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Wedding Quartet

Wedding Quartet from A Scandal in Bohemia

Setting: 1880’s London

Sherlock Holmes has been in pursuit of the operatic soprano Irene Adler, whom he believes to be a blackmailer.  Disguised as an idle horse groom, he follows her into a church, where he discovers she is about to be married to her lawyer, Godfrey Norton.  He is unexpectedly pressed into service as a witness.  At the conclusion of the ceremony, Adler presents him with a gold sovereign.

Minister: the late Julian Rodescu

Norton: David Kravitz

Adler: Laura Heimes

Holmes: Markus Beam

Archival recording, courtesy of Orchestra 2001; James Freeman, conductor 

Cassandra Final Scene from Act I

Cassandra Act I: FInal Scene The Trojan seeress Cassandra, having refused the sexual advances of the god Apollo, was cursed to know the future but unable to persuade anyone to believe her prophecies.  Prior to this scene, she predicted that Troy will lose its imminent battle against the Greek forces.  But the community ignored her, preferring to believe a sanitized version of the prophecy delivered by Cassandra’s brother Helenus, who conveniently omitted the negative outcome. 

In the first portion of this scene, Cassandra and Helenus watch as Queen Hecuba leads Brie, Chris, and other Trojan citizens onto the stage in a ceremonial processional to implore the gods for victory.   The second portion is a quintet in which the principal characters offer differing perspectives.

Archival recording from the 2019 production by students in the Department of Music and Dance, Swarthmore College. 

The Royal Singer

  • The Royal Singer, a Participatory Opera for Children, 2015. Libretto by Nathalie Anderson, after a scenario by Stephen Russell.Professor Song – eager for her child Bo to be chosen as the new Royal Singer – coaches five flawed singer-contestants, hoping to encourage Bo to enter the competition.  Instead, Bo discovers the pleasure of being part of a chorus of friends.  The penultimate scene is to be created and performed by a group of local children, in partnership with the adults. Audio of Scene 7: Finale.

Sukey in the Dark

  • Sukey in the Dark: chamber opera in one act, 2001; revised 2016. Libretto by Nathalie Anderson. 
    • Audio clip: Aria from Sukey in the DarkA contemporary re-envisioning of the Cupid and Psyche myth. Sukey – stuck in a dead-end job – finds herself in an unconventional relationship with a lover who never shows his face. What does it mean to go against social expectations? This one-act comedy makes a case for relationships that baffle outsiders, in a merging of dark and light. In this aria, Sukey sings to Eros that she yearns for their marriage to emerge from darkness.  Audio from the Peabody Chamber Opera production with soprano Madeline Huss in the title role.

A Scandal in Bohemia

  • A Scandal in Bohemia: chamber opera in two acts, after a story by A. Conan Doyle, 2008. Libretto by Nathalie Anderson.


Cassandra: chamber opera in two acts, 2019. Libretto by Nathalie Anderson.

  • Audio clip: Aria from Cassandra: Setting: aboard a Greek ship during the Trojan wars. Cassandra, a prophet from Troy, is a captive on a ship commanded by the Greek warrior Agamemnon. She mourns for the lost Troy of her childhood, a city that no one will ever see again. (Archival recording:  Cassandra: Shelby Billups; Music Director: Shira Samuels-Shragg.  Orchestra: students in the Department of Music and Dance, Swarthmore College.)
  • Click here for video and synopsis of the complete opera

Cassandra Video and Synopsis

Click here for cast list and production credits.

Video of Act I

Prologue: the Walls of Troy

A Teacher explains the origins of the war to a skeptical Pupil and other Trojans.

Act I: Troy

Cassandra reflects glumly on the marriage of her brother Paris. Her friends Brie and Chris arrive to cheer her up. They ask her to entertain them with her prophetic visions, which they (and the larger community) find laughable. Much to her annoyance, the community believes the identical prophecies when they are delivered by Cassandra’s twin brother, Helenus, who conveniently omits the negative events that are to come. Cassandra’s mother, Queen Hecuba, urges Cassandra to be less strident, less impolitic, in her prophecies.  Encouraged by Helenus, the community makes a ritual procession to ask the gods for victory in war — a victory that Cassandra knows will never come.

Video of Act II


After the fall of Troy, Cassandra is a captive on a ship commanded by the Greek warrior Agamemnon.  She mourns for the lost Troy of her childhood, a city that no one will ever see again.  Taunted by Agamemnon, she sees visions of Brie, Chris, and Hecuba, who have been dispersed among other war refugees.  She is inspired by their spirit of defiance.  Cassandra foresees that Agamemnon is fated to be murdered by his wife upon their arrival in Greece.  Realizing that Agamemnon will not believe her prophecies, she begs him strategically to turn the ship around.  He responds by accelerating towards home port, unknowingly hastening his own death.

Cassandra Production Credits

Presented by The Swarthmore College Office of the President and Departments of Theater, Music, and Dance

December 8th, 2019, Lang Concert Hall, Swarthmore College


  • Cassandra: Shelby Billups ’20
  • Helenus/Agamemnon: Omar Camps-Kamrin ’20
  • Hecuba: Hannah Sobel ’22
  • Chris: Emma Novak ’21
  • Brie: Maya Kikuchi ’20
  • Teacher/Captain: Sagar Rao ’22
  • Chorus: Natalia Abbate ’23, Liam Ash ’22, Adil Belgaumi ’20, Greg Boatman ’23, Gabriel Contreras ’20, Cat Crochunis-Brown ’23, Shay Downey ’22, Maya Plotnick ’22


  • 1st Violin: Herbie Rand ’21
  • 2nd Violin: Spencer Tate ’21
  • Viola: Natalie Kim ’22
  • Cello: Andy Zhang ’22
  • 1st Flute/Alto Flute/Piccolo: Nigel Van Ha ’20
  • 2nd Flute: Sarah Chang ’22
  • Trumpet: Simon Moore ’22
  • Piano: Mia Shoquist ’21
  • Percussion: Isaac Dwass ’23

Artistic Staff:

  • Director: K. Elizabeth Stevens
  • Music Director: Shira Samuels-Shragg ’20
  • Projection Designer: Jorge Cousineau
  • Lighting Designer: Evelyn Swift Shuker ’14
  • Costume Designer: Jennifer Povish
  • Vocal Coach Debra Scurto-Davis
  • Conducting Coach: Andrew Hauze ’04
  • Production Manager: Meghan Walsh
  • Assistant Projection Designer: John Baek ’21
  • Director of Concert Programming, Production, and Publicity: Jenny Honig