Music by Daron Aric Hagen

Libretto by Paul Muldoon


Shining Brow is an “Intense and pleasurable musical experience . . . the score may be something of a musical response to the jewel-like tones and intricate patterns in Wright’s signature windows and textiles.” – Anne Midgette, The Washington Post


Saturday, October 14 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 15 at 2 p.m.
Friday, October 20 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 21 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $42 Regular/$39 Seniors and Students
General Admission

At Atlas Performing Arts Center

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Or call Atlas’ box office at (202) 399-7993 ext. 2

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“Mr. Hagen has a gift for the Big Tune, and he delivers some beauties in this opera.” – The New York Times

90 minutes long with no intermission; an audience talk-back will follow each performance.

UrbanArias gratefully acknowledges the Capitol Hill Community Foundation for its support of Shining Brow.

Parental Advisory: Shining Brow contains mature references, and may not be suitable for young children.


Sidney Outlaw as Frank Lloyd Wright
Miriam Khalil as Mamah Cheney
Rebecca Ringle as Catherine Wright
Ben Wager as Edwin Cheney
Robert Baker as Louis Sullivan

Conducted by Robert Wood
Directed by Grant Preisser
Scenic and Costume Design by Grant Preisser
Lighting Design by Lucrecia Briceno

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Shining Brow concerns events that occurred between 1903 and 1914 during the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s life. Wright’s determination to leave his wife and children, his relationship with Mamah Cheney, and the subsequent murders and conflagration at Taliesin, are all part of the historical record.

The opera opens as Wright meets Edwin and Mamah Cheney, who have commissioned him to design their new home. Wright and Mamah begin an affair, and both eventually obtain divorces and remarry each other. But Mamah fears that she will always be secondary to Wright’s obsession with his work – and with himself. Over the course of the opera, we see how Wright’s three principal relationships – with his mentor, Louis Sullivan, his first wife, Catherine, and Mamah – all crumble under the weight of Wright’s ego. The opera takes us to the point at which the home he built for Mamah is consumed by a fire, and she with it. He vows to rebuild that home, Taliesin in Mamah’s memory.



CLICK HERE to read the libretto of SHINING BROW


Enjoy Daron Hagen’s lush music in these clips from our rehearsal studio! We can’t wait to show it to you with full sets, costumes, lighting, and orchestra.




Sidney Outlaw was the Grand Prize winner of the Concurso Internacional de Canto Montserrat Caballe in 2010 and continues to delight audiences in the U.S. and abroad with his rich and versatile baritone and engaging stage presence. A graduate of the Merola Opera Program and the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, this rising American baritone from Brevard, North Carolina recently added a GRAMMY nomination to his list of accomplishments for the Naxos Records recording of Darius Milhaud’s 1922 opera trilogy, L’Orestie d’Eschyle in which he sang the role of Apollo. Last season for Mr. Outlaw included Dandini in La Cenerentola with Greensboro Opera, appearances with the Charlotte Symphony, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music and Colour of Music Festivals, his Spoleto Festival debut as Jake in Porgy and Bess, and Madison Opera’s Opera in the Park. The 2016-2017 season included Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Madison Opera, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, a recital with Warren Jones, and a return to the New York Philharmonic.

Mr. Outlaw has been a featured recitalist with Warren Jones at Carnegie Hall and performed Elijah with the New York Choral Society. He traveled to Guinea as an Arts Envoy with the U.S. State Department, where he performed a program of American music in honor of Black History Month and in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King. Mr. Outlaw made his English National Opera debut in the 2011-12 season as Rambo in The Death of Klinghoffer and joined the Metropolitan Opera roster in 2014-2015 also for The Death of Klinghoffer. Recent engagements include Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero with the New York Philharmonic, Schaunard in La bohème with the Ash Lawn Festival, and Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with North Carolina Opera. Other mainstage roles include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, the title role in Moses with the American Symphony Orchestra, and Malcolm in Malcolm X at New York City Opera,

Mr. Outlaw won 2nd Prize in the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation’s International Competition, 2nd Prize in the 2011 Gerda Lissner Foundation Awards, National semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, semi-finalist in the Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition, finalist in both Concours International Musical de Montreal and George London Foundation, and grand prize in the Florida Grand Opera/YPO Vocal Competition. He holds a Bachelor in Music Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Vocal Performance from The Julliard School.

