HUANG RUO, Composer & Librettist
BASIL TWIST, Director & Designer

Conducted by HUANG RUO

MARCH 15–20, 2022


Running time is approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.



Lute Breuer, Ben Elling, Rosa Elling, Alexandra Goss, Rachel Schapira, Ashley Winkfield


Madeline Apple Healey, Soprano 1
Melanie Russell, Soprano 2
Margaret Carpenter Haigh, Soprano 3
Meg Dudley, Alto 1
Pamela Terry, Alto 2
Clifton Massey, Alto 3
Nick Karageorgiou, Tenor 1
Gregorio Taniguchi, Tenor 2
Timothy Hodges, Tenor 3
Thomas McCargar, Bass 1/Choir Manager
Jeffrey Gavett, Bass 2
Brian Mextorf, Bass 3


Michael Murphy, John Ostrowski


Huang Ruo, Composer/Librettist & Conductor
Basil Twist, Direction/Production Design
Poe Saegusa, Lighting Designer
Daniel Neumann, Sound Engineer
Lynne Buckson, Costume Designer
Rachel Schapira, Puppet Build Chief
Lindsey Turteltaub, Stage Manager
Jonathan Cottle, Associate Lighting Designer
Kate Brehm, Assistant Director
Barbara Busackino, Executive Director at Tandem Otter Productions
Beth Morrison Projects, Producer

Stephen Christensen, Kia Rogers, Deck Crew
Samy Ravs, Deck Audio
Javon Mount, Wardrobe Supervisor
Joshua Northcutt, Supertitles Operator



(Composer & Librettist) has been lauded by The New York Times for having “a distinctive style.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz to create a seamless, organic integration using a compositional technique he calls “Dimensionalism.” Huang Ruo’s diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, architectural installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film. His music has been premiered and performed by the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, National Polish Radio Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Asko/Schoenberg, Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, and conductors such as Wolfgang Sawallisch, Marin Alsop, Andrew Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, and James Conlon. His opera An American Soldier (with libretto by David Henry Hwang) has recently received its world premiere at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in June 2018, and was named one of the best classical music events in 2018 by The New York Times. Huang Ruo is a composition faculty at the Mannes School of Music in NY, and is the artistic director and conductor of Ensemble FIRE.  He was selected as a Young Leader Fellow by the National Committee on United States–China Relations in 2006. Huang Ruo’s music is published by Ricordi.


BASIL TWIST (Director & Production Designer) is a third-generation puppeteer. He is the sole American to graduate from the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France. Twist’s showmanship was spotlighted in New York by The Jim Henson International Festival of Puppetry with his award-winning The Araneidae Show. This recognition coupled with the ground-breaking and multiple award-winning Symphonie Fantastique, Twist was revealed as a singular artist of unlimited imagination. Subsequently Twist has created over 20 original full-length works for the stage. Highlights include Petrushka, The Rite of Spring (Lincoln Center), Dogugaeshi (Barbican, Paris, Charleveille-Mezieres), Behind the Lid (New York) and Arias with a Twist (Paris, Stockholm). He was set-designer and co-director for A Streetcar Named Desire (La Comédie Française) Other operas he has directed and designed include Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco (Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto) and Hansel and Gretel (Houston, Atlanta, Michigan Opera). Ballet collaborations with Christopher Wheeldon include Cinderella, (Dutch National and San Francisco Ballet), The Winter’s Tale (Royal Ballet) and The Nutcracker (Joffrey). His honors include Obie, Henry Hewes and Doris Duke Performing awards, multiple UNIMA and Bessie Awards, a Guggenheim fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship and The Rome Prize. He directs the Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE, New York City.


