All the Wonders

New Productions of Pulcinella,
Full Moon in March, and Svadba
Bard Fischer Center, 2018


Director: Alison Moritz
Conductor: James Bagwell and Jackson Mackinnon
Scenic Design: Kate Noll
Costume Design: Matthew Pedersen
Lighting Design: Anshuman Bhatia
Photo Credit: Karl Rabe


“This was the most tragic and morbid depiction of the battles of the sexes I have ever seen. Harbison’s music and the actors created a shocking Otherworldly experience. Half in shock, the audience erupted with fierce applause. (Millbrook Independent)

“The meticulous professionalism of this program was awesome because it was worthy of a great opera house. Bard has exceeded itself.” (Millbrook Independent)

“The production had that patina of polish as if they had done a hundred performances on the road. (Millbrook Independent)

“These operas featured quite different musical and singing strategies that exhibited extremely varied styles, yet a single stage scene was ingeniously adapted for all three performances. (Millbrook Independent)

All three were under the sparkling stage direction of Alison Moritz… This was a memorable night” (Millbrook Independent)


When I began preparing these operas, I was immediately captivated by the history surrounding Stravinsky’s ballet with singers: Pulcinella. This divertissement was commissioned in 1920 by ballet impresario Serghei Diaghilev for his legendary company, the Ballet Russes. In an interesting twist, Canadian-Serbian composer Ana Sokolović has cited Stravinsky’s Les Noces as a direct inspiration for her contemporary a cappella opera Svadba (Wedding). Upon discovering this connection, I knew I wanted to create a production that traced the artistic lineage from the Ballet Russes’ Pulcinella, through Harbison’s brutalist fairy tale Full Moon in March, all the way to Sokolović’s Svadba.

Each of these acts is a striking piece of music-theatre in its own right, but my central task has been connecting them into a cohesive unit. Opera is, after all, an extravagant act of synthesis: music, theatre, dance, and design merge to create an illuminating whole.