Here Be Sirens


An opera for three sopranos and grand piano by Kate Soper, directed by Héctor Alvarez.

Set on a Mediterranean island in the pre-archaic Greek past and the post-apocalyptic U.S. future, the opera follows three Sirens (Polyxo, Peitho, and Phaino) caught in a purgatorial state, destined to lure sailors to their deaths for eternity. Desperate to break the cycle, Polyxo tries to determine how the Sirens came to be. In Polyxo’s pursuit to understand her origin, the opera confronts otherness beyond the Sirens and duality within the self. The opera ebbs and flows between poles: Eros and Thanatos, consonance and dissonance, the sublime and the vulgar, imprisonment and liberation, song and speech. HERE BE SIRENS examines a lineage of Siren literature across disciplines and eras, featuring texts by Homer, Plato, Erasmus, Dante, Milton, Thomas Campion, Anne Carson, Michael Drayton, Carl Jung, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Pythagoras, and Sappho. 

Presented by: California Institute of the Arts (May 2023), Roy O. Disney Concert Hall. Role: Polyxo.



Cast: Elliot Menard (Polyxo), Mikaela Elson (Peitho), and Nelle Anderson (Phaino). Sailors: Ryan Nebreja, Gary Cook, Rory James Leech, Joe Zhang, Sawyer Shine, Kyle Digiorgio, Rowland Smith, Grant Garcia Ashwath Ram Saravanan, Paul Sohm, Jared Perez, Kody Nelson, Alexander Boyd, Rudraa Pratap Singh and Hunter Abal. Creative Team: Héctor Alvarez (Director), Daniel Newman-Lessler (Music Director), Holly Webb and Sophia Beall (Scenic Design), Claire Chrzan (Lighting Design), Yuwei Hu (Costume Design), Lanae Wilks (Stage Manager), Darby Huffaker (Assistant Stage Manager), Sophia Beall (Technical Director), Rory James Leech (Assistant Director), Elizabeth Rae Price (Producer), Sangyi Zhao (Videographer).