Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera

 BREAKING NEWS  July 25, 2014

Zombie Opera in The Parallax Zone

parallaxPoster2014It’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.

Confluence Website
Panel and Performance Schedules

 BREAKING NEWS  May 27, 2014

Wild Creatures and the Forces of Darkness

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).

Come and enjoy this magnificent classic opera May 29th-June 1st at the Antonian Theater in Pittsburgh, PA!

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

The Specter of our Past

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

Zombies in Paradise

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 15thboth performances at 8 pm at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, PA. 

 BREAKING NEWS  November 25, 2013

Vote for Opera N’at

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!

Voting runs from now until Monday, December 2nd, so don’t delay, and help spread the word. Thanks!





Update 1/26/14:

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!


 BREAKING NEWS  October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, Pittsburgh!

Happy Halloween to the “Birthplace of the Zombie”, Pittsburgh!!!!

Are you craving some Zombie Opera action this spoooky season?  Our show may not be running but we’re not dead yet!

Celebrate the three year anniversary of the premiere of Zombie Opera with the Bootleg Premiere Recording and Studio Album (available in downloadable mp3 format on CdBaby.com, iTunes and Amazon.com) or purchase the Premiere DVD with Bonus audio commentary track!

Visit our Merchandise Page for more information on our audio albums and dvd!

 BREAKING NEWS  October 10, 2013

Zopera founders go “Psyche” in Savoyards Show

Zombie Opera founders/ artistic directors/ composers Bonnie Bogovich and Liz Rishel (aka “Ronnie” and “Izzie” in Zombie Opera) are both starring in the upcoming Pittsburgh Savoyards production of “Princess Ida”

Bogovich and Rishel are both double-cast in the role of Lady Psyche, Professor of Humanities of Castle Adamant. They rule their classroom with an iron riding crop, a hatred for mankind, and a passion for Darwinism.

Check out this classic Gilbert and Sullivan production October 11th-20th at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, PA.  All shows 8pm, except Sunday Matinees which are at 2:30. Tickets on sale online and at the door.

Pittsburgh Savoyards – Princess Ida Info and Cast Breakdown
Ticket Information Page
Savoyards on Twitter
Facebook Event

 BREAKING NEWS  July 5, 2013

The Zombie Opera and the Bechdel Test

Some of you are familiar with a set of criteria known as the Bechdel Test, named after cartoonist Alison Bechdel, which is a set of rules for identifying the presence of gender bias in a work of fiction. The rules are as follows:

1. Are there 2 or more female characters?
2. Do they talk to each other?
3. About something other than a man?

If a work of fiction can answer yes to all three questions, then it can be said to having strong female characters. Fiction that fails the Bechdel test isn’t necessarily bad, it just means that male and female characters aren’t balanced.

The Zombie Opera would like to proudly declare that this work passes the Bechdel test. The two main characters are Ronnie and Izzie, two women with a healthy friendship. Their main focus in the story is survival, and that’s what they mostly talk about. While Ronnie is the leader, their friendship is pretty well balanced- Ronnie is the fighter, while Izzie is the muse. In one of their two largest scenes together, Izzie convinces Ronnie to keep surviving by describing imagery of beauty in dark times- neither one of them ever uses love or romance as their motivation. Read the rest of this entry »

 BREAKING NEWS  June 1, 2013

Celebrate Spring with Zombie Opera

Craving some Zombie Opera during the springtime season?

You can still enjoy The Zombie Opera in the privacy of your own home with the Bootleg Premiere Recording and Studio Album (available in downloadable mp3 format on CdBaby.com, iTunes and Amazon.com) or purchase the Premiere DVD with Bonus audio commentary track!

Visit our Merchandise Page for more information on our audio albums and dvd!

 BREAKING NEWS  April 4, 2013

Memories of the Living Dead

Were you one of our fabulous zombie extras in The Zombie Opera?  Have you ever been a zombie extra in a film shot in Pittsburgh?  Check out this amazing opportunity to share your ‘horror’ stories with the world:)

ATTENTION ALL Actors, Actresses, Extras and Crew who were part of any Pittsburgh made films with Zombies over the past 45 years…

I am looking for your personal on and off set memories as a zombie or zombie killer or zombie maker to be included in my new book project: MEMORIES OF THE LIVING DEAD.  

Please message me or email me with your stories and attach any photos you may have that I can include. Hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks. Bob Michelucci