Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera

 BREAKING NEWS  May 25, 2016

Old opera with a new taste for Blood!

DG1Zombie Opera creators Bonnie Bogovich and Liz Rishel joined forces with Gwen Schmidt, Michael Greenstein and Mary Beth Sederburg to conceptualize a new angle for Mozart’s Don Giovanni in celebration of Undercroft Opera’s ten-year anniversary. Sederburg asked the ubiquitous duo to help her realize her dream- to merge Don Giovanni with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Ambitious though it was to re-write the the words to the entire opera, Bogovich and Rishel have a vested interested in its outcome- to make opera more accessible to audiences, and to give people a high-quality artistic product that they will love! As an added bonus, both Zombie Opera creators adore the 1897 classic novel, and Rishel even led a group of readers in “The Dracula Challenge”, an endeavor to read the novel in real time last year, each novel entry on the date it was written in the book. And of course, both Bogovich and Rishel are partial to opera with a little gore, especially when combined with a thematic projected backdrop. Read the rest of this entry »

 BREAKING NEWS  May 14, 2016

Steam The Opera

Zombie Opera Co-creator Liz Rishel has just launched the Kickstarter for her new project, Steam ~ or ~ The Specters of the Knox Mill. The project is a steampunk rock opera ghost story that will be filmed as a movie and released online, and set in Industrial Revolution Pittsburgh. Jordan Speranzo, who played “Aidan” in the Zombie Opera is a core member of the band and Bonnie Bogovich, the other half of the Zombie-Opera-creating-duo, will be featured on the singing board of directors, as well as helping with production and sound design backstage. If you came to the Zombie Opera Five-Year Anniversary Party at Mr. Smalls last October, you may have caught the debut live performance of this project, as they played their first teaser song, “The Pitch.”

Check out their Kickstarter campaign to see how you can help this new project!

 BREAKING NEWS  February 17, 2016

MAGfest, Steampunk, and some Squawking!

Lots of great things happening on the musical wave that Zombie Opera’s Artistic Directors Bonnie and Liz are riding! Their new project, Super Smash Opera has been chosen as a MAGfest Special Event this year, and will be performed on Friday, Feb 19th at 1 pm in Panels 1. Later that same day, they have a Q&A in Panels 4 at 8:30. They are thrilled to be special guests, and plan to reward everyone’s confidence with fun new postcards, new puppets, props, and a full live orchestra and choir! They can’t wait to share the updates with the good people at MAGfest in National Harbor MD. If you can’t attend MAGfest this year, (and you totally should, because it’s amazing fun,) fret not- the administration usually posts their popular panels on YouTube after the convention.

In other news, Liz and her band of Steampunk opera singers is getting ready to launch a kickstarter for their new project, Steam ~ or ~ The Specters of the Knox Mill, another work in their continuing mission to invigorate the opera scene with fun, new material designed for a modern audience. Please stay tuned to learn how you can help contribute to the production of this internet-streaming mini-series.

Bonnie and Liz are also proud to announce the launch of the new Materia Collective Album sequel entitled Successor Final Fantasy VIII Remixed. Both performed on the album, and they continue their trend of combining Final Fantasy with gratuitous bird noises. It’s an extended-length album, the compiled works of several different composers, and is an excellent value for the price. We suggest you check it out if Final Fantasy music appeals to you.

Celebrations and anticipation, it’s a wonderful time to enjoy this new musical renaissance!

 BREAKING NEWS  January 15, 2016

Beautiful Cadaver Zombie Potluck Fundraiser

There will be a Zombie Potluck on Saturday, January 30th at 2 pm to benefit Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh, surrealist theater company that focuses on showcasing local playwrights and experimental collaborations. This project is the recipient of an Arts MODE fellowship from The Zombie Opera’s own fiscal sponsor, New Sun Rising.

The event will include:
Chinese raffle,
Intuitive readings by Michelle Handa of Castle Blood,
Meet and greet with the project creators,
Sneak peak of the upcoming season,
….and a costume contest judged by Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera’s own Bonnie Bogovich and Liz Rishel.