LUTE BREUER (Puppeteer) Broadway credits: WarHorse at Lincoln Center, The Pee Wee Herman Show at The Stephen Sondheim Theater, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Lute has performed regionally at The New Victory Theater, The La Jolla Playhouse, The Geffen, The Public Theater, Shakespeare in the Park at The Delacorte Theater, and many others. Internationally he has toured as a performer or director to Russia, Brazil, Korea, China, Ireland, among others. Festivals include Spoleto, Edinburgh, Lincoln Center. He is a longtime collaborator with Basil Twist and very happy to be working with him again. Most recently he worked on Basil’s production of Hansel and Gretel at The Detroit Opera House. When he’s not in puppet land, Lute works as a screenwriter.


BEN ELLING (Puppeteer) is a puppeteer and theatrical technician. He has worked extensively as an audio/video engineer, and freelance technical director for several Off-Broadway productions. In addition to his technical work, Ben has puppeteered in Basil Twist’s Rite of Spring at Lincoln Center, and in Symphonie Fantastique at HERE.


ROSA ELLING (Puppeteer) is a performer and puppet maker from Sheffield, England. Rosa trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama puppetry program then worked as a fabricator for Nick Barnes Studios before moving to NYC in 2015. Rosa has worked on Tandem Otter projects ever since. Yay puppets.


ALEXANDRA GOSS (Puppeteer) is a Philadelphia based multimedia artist and puppeteer. Since 2016, they’ve toured with Australia-based Snuff Puppets and director Steffi Oberhoff performing in Taiwan, the UK, Germany and most recently at the Basel International Figure Theatre Festival. Their work has been seen at The Tank, La Mama, Dixon Place, Coney Island Sideshows, Puppet Showplace Theatre, The Wassaic Project and in internet chatrooms.


RACHEL SCHAPIRA (Puppeteer/Puppet Build Chief) is a co-founder of Eat Drink Tell Your Friends Puppetry Collective. Rachel has worked with Basil Twist, Welcome to Campfire, Ripe Time, The Story Pirates, New Georges, Opera Slavica, and Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew. She is a teaching artist with Red Hook Art Project, a 2019 Henson Grant recipient, and a member of a monster trux collective.


ASHLEY WINKFIELD (Puppeteer) (Xe/Them) is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on puppetry, poetry, and performance arts. Introduced to puppetry through Basil Twist’s Rite of Spring, Ashley has found ways to include puppetry in every artform they encounter, including Only Child’s immersive aerial experience Two Fold. Ashley has also puppeteered in Rachael Shane’s The Paper Piece, Mabou Mine’s China tour of Animal Magnetism, and Torry Bend’s The Paper Hat Game and Dreaming. For more about Ashley, visit or check out their Instagram


TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET CHORUS Peerless, GRAMMY®-nominated interpreters of both early and new music, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street has redefined the realm of 21st-century vocal music, breaking new ground with an artistry described as “blazing with vigour…a choir from heaven” (The Times, London). This premier ensemble, under the direction of Julian Wachner, can be heard in recordings from New York City and around the world in performances described as “thrilling” (The New Yorker), “musically top-notch” (The Wall Street Journal), and “simply superb” (The New York Times). The choir leads liturgical music at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, while performing in Bach + One, Compline by Candlelight, and many other concerts and festivals throughout the year, often with NOVUS NY, the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and the Trinity Youth Chorus. The choir anchors Trinity’s critically-acclaimed annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, which The New York Times declares to be “the best ‘Messiah’ in New York.”


MICHAEL MURPHY (Percussion) has been hailed as “captivating” and “just a boy toying around with his electronic drum” (Myanmar Times, 2018). The Chinese-Canadian percussionist has traveled North America, Japan, Myanmar, Armenia, Denmark, and throughout Europe as a solo and chamber musician. He is an avid performer of contemporary music and is currently working on a series of new works for percussion solo from composers in Canada, Germany, Japan, and the USA. As a researcher, his focus in Japanese traditional aesthetics has been funded by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, and in connection to the Université Franco Allemande, he is currently completing a PhD at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. Recent highlights include recording xylophone for the video game Cuphead and the commissioning of a new series of works for Shō, with future performance plans in Germany and Japan.


