by Stewart Wallace

libretto by Michael Korie

May 15-17, 2020

The Blue Shield Theater of California at YBCA

Tickets on sale soon!

Hailed at its premiere as “The best new American opera in many years”, Harvey Milk by Stewart Wallace with libretto by Michael Korie, has been absent from San Francisco’s opera stages for nearly 25 years.

As the centerpiece of its 10th anniversary season, Opera Parallèle is proud to revive this modern classic. Librettist Korie has honed his compelling libretto into two acts and composer Wallace has reorchestrated his eclectic mix of the American musical vernacular for 31 musicians, capturing the whirlwind energy of Harvey Milk as he transforms from Wall Street stockbroker dropout to the leader of one of the most influential civil right movements of the 20th century.

The premiere of this radically reimagined opera at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts coincides with city-wide celebrations planned to honor Milk’s 90th birthday in May 2020. This truly San Francisco story is a timely and potent call to action as it evokes the power of Milk’s activism and challenges us to come out for justice.

About the Composer

STEWART WALLACE has collaborated with librettist Michael Korie on four operas, including Hopper’s Wife, Kabbalah, Where’s Dick?, and Harvey Milk, a commission of Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, and New York City Opera. Over the last thirty years, Wallace has worked with a diverse group of artists including Richard Foreman, Christopher Alden, Evelyn Glennie, Marc Ribot, as well as Amy Tan and Michael Korie. Wallace’s compositions include works for orchestra, chamber music, as well as vocal and choral music, and scores for film and ballet. Stewart Wallace was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship and was named Music Alive Composer–in–Residence at the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Opera America, Meet the Composer, Mary Flagler Carey Trust, among others. Stewart Wallace is a Director Member of the Board of the Corporation of Yaddo, located in Saratoga Spring, New York.

About the Librettist

Michael Korie photo

MICHAEL KORIE received The Marc Blitzstein Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his work in opera and musical theater. His librettos to operas composed by Stewart Wallace include Harvey Milk, Where’s Dick?, Kabbalah, Hopper’s Wife, and SuperMax set to premiere in 2020. He adapted Steinbeck’s novel for the libretto to The Grapes of Wrath composed by Ricky Ian Gordon. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, also with Gordon, premieres in 2020 at New York City Opera. His operas have been produced at San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, BAM Next Wave Festival, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Michigan Opera Theatre, and abroad in Germany and Australia. For musical theater, Korie wrote the lyrics to composer Scott Frankel’s music for the Broadway productions of War Paint and Grey Gardens, and the Off-Broadway productions of Far From Heaven and Happiness. Next year, a new musical collaboration with James Lapine and Tom Kitt premieres at Lincoln Center Theater. Korie’s lyrics received the Edward Kleban Prize, Jonathan Larson Award, and the ASCAP Richard Rodgers Award. He teaches lyric writing at Yale, libretto writing at Columbia, and serves on the council of the Dramatists Guild.

Creative Team

Conductor | Nicole Paiement
Director/Production Concept | Brian Staufenbiel
Assistant Conductor | TBD
Assistant Director | David Toro
Set Designer | Sean Riley
Lighting Designer | TBD
Media Designer | David Murakami
Costume Designer | Alina Bokovikova
Wig / Makeups | Sophia Smith
Props | TBD


To be announced


Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation

James C. Hormel and Michael Nguyen-Hormel

Jones Day Foundation

Nancy Livingston and Fred Levin