October 4, 6pm (Cabaret Performance)
11, 7pm
October 12, 2pm
(More details below)

The Barnes Foundation

2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

Tickets and more information:
The Barnes Foundation

Humanities at Large


A Comic Opera

A program of The Barnes Foundation sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Penn Humanities Forum, and the Richard L. Fisher Chair Research Fund of the University of Pennsylvania.

Paul Richards, composer   Wendy Steiner, librettist

Naomi O'Connell, mezzo-soprano

  Christopher Burchett, baritone
Caroline Worra, soprano   Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Gary Thor Wedow, conductor   Andrew Lucia, imagery & design
Mary Birnbaum, director   Grace Laubacher, projection design
Wendy Steiner, producer   Kathleen Doyle, costumes

The poetry of Shakespeare and the art of the Italian Renaissance meet the video games of the 21st century in this comedic multimedia opera by composer Paul Richards and librettist Wendy Steiner. Biennale follows a women's magazine editor as she enters an interactive artwork at the Venice Biennale and becomes lost in a seductive world of images. With performances in both the spectacular Annenberg Court and the elegant Barnes auditorium, this premiere is not to be missed.

For program details, including the Librettist's and Composer's Notes as well as plot summary and artist bios, visit biennaleopera.com!

Wendy Steiner is Richard L. Fisher Professor emeritus of English at Penn. From 1999–2010, she served as Founding Director of the Penn Humanities Forum, during which time she also wrote and produced another comic opera, The Loathly Lady.

Friday, October 4, 6:00 pm
($) Cabaret Performance
Great Court, The Barnes Foundation
Performance (10/4) free with reduced admission price to museum.

Friday, October 11, 7:00 pm ($)
Saturday, October 12, 2:00 pm ($)
Barnes Auditorium, The Barnes Foundation
To receive the special PHF discounted price of $25 (performance only), mention code "BIENNALE13".

For tickets and more information:
The Barnes Foundation, 215-278-7200