Come support some fresh new corpses as they expand Pittsburgh’s arts community and embrace our undying love for the living dead!

220 North Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15209
2 – 5 pm

Suggested Donation:
$10 – $15
$5 – $10 if bringing a covered dish
$5 children and students

For more info, see their Facebook event!

 BREAKING NEWS  November 19, 2015

Steampunk Opera!!!

Zombie Opera members Liz Rishel, Jordan Speranzo, and Edwin Huang have been busy cooking up a new opera project, this time Steampunk!!!! Show your support at Mr. Smalls tomorrow, Friday November 20th, from 6pm-11pm for a night of fun and fancy with live music, a silent film, and great performances from unique artists. Sport your best top hats and parasols and meet us at the Steampunk Ball and Fashion Cotillion!


Witness the world premiere of live performances from Steam ~or~ The Specters of the Knox Mill, a filmed Steampunk Opera Ghost story set in Industrial Revolution Pittsburgh. Join creators Liz Rishel, Sean Lenhart, Jordan Speranzo, and William Strom as they premiere seven never-before-heard songs from the show, and also show the world premiere of their first teaser music video.

Partake in a fashion show and gadgetry demo! Enjoy a viewing of the silent film ‘Steam Driven’. Challenge your friends to Tea Dueling, and dance the night away to DJ sets. To top off the evening, a classic performance by cosmic jazz chanteuse Phat Man Dee.

Doors open at 6pm, All Ages
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1071750026169598/

Online ticketing: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/981203

 BREAKING NEWS  October 4, 2015

Five Year Anniversary Fun!

11147121_10153609523869675_9099055512937328139_nWe were overjoyed by the effusive response we received last night at our Five-Year Anniversary Party at Mr. Smalls theater! It was a delight to see so many familiar faces, recounting so many memories, and welcoming new audiences young and old! It is nothing short of heart-warming to hear stories of the ripples created by our strange little project, and it was enchanting to see the amazing new cut of the Fall 2011 DVD edited by Chris Galgon (http://www.chrisemilyvideo.com/). For those interested, please stay tuned for pre-order information!

We are eternally grateful to the staff at Mr. Smalls, particularly Shaunden and Sabrina, who made the evening run so splendidly, and to Liz and Mike for hosting us. We also want to recognize Bob Miller, Emily Swora, and Jordan Speranzo, and David Egyud who joined us on stage to perform a few Zombie Opera favorites. Another special thanks to Marjorie Rishel, Matt Kucic, Marylou Lenhart, and Jim Newsome, who forewent unencumbered revelry to help us run the production part of the event.

Another delightful surprise was the response we received to the introduction of new and recent projects, including two world premieres.

  • “Waltz de Chocobo, featuring the Bwack Choir” is a piece arranged by Bonnie Bogovich for the fan cover album entitled Materia: Final Fantasy VII Remixed, which will be released and available for download on Friday, October 9th. The album is comprised of conceptual arrangements of Final Fantasy VII music that range in style, tone, and instrumentation, chosen by and tailored to the strengths and interests of each composer.
  • “The Fireflower Duet,” performed by Liz and Bonnie, is a parody of Lakmé’s famous Sous le dôme épais, re-lyricized as a duet between Link and Zelda (disguised as Sheik) for the new project, Super Smash Opera. The show features an original plot featuring the cast of the Super Smash Brothers games, and is set to the music of Opera’s most famously recognizable tunes.
  • “The Pitch,” performed by Liz Rishel, Jordan Speranzo (both Zombie Opera Alums), Sean Lenhart, and William Strom, was written for a new project entitled Steam ~ or ~ The Specters of the Knox Mill, which is a steampunk ghost story set in Industrial Revolution Pittsburgh. The project is currently in production, and is promoting its upcoming fundraiser on November 20, the Steampunk Ball and Fashion Cotillion, also at Mr. Smalls Theater.

A joyous night for all, we are grateful to everyone who came out to help make this event special!

 BREAKING NEWS  October 2, 2015

UPDATE: Never-before-seen Screening of the Zombie Opera 2011!

