song from the uproar

july 17, 18, 19 & 21 | 7:30 p.m.
Aronoff center | fifth third bank theater
special collaboration with concert:nova

Music by Missy Mazzoli
Libretto by Royce Vavrek

Sung in English
Performance length: 1 hour and 20 minutes
There will be no intermission.

The season's performances of this opera have concluded.

The lives and deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt

Along with the acclaimed ensemble concert:nova, we're pleased to present our first work by a female composer—the boundary-breaking Missy Mazzoli—and librettist Royce Vavrek. Inspired by the fascinating salvaged journals of early-twentieth-century explorer Isabelle Eberhardt, the 2012 chamber opera has been called “powerful” (The Wall Street Journal) and “a captivating multimedia spectacle” (The New York Times). Singing Isabelle Eberhardt is the performer who created the role, Abigail Fischer, praised by the Los Angeles Times as “enthralling…one of the rising stars of new music."

Isabelle Eberhardt was born in 1877 in Geneva, Switzerland. At age 21, after the death of her father, mother, and brother in quick succession, she travelled alone to Algeria. She dressed as a man, converted to Islam, and joined a Sufi order, roamed the desert on horseback, and fell in love with an Algerian soldier. After surviving an attempted assassination and a failed suicide pact with her lover, Isabelle drowned in a desert flash flood at age 27.

Her journals were salvaged from the wreckage. This is her song.


The Oakwood Register
"An emotional thread that was woven into a strong cable by incredible music and performances." Read the review.

Broadway World
"Beautiful and often abstract....Driving and intricate" Read the review.

Cincinnati Enquirer
"The opera unfolded like a dream...It was intoxicating." Read the review.

Jay Harvey Upstage
"The brilliance of the scoring indelibly served the story and the vocal line" Read the review.

Cast & creative team

Abigail Fischer   Isabelle Eberhardt

Abigail Fischer
Isabelle Eberhardt


Isabelle Eberhardt  Abigail Fischer
Soprano 1  Melissa Harvey
Soprano 2  Grace Newberry
Alto  Emma Sorenson
Tenor  Benjamin Lee
Bass  Olusola Fadiran

Conductor  Keitaro Harada
Assistant Conductor  Michael Ciavaglia
Stage Director & Choreographer  Marco Pelle
Costume Designer  Rebecca Senske
Lighting Designer  Thomas C. Hase
Hair & Make-up Designer  James Geier
concert:nova Artistic Director  Ixi Chen
Production Stage Manager  Jennifer Picone

concert:nova  Ron Aufmann, Randy Bowman, Ric Hordinski, Julie Spangler, and Matt Zory

Presented in collaboration with concert:nova.

Learn More