Miriam Khalil is an acclaimed Lebanese-Canadian soprano specializing in opera and concert performance. She has appeared on numerous opera stages across North America and Europe, including a stint at the renowned Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the United Kingdom. Notable roles include Mimi in La bohème (Minnesota Opera, Opera Hamilton and Against the Grain Theatre); Musetta in La bohème (Edmonton Opera); Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Opera Tampa and Against the Grain Theatre/The Banff Centre/Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival); Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande (Against the Grain Theatre); the Governess in The Turn of the Screw (Against the Grain Theatre); Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Glyndebourne Festival Opera, U.K.); Almirena in Rinaldo (Glyndebourne Festival Opera, U.K.); and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Lyra Ottawa and Against the Grain Theatre).

Equally at home on the concert stage, Miriam has been a frequent recitalist in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. She has performed oratorios, song cycles and opera galas with orchestras across Canada including Symphony Nova Scotia, Victoria Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony and Sudbury Symphony.

She is a proud founding member of the Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning chamber opera company Against the Grain Theatre (AtG). With vision and dedication, AtG explores different and innovative ways of presenting opera to new and familiar audiences. Miriam is delighted to help shape “one of the most important opera companies in Canada” (Calgary Herald). This past July, Miriam made her South American Debut in Buenos Aires singing the Argentinian premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s acclaimed song cycle, Ayre. She has also sung Ayre to critical acclaim in Banff, Alberta, Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario. This coming season, she looks forward to making her Washington DC debut with UrbanArias as Mamah Cheney in Daron Hagen’s opera Shining Brow; making her Fargo-Moorhead Opera debut in the title role of Handel’s Alcina; returning to Edmonton Opera as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni; and joining Against the Grain Theatre in their Handel workshop titled Bound.

Mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle made her New York City Opera debut as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana and returned to NYCO as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Dorothée in Cendrillon. Most recently Rebecca joined the Brevard Symphony for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem, the Omaha and Jacksonville Symphonies for Handel’s Messiah, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera for Elektra. Engagements for the 2016-2017 season included Maddalena in Rigoletto with Baltimore Concert Opera, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Phoenix Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Cheyenne Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with Augustana College, and her return to the Metropolitan Opera for Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac.

2014-2015 saw Ms. Ringle’s return to the Metropolitan Opera for productions of The Death of Klinghoffer and Manon. Additionally, she joined the Marlboro Music Festival for their Musicians from Marlboro Tour, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park for Elijah, and the New West Symphony for Mozart’s Mass in C minor. In the 2013-2014 season, she returned to the Met for Shostakovich’s The Nose, and appeared in concert with the National Chorale for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The 2012-2013 season brought her Metropolitan Opera mainstage debut, singing Rossweisse in Die Walküre, which she also sang for the Tanglewood Festival, her role debut as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles with the Bard Music Festival, and her return to the Marlboro Music Festival for the third time. The 2010-2011 season saw Ms. Ringle joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their productions of Nixon in China, Rigoletto, Die Walküre, her international debut as Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the Macau International Music Festival, Armida in Handel’s Rinaldo with Opera Vivente, and Leda in Die Liebe der Danae with the Bard SummerScape.

Recent operatic highlights include Rossweise in Die Walküre with Washington National Opera directed by Francesca Zambello, the title role in Handel’s Ariodante and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with The Princeton Festival, and the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos with Utah Opera. Ms. Ringle made her professional debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlo with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst. She has performed with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi as a soloist in Piazzolla’s Songe d’une Nuit d’été and as Pâtre/La chatte in L’enfant et les sortilèges.

Ben Wager is a 2009 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Mr. Wager’s 2016-2017 season featured a return to the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for performances of the Police Sergeant in Pirates of Penzance, a return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin in a variety of roles, and a solo recital with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Last season brought a company debut as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera San Jose. After highly successful prior engagements with Minnesota Opera, the bass returned in the role of Vodnik in Dvorak’s Rusalka, and also returned to Opera Delaware as Lo Spettro/Luciano in Amleto.

