with New Millennium Orchestra at Thalia Hall
conducted by Francesco Milioto
featuring Andrea Silvistrelli and Kara Shay Thompson
This one night only event at the historic, turned hip-club Thalia Hall was an environmental, site specific production, utilizing each of the 6 opera boxes as the first six doors, while the stage was taken up by the enormous orchestra. Using lights, simple props, and the massiveness of the music, this Bluebeard's Castle created a simple, evocative, and haunting world.
Chicago Cultural Center Summer Opera, July-August, 2009
at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park
Conductor: Francesco Milioto
Production Design: Chelsea Warren
In our version of Acis and Galatea, I was inspired by the beautiful historic Cultural Center where we first performed the production, that used to be a the Chicago Public Library. This production imagined a 1950s world where myth and reality collide, and inspire a young man to face his fears and claim his love.
"Kudos to director Joanie Schultz for an inspired under-the-dome staging that manages to be gently satiric without entirely sacrificing the deeper emotions. Add a superb cast of fine young voices and idiomatic musical backing from conductor Francesco Milioto and the New Millennium Orchestra and it all adds up to a witty, delightful retooling of Acis and Galatea."
-Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
Produced at the Bay View Music Festival August 2008
Conductor: Emily Leather
Scenic Designer: Todd Hulet
Lighting Designer: Samantha Bostwick
In this scaled-down, reduced orchestra version of Carmen, no chorus appears. The empty streets inspired this Film-Noir, graphic novel style production which imagined Carmen amongst 40s gangsters in an urban, violent, and gritty world.
produced by Chicago College of the Performing Arts in conjunction with Chicago Opera Theater's Young Artist Program at the Athenaeum Theatre, November 2010
Conductor: Alastair Willis
Scenic Design: Margaret Goddard
Lighting Design: Sarah Hughey
Costume Design: Marianna Csaszar
Co-Directed with Blake Montgomery
at The Building Stage, February-March 2010
Production design by Lee Keenan and Meghan Raham
In this adaptation of Wagner's Ring Cycle, the text of Wagner's great operas were spoken by actors, and all four pieces played in a 6-hour production of visual theatrics, backed up by a rock band playing motifs and adapted sections of Wagner's score. Without performing the operas outright, we tried to stay as true to Wagner's vision of a community festival, including a picnic break between the halves, and inviting the audience to eat on stage with the performers.
"Montgomery and Schultz divide their movement into four acts, hewing closely to the structure of Wagner’s four-opera recounting of Norse myth. Composer Kevin O’Donnell’s four-piece band provides a percussion-heavy rock score with polite nods to the original (“The Ride of the Valkyries" shows up in a guitar line, for instance), but only the Rhinemaidens—here a trio of bathing-capped beauties “swimming" on aerial silks—sing. The Rhinemaidens are just one of production designers Lee Keenan and Meghan Raham’s clever visuals: The Norse gods are clad in ’70s ski chic; the woodbirds that counsel Siegfried sport aviator caps. Their industrial-aesthetic set embraces the Building Stage’s warehouse environs but comes with its own surprises (the bridge to Valhalla is represented by a steel staircase, its steps lit up in rainbow colors). A fine 11-member ensemble is adept at both the comic and tragic elements encompassed in the foibles of the gods, and the directors keep things moving at a solid pace. It’s an epic journey, yes, but one well worth taking" -Kris Vire in Time Out Chicago