A special piece of good news for you Zombie Opera Fans!  The special screening of the DVD at the Zombie Opera Five-year Anniversary party at Mr. Smalls Theater will feature the premiere showing the never-before-seen special cut of the Zombie Opera 2011 filmed at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater!  The new release will feature a wide cast of dedicated Stage Zombies and the directing talents of Christiana Molldrem Harkulich! Come enjoy the updated cut, enhanced mic audio, multi-level action, and Zombie-infused mayhem!  Event on Facebook

 BREAKING NEWS  September 14, 2015

Zombie Opera Anniversary at Mr. Smalls!

The Zombie Opera is proud to send an open invitation to join us in celebrating our Five-Year Anniversary at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale on October 3rd, 2015.

Scheduled festivities:

  • Doors will open at 6, with DJ music by Arvin Clay.
  • At 7 pm, cast members of the Zombie Opera will reiterate some of their feature pieces from the performance, as well as some pieces from recent and upcoming projects.
  • At 8 pm, The grand feature of the evening will be the first public screening of the Fall 2011 final performance of Evenings In Quarantine: The Zombie Opera. If you’ve never seen the opera, seats will be available in the front of the theater for uninterrupted viewing.

In addition to the scheduled festivities, never before seen behind-the-scenes footage from the filming and production of the 2010 performance will be running continuously throughout the event.

Age Limit?

This is an all-ages event, with a cash bar area in the back of the theater. Food will be available for purchase at the Mr. Smalls Restaurant.


All Zombie Opera participants (folks who were involved with the show from 2010-2011, our extras, cast, crew, volunteers etc) get in FREE. There is a $5 cover charge for non-Zoperans, aka general admission.

*Dvd of our first performance w director audio commentary, audio recordings, and more information can be purchased online
We will also have physical copies of the premiere dvd for sale on site at the event!

For more information see our Facebook Event Page!

 BREAKING NEWS  August 29, 2015

Five Year Anniversary Extravaganza

Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera
Five Year Anniversary Extravaganza SAVE THE DATE!

Can you believe it’s been FIVE YEARS since we premiered The Zombie Opera at the Grey Box Theater? We would like to commemorate this milestone with a Five-Year-Anniversary Celebration/Reunion at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015.

The evening will be an all-ages event with a separate bar area in the back. We will be projecting the DVD as the main feature of the evening, but will also be performing a few selections from the show, and a few sneak peaks of upcoming projects, and maybe even a few clips from the Behind-The-Scenes making of The Zombie Opera! More details to come.

If you’ve ever seen The Zombie Opera live, we welcome you to share your memories and relive the experience. If you’ve never seen The Zombie Opera, now is your chance to see it in our first ever public screening of the live footage.

Please remember to save the date, and kick off your Halloween season with a night of memories, shenanigans, and scream-singing!

With love and brains,
Zopera’s Artistic Directors, “Ronnie” and “Izzie”
Bonnie and Liz

UPDATE: Click here for party description and details

 BREAKING NEWS  July 19, 2015

Zombie Opera Masterminds to speak at Confluence

The creators and support behind the Zombie Opera are planning to share some of their stories as panelists at Confluence Sci-Fi & Literature Convention this weekend.

Bonnie Bogovich and Liz Rishel will lend their insight into the choices and challenges that they faced when writing for their Zombie Opera Avatars in the panel “Women in Horror.” Edwin Huang and Nathan Fullerton will be featured on a panel about “What it Takes to Make an Indie Film.” Marjorie Rishel will speak about balancing her characters when writing for her web comics in the panel “Gender in Fantasy.” At “Audioscapes for Created Worlds” Bonnie will share some of her experience as a sound/music designer at Schell Games. Bonnie, Liz, and Marj will also be featured on the panel “Once More With Laughter” wherein they will discuss how they went about building story-based musical entertainment.

All of these panels will be on Saturday, July 25th, between 12 noon and 11 pm, surrounding a performance of the team’s new production, Super Smash Opera, an operatic ode to the Super Smash Brothers games, with Zombie Opera’s Jordan Speranzo as Starfox, which will be performed at 8 pm with QA to follow. Weekend passes available online, single day passes available at the door.