An Opera Mini-Series

Northwestern Opera Theater’s production of Monteverdi's L’Orfeo is now an online opera mini-series! Instrumentalists and singers recorded audio and video remotely from locations around the world, guided by director Joachim Schamberger and conductor Stephen Alltop.


Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, based upon the story of the singer Orpheus's journey to the underworld to rescue his love Eurydice, is often considered the first great opera. Orfeo remote presents it in the form of an opera mini-series. During the challenging times of a pandemic, a young, unemployed musician—embodied in the character La Musica—takes initiative, reaching out to friends and colleagues. They retell Orfeo's story in the setting of 1960s America, juxtaposing the hippie movement's ideals of free love and connection with the current reality of pandemic-induced isolation.


Joachim Schamberger


Stephen Alltop


Dark Horse Consort

Guest Ensemble

Nicholas Lin


Kandise LeBlanc

La Musica (Blue Cast)

Kira Neary

La Musica (Green Cast)

Ryan Lustgarten

Pastore 1 (Blue Cast)

Kaleb Drawbaugh

Pastore 1 (Green Cast)

Ben Perri

Pastore 2 (Blue Cast)

Graham Remple

Pastore 2 (Green Cast)

Lucy Evans

Euridice (Blue Cast)

Madison Rice

Euridice (Green Cast)

Miya Higashiyama

Messagiera (Blue Cast)

Ilanna Starr

Messagiera (Green Cast)

Marin Tack

Speranza (Blue Cast)

Loucine Topouzian

Speranza (Green Cast)

Justin Ramm-Damron


Gabrielle Barkidjija

Proserpina (Blue Cast)

Rebekah Daly

Proserpina (Green Cast)

Ian Morris


Benedict Hensley

Apollo (Blue Cast)

Elio Bucky

Apollo (Green Cast)

Stephanie Chee


Olivia Knutsen

Spirit 1 (Blue Cast)

Paul Albright

Spirit 1 (Green Cast)

Renata Herrera

Spirit 2 (Blue Cast)

Lauren Randolph

Spirit 2 (Green Cast)

Mason Hooley

Spirit 3 (Blue Cast)

Antonio Ruiz-Nokes

Spirit 3 (Green Cast)

David Garcia Suarez

Eco (Blue Cast)

Josh Kuhn

Eco (Green Cast)


Paul Albright
Bella Abbrescia
Ashley Brewer
Brittany Brewer 
Annie Burgett
Annaliese Biesterfield
Stephanie Chee
Grace Fisher
Renata Herrera
Mason Hooley
Eugene Huang
Olivia Knutsen 
Josh Kuhn
Ryan Lustgarten
Daphne Meng 
Luke MottAntonio Ruiz-Nokes
Dylan Olster
Carly Passer
Justin Ramm-Damron
Lauren Randolph
Graham Remple
David Garcia Suarez

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Baroque Music Ensemble
Jonathan Altman, violin
Hannah Bingham, violin
Seunghee Chang, violin
Valentina Guillen Menesello, violin
Abigail Schneider, violin
Josephine Stockwell, viola
Adam Maloney,  viola da gamba, violone
Victor Huls, bass violin
Phillip Suwandi, bass violin
Stephen Alltop, harpsichord, chamber organ, regal, percussion
Drew McComas, drum for toccata

Guest Artists
Alison Attar, baroque harp
Brandon Acker, theorbo, baroque guitar
Anne Waller, baroque guitar
Bill Baxtresser, natural trumpet

Dark Horse Consort
Julie Andrijeski, violin
Kiri Tollaksen, cornetto, natural trumpet
Alexandra Opsahl, cornetto
Greg Ingles, natural trumpet, sackbut
Mack Ramsey, sackbut

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"'Orfeo' is a story about loss, fear and taking initiative. In this regard it reflects our current experience in society, and for artists in particular."

- Joachim Schamberger, Director

Virtual Events

Orfeo Virtual Panel Discussion - May 22, 2020

Drew Davies, Moderator; Chair, Department of Music Studies, Bienen School of Music
Jeffrey Kurtzman, Professor of Musicology, Washington University, St. Louis
Linda Austern, Associate Professor of Musicology, Bienen School of Music
Jason Rosenholtz-Witt, PhD candidate, Musicology, Bienen School of Music
Joachim Schamberger, Director of Opera, Bienen School of Music
Stephen Alltop, Conducting Faculty, Bienen School of Music
Nicholas Lin, Voice & Opera Student, Bienen School of Music

Learn more about these panelists

The Making of Orfeo Remote, An Online Opera - June 25, 2020

Joachim Schamberger, Director of Opera, Bienen School of Music
Stephen Alltop, Conducting Faculty, Bienen School of Music
Nicholas Lin, Voice & Opera student, Bienen School of Music
Abigail Schneider, Master’s Violin Student, Bienen School of Music

This virtual event was presented by the Northwestern Alumni Association.

2020 Dunbar Festival

Orfeo Remote and related activities are supported by the Evelyn Dunbar Memorial Early Music Festival.

Founded in 1998 through the generous support of Ruth Dunbar Davee and her husband, Ken M. Davee, the Evelyn Dunbar Memorial Early Music Festival provides exceptional opportunities for performers to prepare important masterworks with the guidance of leading scholars. The festival’s purpose is to combine informed performance and scholarly inquiry through master classes, preconcert presentations, and lectures.


Review: NU’s Virtual Opera Orfeo, Tie-Dyed-in-the-Wool Creativity (Third Coast Review - January 16, 2021)
Northwestern Opera Theater launches ‘Orfeo remote’ mini-series (Northwestern Now - December 14, 2020)
Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo Goes Remote To Meet The Times (Early Music America - November 9, 2020)
“Orfeo Remote” takes opera from the stage to the screen (The Daily Northwestern - October 12, 2020)
Students, Faculty Staying Together While Kept Apart (Classical Voice - April 10, 2020)
Orfeo Goes Remote (Bienen School of Music - Fall 2020)

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