Design Students Present new Opera Films as part of the NYU/Tisch OperaLab and the American Opera Project

Monday, Nov 22, 2021

Opera Lab

Opera Lab

The American Opera Project, in partnership with NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and The Department of Design for Stage & Film will present UNDISCOVERED COUNTRIES, a series of three 30-minute filmed operas written in response to the chaotic, momentous year 2020. The World Premiere will take place on December 2, 2021 at 7pm ET via YouTube live video feed. For more information, including full details on each program and how to watch, visit

The operas in UNDISCOVERED COUNTRIES were written by librettists and composers from the spring 2021 NYU/Tisch Advanced Opera Lab, including Gavin Knittle, Willem Oosthuysen, Zonia Tsang, Briana Harris, Alex Higgin-Houser, and Tristen Moseley, and directed/designed by members of Tisch's Department of Design for Stage & Film, including Ant Ma, Karen Boyer, Lauren Carmen, New Phase Collective, Nina Pan, Christopher Wong, and I-Chen Wang. The opera films will feature performances by Paul An, Gideon Dabi, Melissa Harvey, Kathryn Krasovec, Nicole Mitchell, Timothy Stoddard, with musical direction by Miriam Charney and audio engineering by Enzo Veiga. The OperaLab Lab is led by Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program Associate Arts Professor Randall Eng and Design for Stage and Film Associate Arts Professor Sam Helfrich.



Music by Zonia Tsang & Libretto by Alex Higgin-Houser

Design by New Phase Collective

In this shadow puppet opera, a Blackwater mercenary returns to Sparta, TN to live with his sister, having received a presidential pardon for the murders he committed in Iraq. When he moves in, his sister's loyalty is tested when a shadowy presence demands justice.



Music by Gavin Knittle & Libretto by Briana Harris

Design by Lauren Carmen, Nina Pan, & Christopher Wong

The Dragon Transfer chronicles the experiences of four astronauts on the International Space Station during the Covid-19 pandemic. A newly arrived American astronaut sends a device to her college age daughter in quarantine, while an escaped spider aboard the ISS causes mayhem among the crew.



Music by Willem Oosthuysen & Libretto by Tristen Moseley

Design by Karen Boyer and Ant Ma

Direction by I-Chen Wang

Drawing on text and music from the Middle Ages, this show sees a horse-headed priest lead a Catholic Requiem, while those in the pews must reconcile a world situated between continual crisis and the cusp of renaissance.


AOP's training programs are supported in part through a multi-year grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and OPERA America’s Innovation Grant funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.


For more information, including full details on each program and how to watch, visit