In 2017-18 we debut SAVIOR, commissioned by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new music series MusicNOW. A collaboration between musicians from the CSO and singers and creative team from HOWL, SAVIOR is a mystical re-telling of the life and death of Joan of Arc, for pre-recorded voice, two sopranos, mezzo-soprano, alto flute, cello, percussion. With music, libretto, and direction by Amy Beth Kirsten, the production features Tim Munro, alto flute; Katinka Kleijn, cello; Cynthia Yeh, percussion; sopranos Molly Netter and Eliza Bagg, mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, lighting design by Mary Ellen Stebbins, sound design by Christopher Kriz, movement design by Denisa Musilova, mask design by Christina Lorraine Bullard, and the pre-recorded voice of actor Sandy Smillie in the role of The Chronicler.

2017-18 SAVIOR Artists


Dedicated to performing and developing new work, Brooklyn-based soprano Eliza Bagg has worked closely on projects with a number of prominent and emerging composers including John Zorn, Michael Gordon, Chris Cerrone, Judd Greenstein, Bill Britelle, Amy Beth Kirsten, Olga Bell, and Emily Hall, among others. Her '16-'17 season includes John Zorn's Commedia dell'Arte at the Guggenheim, Infinite Palette's presentation of electro-acoustic art songs by Bill Britelle, Missy Mazzoli, and Daniel Wohl...(more)


American Mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn performs in a wide range of styles and venues, from Purcell to Pierrot Lunaire, Cherubino to The King & I, J.S. Bach to P.D.Q. Bach. She was featured in the revival and tour of Phillip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach, performed at venues around the world from 2011–2014, and she is currently singing the role of Belle in Glass’s La Belle et la Bête, also on tour. She has performed with New York City Opera, The Wooster Group, OperaOmnia, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s...(more)

Christina Lorraine Bullard (Mask Design) is a New York based costume designer whose work spans theatre, dance, opera, film, and performance art with a focus on new works.  Past collaborations include Sean Curran, Matthew Maguire, Mark Lamos, Isabel Milenski, Rinde Eckert, Mark DeChiazza, Tarell Alvin McCraney, David Lefort Nugent, Michael Kimmel, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Blake Hackler, and Lisa Rothe, among others.  In addition to her work for The Joyce Theater, Dance Theatre Workshop, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Off-Broadway, she has also designed productions for The Juilliard School, Fordham University, and Hofstra University. (more)

Composer, librettist, and vocalist Amy Beth Kirsten's work combines popular idioms with fierce expressionism and often requires musicians to play, vocalize, act, and move simultaneously. Her "wildly inventive" QUIXOTE, premiered this season at Peak Performances in the Alexander Kasser Theatre in NJ (The New York Times). In 2014 the multi-Grammy-winning eighth blackbird toured with her critically acclaimed evening-length Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, which The Washington Post described as a “tour de force…often extraordinarily beautiful.” Tommasini at The New York Times found it “dark, wild and engrossing...” (more)

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Christopher Kriz (Sound Design) is an award winning composer and theatrical sound designer based in Chicago. Winner of 3 Joseph Jefferson Awards with a total of 13 nominations, Kriz has been designing professionally for 25 years for companies including Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre and dozens of others. Some recent regional credits: Roz and Ray (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Sticky Traps (Kansas City Repertory Theatre) and many summer seasons at Peninsula Players...(more)


Denisa Musilova is a Czech choreographer and performer based in NYC. She has collaborated with Pavel Zustiak's Palissimo, Deganit Shemy & Company, Bill Young & Colleen Thomas Dance, LEIMAY Dance Company, Tami Stronach Dance, Mirenka Cechova, Ko Murobushi, Netta Yerushalmy, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Mari Osanai, Daiichiro Yuyama and Yukio Waguri, among others. Currently she is dancing in the production of “Viva La Mama” (dir. R. Vizvary) at the National Theater in Prague...(more)

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The American soprano, Molly Cathleen Netter, has premiered numerous works by David Lang, Simon Emmerson, Ran Duan, and Sven-David Sandström at The Kennedy Center, Yale School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Bachwoche Stuttgart under Helmuth Rilling. She enlivens complex and beautiful music with a voice described as “crisp and clear, white yet warm” (Seen and Heard International). As a soprano soloist, she has performed with Julliard415 at Lincoln Center and toured internationally in Japan, Singapore and Burma under Masaaki Suzuki...(more)

William Smillie (Pre-recorded voice) is known for his work on The Dark Knight(2008), The Dilemma (2011) and Chicago Fire (2012).

Lighting Designer Mary Ellen Stebbins. Recent credits include QUIXOTE (Peak Performances @ Alexander Kasser Theatre), Beardo (Pipeline Theatre), Orpheus Unsung (Guthrie Theater), Cowboy Bob (Ars Nova), Colombine’s Paradise Theatre (eighth blackbird), Song Cycle with Matt Aucoin (Peabody Essex Museum), I’ll Never Love Again (Bushwick Starr), and LongYarn (Bushwick Starr) for which she received a Henry Hewes nomination in 2016...(more)

our collaborators from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra:

Hailed as “Chicago’s first lady of the cello” by Timeout Chicago Magazine, Dutch cellist Katinka Kleijn defies today’s traditional definition of a cellist, transitioning comfortably through the styles of classical, experimental, contemporary, improvisatory, folk and progressive rock, as well as across the traditional fields of solo, chamber and orchestral performance. Most recently, she appeared as soloist in the World Premiere of Dai Fujikura's cello concerto at Lincoln Center, New York, where The New York Times described her as "a player of formidable expressive gifts". A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Kleijn is in frequent demand as soloist... (more)

Timothy Munro is a Chicago-based, triple-Grammy-winning musician. His diverse work as a flutist, speaker, writer and teacher is united by a single goal: to draw audiences into an engrossing and whimsical musical world. Tim made his New York solo debut in November 2016, at Miller Theater, with “a daring program [showcasing the flute’s] theatrical and performative aspects” (Limelight Magazine). Born in Brisbane, Australia, Tim was the flutist and co-artistic director of the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird from 2006 till 2015. As a member of eighth blackbird... (more)

Cynthia Yeh joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as principal percussionist in June 2007. She previously served as principal percussionist for the San Diego Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2007. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Cynthia Yeh received a bachelor of music performance degree from the University of British Columbia and a master of music performance degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she studied with Alan Abel. She has received grants and awards from the Canada Council Grant for the Arts... (more)