Skip navigation

Women of the Now



7 LGBTQ Operas

Kimper was finally inspired to change the future of opera by attending one of the most traditional works in the repertoire: Wagner’s Ring Cycle. “Somewhere in the middle of – perhaps it was Siegfried – I realized that every opera contains its own world. I realized I could do that.

A Look At The LGBT Operas In History

Patience & Sarah is seen as the first mainstream gay-themed opera. Composed by Paula M. Kimper and written by librettist Wende Persons, the opera is based on the novel of the same name by Isabel Miller. Not only was the opera the first mainstream LGBT work, but it was the first opera to feature a lesbian love story. The opera was formally commissioned by American Opera Projects, which presented readings of the work in development from 1994 to 1996 before a semi-staged final version was performed in 1996. The opera made its world premiere on July 8, 1998, as part of the Lincoln Center Festival and has since been performed numerous time including at the New York Fest during Pride week.

Please visit our new website for the opera!

Greenwich Village The Players Theatre 115 MacDougal

Please join us June 23 and 24, 2016 at 7pm at The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St., NYC for the Revival of:

Patience & Sarah

A pioneering love story



VIDEO: EMPTINESS, A suite of Mahadeviyakka

Commissioned by Amy Pivar Dances for Songs for Solo Dance and Voice

Mahadeviyakka (India, 12th c.)

Mahadeviyakka was born in the Indian village of Udatadi, and wrote in the Kanada dialect.  A disciple of Shiva and the paths of Oneness from the age of ten, she was forcibly married to the local ruler – a Jain – but left him to take up again the life of an ecstatic devoted only to Shiva, whom she addresses in her poems as her White Jasmine Lord and only truly satisfactory lover.  She gave up conventional dress along with conventional life and traveled the countryside alone.  Stories say that when she died in her twenties she disappeared into a burst of light.  Mahadeviyakka’s abiding theme is the complete sufficiency of her experience of the oneness of self and the divine.

From: WOMEN IN PRAISE OF THE SACRED: 43 Centuries of spiritual poetry by women – ed./trans. Jane Hirshfield, HarperCollins, 1994


Come enjoy this beautiful lyric soprano!

"Patience"SINGER PORTRAIT, Nadia Petrella as “Patience”

Canadian soprano Nadia Petrella, praised for her “creamy voice” (NY Times) and acclaimed “world class… her demanding lines dazzling” (Buffalo News), is quickly being recognized as one of the most exciting lyric sopranos of her generation. Ms. Petrella most recently debuted the role of Lucia in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” in NYC, with great acclaim. Other operatic credits include Violetta in “La Traviata,” Micaëla in “Carmen,” Rosina in “The Barber of Seville,” Frasquita in “Carmen,” Lucy in “The Telephone,” First Lady in “The Magic Flute,” Lola in “Gallantry,” and Cathleen in “Riders to the Sea.” Ms. Petrella was the recipient of a major sponsorship grant from the Leacross Foundation to study at the Manhattan School of Music where she earned her Master of Music. She also premiered scenes by American composer Manly Romero’s “Dreaming of Wonderland” (Lorina) in collaboration with American Opera Projects, and performed a concert production in the role of Mimi in “La Boheme.” Ms. Petrella was a Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist, New England Region, a third place winner at the Canadian National Music Festival, and was awarded several scholarships from the regional and provincial festivals in Canada. Ms Petrella is currently an Apprentice at the Caramoor Bel Canto Young Artist Program.




Celebrate Pride with Patience & Sarah

FRIDAY, JUNE 26 @ 7 pm

Paula Kimper Ensemble Presents

ACT 2 with:

Nadia Petrella as Patience

Elsa Quéron as Sarah

Michael Kelly as Parson Peel

Directed by Douglas Moser
Costumes and Set Design by Marie Anne Chiment.

In a new seven-piece orchestration!

Join us for cocktails and music at the newly renovated Lerner Auditorium at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.


Dreaming her back into existence! Mary Ann Willson: Marimaid, ca. 1810-25, ink and watercolor on paper, 13 x 15 1/2 inches
NYS Historical Association, Cooperstown.

Selections from “Patience & Sarah”

by Babette Hierholzer, piano and Kimberly Kahan, soprano

Sunday, January 18, 2015, 3:00pm

Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society presents “Ladies’ Night” featuring a program of women composers performed by women. We will play music composed by early Europeans to eminent Americans. You will hear works by Cécil Chaminade, Clara Schumann, and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (Felix Mendelssohn’s sister) and music by Amy Beach, as well as contemporary composers Paula M. Kimper, Karen Lefrak, and Elaine Fine. We will feature music by the young 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner in Music: Caroline Shaw, and works by American composer and conductor Victoria Bond, who is currently finishing her opera ‘Clara’ about Clara Schumann, and music by our “own” Grammy Award winner American composer, concert pianist and conductor Joan Tower.

We are also delighted to present several of the contemporary composers, who will be attending our concert and will each say a few words about their respective compositions.

Why a program with all female composers and all female musicians performing? Because there are so many to celebrate, and we hope to have many men and women in the audience to enjoy this bounty of beautiful sounds.

Concerts are presented at The Church of the Messiah, an 1897 Gothic edifice with superb acoustics, on Route 9 in downtown Rhinebeck, NY.  Concerts begin at 3:00pm, followed by a reception with the artists.

For more information and to buy ticketss: