Jesse Buddington, the San Fransisco “long-distance tenor” who performed with Super Smash Opera for MAGfest is sadly unable to perform in this summer’s Pittsburgh performances at Confluence and Replay FX, so local performers were auditioned to substitute. To fill the role of Star Fox, who should step up to perform, but Jordan Speranzo – the actor who performed the role of Aidan Bower in the filmed portion of Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera! Five years older and all grown up, it’s amazing to look back and remember this budding performer as the same child who was playing with his own intestines on the hallway floor. Life comes full circle as Jordan sings with Bonnie and Liz once again, five years later! Read more at SuperSmashOpera.com
|BREAKING NEWS June 26, 2015|
|BREAKING NEWS May 23, 2015|
Five years ago, The Zombie Opera was in the midst of filming it’s theatrical segments and background action for it’s October 2010 premiere. All these years later, the team has assembled to discuss what made the production a success. Each team member knew their responsibilities and played to their strengths, but the key components behind the Zombie Opera were the driving passion that we all felt for the project, open communication among all the people involved, and the kindness and generosity of all the Pittsburghers who donated their time, talents, and resources, placing their faith in us and our mission.
Thanks yinz- we remember!
Pictured: Bonnie Bogovich (“Ronnie,” Artistic Director), Liz Rishel (“Izzie,” Artistic Director), Barry Bogovich [on ipad screen](Film Director/Editor), Arvin Clay (Special FX/Makeup Designer), and Edwin Huang (Director of Photography)
|BREAKING NEWS April 8, 2015|
Mention of our show in this article by Pitt News: Back to life: Zombie culture thrives in Pittsburgh
From 2010 to 2011, three successful runs of the stage production “Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera” ran at the Grey Box Theatre in Lawrenceville and at Pittsburgh’s Kelly Strayhorn Theatre in East Liberty, according to the show’s website. The website explains that the opera acknowledged Pittsburgh as the “birthplace of the zombie.”
They posted the article before we were allowed to give a quote, but its nice to see so many zombie based projects thriving in George Romero’s hometown:)
|BREAKING NEWS December 21, 2014|
The application for Bonnie and Liz’s new project, Super Smash Opera, has been accepted and will be performed at MAGfest 2015 as an hour-long panel on Friday, Jan 23, at 4:30. While classical adaptations are not unprecedented at MAGfest, this production will blaze a grand entrance for opera to announce its triumphant, vengeful, and hilarious return into the stylings of contemporary, media-based entertainment.
|BREAKING NEWS October 5, 2014|
|BREAKING NEWS July 25, 2014|
It’s a Zombie Opera reunion this weekend at Confluence, Pittsburgh’s Literary Scifi /Horror /Fiction Conference as former cast members Bonnie Bogovich (“Ronnie”/Artistic Director), Kevin M. Hayes (“Commander Fletcher”) and James Newsome (“Running Soldier”) are performing in a musical comedy/skit show titled The Parallax Zone on Saturday night at 7:45pm.
Bonnie Bogovich will also be attending as a panelist for “Fannish Music Beyond Filk”, 10am on Saturday, discussing the rise of music fandom’s from ‘Wizard Rock’ to zombie and video game tributes.
It only seems fitting that Zoperans would return to Confluence, as it was the first convention they were panelists and “filk” guest artists at (back in 2010) and also where they first met the to-be-cast-”Commander Fletcher”, Kevin Hayes, when he was performing (as a soldier!) in that year’s musical production of A Navitivity Story, the musical parody on the scifi film Avatar.
|BREAKING NEWS May 27, 2014|
Zombie Opera creators Bonnie Bogovich and Liz Rishel have been given key roles in this weekend’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute by Undercroft Opera, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Bonnie Bogovich has been working tirelessly heading up the Creature Crew who design and build the animals in the show. Animals include foxes, cats, birds, antelopes, frogs, and a giant thirty-foot serpent with glowing eyes (that requires 8 people to operate), which attacks Tamino at the beginning of the show. Bonnie is also the lead puppeteer, controlling the different kinds of creatures and the head of the snake.