Mr. Wager’s 2014-2015 season brought an anticipated debut in Oslo with Den Norske Opera as Escamillo in Carmen, and as the Hotel Manager in Powder Her Face with Odyssey Opera. Following his highly successful house debut as Colline in La bohème, he returned to the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for two roles: Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri, and Angelotti in Tosca. He concluded the season with Washington D.C.’s Cathedral Choral Society, in a concert of opera favorites.

Mr. Wager performed the role of Colline in La bohème with PORTOpera during summer 2013. Mr. Wager sang Haydn’s Seasons with Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival in summer 2012. His engagements in 2012-2013 included Il Re in Aida with Dallas Opera, the Hotel Manager in Powder Her Face and the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Count Rodolfo in La sonnambula with Washington Concert Opera, and the title role in Don Giovanni in a new production with Kentucky Opera. Mr. Wager’s 2011-2012 season included dual appearances at Minnesota Opera, as General Audebert in the world premiere of Silent Night, and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor.

A central figure in the Washington-area classical music scene, Robert Baker has been featured in more than 300 performances of 43 productions with the Washington National Opera. He has also sung ten roles with the Washington Concert Opera. Recent career highlights include the role of Ishmael in the world premiere of Peter Westergaard’s Moby Dick at Princeton University (recorded for Albany Records), and his Metropolitan Opera debut in Prokfiev’s War and Peace, which he also recorded during The Spoleto Festival’s production, released on the Chandos label.

He appears frequently with the National Symphony Orchestra. Prof. Baker was soloist on the Grammy Award-Winning recording Of Rage and Remembrance by John Corigliano (BMI: 1996) and recently sang Triquet in the NSO’s presentation of Eugene Onegin. Recently, Professor Baker appeared in Peter Grimes and Turandot with the Washington National Opera, Carmina Burana with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Handel’s Messiah with the Apollo Chorus in Chicago. He is a frequent performer of new music, has premiered over 15 major works in his career and is a frequent collaborator with DC composer Douglas Boyce. Professor Baker is proud to have sung with all the major choral organizations in Washington, DC, starting with the Paul Hill Chorale in 1979, and continuing with Norman Scribner, Reilly Lewis, Robert Shafer, Donald McCullough, Gisèle Becker, Tom Beveridge and Julian Wachner.

He returned to The Washington National Opera in roles in both Ariadne auf Naxos and Le Nozze di Figaro. The Chair of the Department of Music at the George Washington University, Professor Baker and his wife live in Washington, DC.

Conductor Robert Wood founded UrbanArias in 2009. Under his guidance, the company has achieved national recognition as an innovator in the field of opera, and has given over 90 performances in Arlingon, DC, and New York City. He has conducted UrbanArias’ productions of Independence Eve (Boquiren), As One (Kaminsky), The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (Nyman), After Life, Josephine, and Glory Denied (Cipullo), Before Breakfast (Pasatieri), Blue Viola and The Filthy Habit (Hilliard), Paul’s Case (Spears), and Three Decembers (Heggie).

Maestro Wood made his debut with the San Francisco Opera in 2004 with Verdi’s La traviata, and has also conducted L’italiana in Algeri and several concerts there.. He recently conducted Orpheus and Euridice at the Vermont Opera Project, Three Decembers at Kentucky Opera, Die Fledermaus at Hawaii Opera Theater, and Roméo et Juliette and Carmen at Opera Colorado. Maestro Wood returns to Hawaii to conduct As One with the original cast in January 2018, and will conduct the same opera at Lyric Opera of Kansas City later that month.

Mr. Wood was appointed Conductor in Residence at the Minnesota Opera from 2006-2008, leading productions of L’italiana in Algeri, Le nozze di Figaro, La donna del lago, Rusalka, and Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Wood has also conducted L’italiana in Algeri at Vancouver Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Hawaii Opera Theater, The Love for Three Oranges at Indiana University Opera Theater, La cenerentola at Opera New Jersey, and The Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Wood’s collaborations with the Wolf Trap Opera Company include Le Comte Ory and Die Zauberflöte.