JOHN OSTROWSKI (Percussion) New York based percussionist John Ostrowski has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, and The American Ballet Theatre Orchestra. He has appeared on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series under the direction of Pierre Boulez and has been a part of the Broadway musicals Mamma Mia!, The Phantom of the Opera, The King and I, Wicked, Sunset Boulevard, and Miss Saigon.  He has performed with orchestras that have accompanied popular artists, such as Sting, Sir Elton John, Lady Gaga, Bela Fleck, Danny Elfman, and The Roots. He holds a BM from Northwestern University and a MM from the Juilliard School.


AYUMU POE SAEGUSA (Lighting Designer) started stage lighting design in 2000 in Tokyo. He moved to NYC in 2005 and became the resident lighting designer at HERE Arts Center. He also works as a freelance lighting designer for various types of shows, from New York Fringe festival to Lincoln Center Festival. He is a good collaborator for multimedia opera and all sorts of puppet shows. His credits include Looking At You  (HERE Main stage, 2019, NY) by Kristin Martin, and Rite of Spring (White Light Festival at Lincoln Center 2014, NY) by Basil Twist. He has been serving as Lighting Designer to Basil Twist since 2008.


DANIEL NEUMANN (Sound Engineer) is a sound artist, organizer and audio engineer living in NYC. He holds a masters degree in media art from the Academy of Visual Art Leipzig and also studied electronic music composition. His artistic work has been presented internationally and is represented by Fridman Gallery. As an audio engineer, he has 20+ years of professional experience and his focus is on multi-channel sound, installations and contemporary music. He is a member of Alarm Will Sound and works with BlankForms, Ambient Church, ACME, Diamanda Galás and many more.


KATE BREHM (Assistant Director) directs and designs visual theater with puppets, physical acting, and scenic dramaturgy. She is certified in the Margolis Method of physical theater and has taught Movement for Puppeteers and Visual Storytelling for the Stage at Harvard University and elsewhere. Credits: The Poofs, Dark Space, Things Fall Apart, Discrepancies (director/designer); Hansel and Gretel  – Michigan Opera Theater, Dorothy and the Prince of Oz – Tulsa Ballet/ Ballet Met, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Bdway (puppet movement direction with Basil Twist); Symphonie Fantastique, Dogugaeshi, Rite of Spring, Arias With a Twist, Petrushka, Sister’s Follies, Seafoam Sleepwalk (performing puppeteer – Basil Twist).






Joseph S. Steinberg, Chairman
Susan Feldman, President ­/ Artistic Director
David Belt, ­Vice Chair
Chad Dickerson, ­Vice Chair
Steven B. Rissman, Vice President
Andrew Foote, Treasurer
Thomas H. French, ­Secretary
Daisy Auger-Dominguez
Dominique Bravo
Kay Ellen Consolver
Elizabeth B. Gormley
Henry B. Gutman
Stephen Hendel
Diane L. Max
Anthony D. Schlesinger
Jolie Curtsinger Schwartz
Aliana B. Spungen
Doug Steiner
David C. Walentas


Susan Feldman, Artistic Director ­
Erik Wallin, General Manager
Marilynn Donini, Director of External Affairs
Lianna Portnoy, Director of Finance
Daniel C. Smith, Finance & Administrative Consultant
Jim Findlay, Director of Production & Operations
Torrence Browne, Director of Marketing
John Mosele, Technical Director
Gwendolyn Dunaif, Manager of Institutional Giving
Kelvin Veras, Box Office Manager
Sarah Peterson, Production Manager
Alex Taylor, Lighting Supervisor
Joemca, Sound & Video Supervisor
Sarah Horne, Associate General Manager
Britney Polites Gordon, Company Manager
Jorge Castillo, Facilities Manager
David Colon Jr., Facilities Assistant


Blake Zidell & Associates, Press Relations
Flyleaf Creative, Art Direction and Graphic Design
Samara Daly, Public Affairs Consultant
Teddy Wolff, Photography
Leon Lutgenhorst, Videography