Liz Rishel has been granted the honor of performing her dream role – The Queen of the Night - the villain of the show, on Friday, May 30 at 7 pm and on Sunday, June 1, at 2 pm. The role includes some incredibly high notes, and one of the most famous arias in all of opera, “Der Hölle Rache,” which is often used as the measuring stick for difficult arias to perform. Also, Liz was asked to create the Queen’s Royal Dress, which she will be wearing in the show.
Other Zombie Opera members include Emily Swora (“Angela”), who is covering the role of “Papagena,” and puppeteering the animals along with Jordan Speranzo (“Aidan”), one of Creature Crew Lead Assistants with Gwen Schmidt (Zopera Production Crew). Jim Newsome (“Filmed Extra” and Zopera Production Crew) plays the “Third Priest” and is a puppeteer as well. All Puppeteers and Creature Crew also sing in the ensemble along with Brian Bogovich (Zopera Film Crew and Production Crew).
Sidebar: Liz’s anger as the Queen was so realistic, it caused a storm that knocked out the power at our final dress rehearsal tonight, so a second final dress has been rescheduled! Now THAT’S power!
|BREAKING NEWS May 13, 2014|
It is with a heavy heart that we wish a fond farewell to one of our most fervent sponsors, Specter Studios, which will be closing it’s doors on July 1st, 2014.
Specter Studios sponsored the Zombie Opera with an amazing assortment of props and limbs, including but not limited to the Ronnie axe (Specter’s premiere item of 2010 which was pre-released for the stage performances of The Zombie Opera), the Izzie lead pipe, the Charles sledge hammer, the Professor Thalamus hammer, and Charles’s arm-chopping machete.
Their contributions helped to improve the richness of the visual and textural accents in Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera in a most remarkable way, and they will be missed.
If you wish to purchase a few mementos from this cornerstone company before they close, orders must be placed before May 16th.
|BREAKING NEWS March 10, 2014|
Members of the Zombie Opera have enjoyed a successful opening weekend of the Pittsburgh premiere of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Utopia Ltd., a highly technical show that is often overlooked due to it’s overwhelming production values. But this year, in honor of it’s 75th anniversary, the Pittsburgh Savoyards have undertaken this strenuous project, and have cast several members of Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera in prominent roles, and in mostly the same cast of it’s two alternating and highly talented casts of performers. This marks the first occasion where Zombie Opera stage performers, film performers, audio performers, stage crew, and production crew have collaborated on such a grand scale.
Bonnie Bogovich and Liz Rishel mug for the audience in the comic roles of two twin Princesses, Kalyba and Nekaya, two “modest” girls who learn how to embrace their wild side. Other Zopera members include Robyn Peterson (studio choir), Nils Hammer (studio choir), Brian Bogovich (Production crew, filmed Zombie), Gwen Schmidt (Production Crew, Filmed Extra), Mari Storch (Filmed Zombie, Stage Zombie), Chris Carter (Filmed Extra, Stage Soldier/Zombie), Jim Newsome (Filmed Extra, Production Crew), Andrea Carriker (Stage Manager), Ed Griffiths (Lighting Designer), and… Who is that young tenor?? Could it possibly be Jordan Speranzo? (Filmed character- Aidan Bower).
One more weekend remains to catch this unholy amalgamation before its conclusion- but if you wish to see the “Zombie Opera Cast,” aim for Thursday 13th, or Saturday 15th – both performances at 8 pm at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, PA.
|BREAKING NEWS November 25, 2013|
Zombie Opera veterans Liz “Izzie” Rishel, Edwin “Director of Photography” Huang, Nathan “Camera” Fullerton, and Jim “Running Soldier” Newsome need your help to make a documentary about Pittsburgh’s amazing opera community! Check out their proposal and hit “Like” on the Opera N’at Sprout Fund page to help them spread the word about Pittsburgh’s under ground opera community!
Sadly we did not receive funding for this project, but some really neat stuff will be funded this season through this initiative, so please feel free to check it out.
It’s invigorating to see such involvement in Pittsburgh’s Film making community!