAMA Theatre Company, The Fountain Theatre, Superhero Clubhouse and Ensemble Studio Theatre.
She founded the LA event Meet Cute and is an SDC Associate. She’s a National Directors Fellow, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and Fulbright Research Fellow (Bucharest Romania) MFA: UT Austin.