Brittany Coyne, Summer Gan, Kyle Milner, Craig Schenker


Summer Gan, House Manager
Bear, Security
Paul Bedard, Michael Bontatibus, Rick Coleman, Kaila Dempsey, Mikayla Duran, Melissa Fleming, David Herndon, Kevin Jung, Fatemata Krubally, Emily LaRosa, Jake Mierva, Kyle Milner, Alexandra Nedved, Nikolas Pagan, Regina Persall, Xavier Remnick, Liv Sanders, Cindy Trickel, Ushers



Claire Bacon, Broderick Ballantyne, Stephanie Beattie, Kwamina Biney, Stephen Christensen, Janeill Cooper, Jonathan Cottle, Tony Crawford, Julia Frey, Leo Janks, Justin Maldonado, Jesse Mattes, Leo Mendoza, Josh Northcutt, Nick Ray, Kia Rogers, Diana Sheivprasad, Siena Sherer, Sarazina Stein, Sandy Thevenin



Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) is one of the foremost creators and producers of new opera-theatre and music theatre, with a fierce commitment to leading the industry into the future, cultivating a new generation of talent, and telling the stories of our time.

Founded by “contemporary opera mastermind” (LA Times) Beth Morrison, who was honored as one of Musical America’s Artists of the Year/Agents of Change in 2020, BMP has grown into “a driving force behind America’s thriving opera scene” (Financial Times), with Opera News declaring that the company, “more than any other… has helped propel the art form into the twenty-first century.”

Operating across the US and internationally, with offices in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, BMP’s unique model offers living composers the support, guidance, and freedom to experiment, allowing them to create singularly innovative and impactful projects. Since forming in 2006, the company has commissioned, developed, produced and toured over 50 works in 14 countries around the world, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning chamber operas Angel’s Bone and p r i s m.

In 2013, BMP co-founded the PROTOTYPE Festival with HERE, which has been called “utterly essential” (The New York Times), “indispensable” (The New Yorker), and “one of the world’s top festivals of contemporary opera and theater” (Associated Press).


Nancy Sanders
Lynn J. Loacker
Beth Morrison
Dr. Michael Siegal, M.D., Ph.D.
Richard Ellingsen
Susan Bienkowski
Charlotte Isaacs
Miles Benickes
Ralph Dandrea
Pamela Drexel
Nicholas Firth
Judy Brick Freedman
David Gindler
Marian A. Godfrey
Frederick Peters
Sandy Pressman


Linda Brumbach
Renée Fleming
Nathan Gunn
David Howse
Colleen Jennings-Rosensack
Joseph V. Melillo


Beth Morrsion, President & Creative Producer
Jecca Barry, Executive Director
Julie Maykowski, Director of Development
Alejandra Noyola, Development Associate
Roderick Murray, Director of Production
Dani Joseph, Associate Producer
Carlos Diaz Stoop, Associate Producer
Liz Uchtman, General Manager
Maddy Rosaler, Office/Company Manager
Cynthia Bastidas, Bookkeeper
Victoria Preis, Marketing Manager
Lu Mejia, Social Media Coordinator

Unison Media, Andrew Ousley, Press Agent




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This production is dedicated in loving memory of Stuart Nelson.

Book of Mountains & Seas was commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, Ars Nova (Copenhagen), Moss Arts Center/ Virginia Tech, Soundstreams, Koorbiennale, and Hong Kong New Vision Festival, and Linda & Stuart Nelson. This production is also supported by the Canada Council for the Arts #BringingTheArtsToLife.

Book of Mountains & Seas is made possible by the Jim Henson Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Additional commissioning support provided by the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts.



Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, J.L. Greene Arts Access Fund in The New York Community Trust, The JKW Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, The Tow Foundation, SHS Foundation.

This season is supported by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts.

St. Ann’s Warehouse is deeply grateful for Senator Charles E. Schumer’s visionary leadership of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.


For a full list of St. Ann’s Warehouse’s supporters, click here. For a full list of Beth Morrison Projects supporters, click here. Thank you for your generous support!


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