Stage Director and Designer Grant Preisser enjoys a diverse international career across music, theater, design, and education. His 2016-2017 season began with his debut at UrbanArias in Washington, D.C. as Stage Director and Production Designer for The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. He returned to Opera Orlando throughout the season as Scenic Designer for productions of Don Pasquale and Amahl and the Night Visitors, as well as Scenic and Costume Designer of a new production of Don Giovanni. On the concert stage, he made his debut in May with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra directing a concert version of La bohème, and finished out the season directing The Magic Flute for Lawrence Opera Theatre.

Following his appointment in 2016 as Production Assistant at Music Academy of the West working on Matthew Aucoin’s Second Nature and Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, Grant returned to Santa Barbara in the summer of 2017 as Assistant Director for L’elisir d’amore and the OperaFest scenes program working alongside acclaimed director James Darrah. He is in his second season as General Manager and Stage Director for Angels & Demons Entertainment (ADE), a full-service production company focused on packaging concert/semi-staged works for symphony orchestras. Upcoming productions for ADE this season include Hansel & Gretel with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, as well as La bohème and St. Matthew Passion with the Colorado Symphony.

Additional directorial experience includes productions of Don Giovanni and L’incoronazione di Poppea, as well as original outreach productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the premiere of Lori Laitman’s The Three Feathers in collaboration with the composer. He recently directed and designed a double bill of Campbell and Bolcom’s Lucrezia and Ferrer and Piazzolla’s tango operita Maria de Buenos Aires, and designed the set and stage projections for Postcard from Morocco.


Daron Hagen (b. 1961, Milwaukee, WI) is an award-winning composer, librettist, stage director, conductor, collaborative pianist, and essayist. He is the recipient of the 20015 American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Academy Award for “the artist who has achieved his singular voice.” His music is performed worldwide—from the Ullens Center in Beijing to the Louvre in Paris, the Left Bank in London to Lincoln Center in New York City, from Suntory Hall in Tokyo to McCaw Hall in Seattle. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Opera, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others, his catalogue includes 9 operas, 5 symphonies, 12 concerti, dozens of instrumental works, and over 300 art songs and cycles. Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia and Chair of the Composition Faculty of the Wintergreen Music Festival and Academy, he has taught at Bard College, the Chicago College of the Performing Arts, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Princeton Atelier. He has served as president of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, and artistic director of the Seasons Music Festival Academy in Washington, conducted the cast recordings of several of his operas, and stage directed the premieres of others. Twice a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at Bellagio, he has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Friedheim Prize, the ASCAP-Nissim, Barlow Endowment, and Columbia University Bearns Prize. A Lifetime Member of the Corporation of Yaddo, he attended Curtis and Juilliard, and now lives in Rhinebeck, New York with his wife and two sons.

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet and professor of poetry, as well as an editor, critic, and translator. Born in 1951 in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, to Patrick Muldoon, a farm labourer and market gardener, and Brigid Regan, a schoolteacher, Paul Muldoon was brought up near a village called The Moy on the border of Counties Armagh and Tyrone. He is the oldest of three children. After studying at Queen’s University, Belfast, he published his first book, New Weather (Faber) in 1973, at the age of 21. From 1973 he worked as a producer for the BBC in Belfast until, in the mid-1980’s, he gave up his job to become a freelance writer and moved to the United States with his second wife, the American novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz. He now lives in New York City and Sharon Springs, New York.

Muldoon is the author of twelve major collections of poetry, including One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), Maggot (2010), Horse Latitudes (2006), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Hay (1998), The Annals of Chile (1994), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), Meeting the British (1987), Quoof (1983), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Mules (1977) and New Weather (1973). Muldoon served as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004 and as poetry editor of The New Yorker from 2007 to 2017. He has taught at Princeton University since 1987 and currently occupies the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 chair in the Humanities.

Paul Muldoon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature, the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as “the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War.”