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World Premiere: Waking the Witch by Ashi Day

December 9 - December 10

Waking the Witch is a one-act immersive chamber opera, composed by Ashi Day, for solo countertenor and Pierrot ensemble. The opera explores human vulnerability to absurd beliefs and the danger that ensues when authority figures display black-and-white thinking, fear of those with less power, and susceptibility to conspiracy theories. The audience is placed in the middle of the action as the accused witch, physically surrounded with a single-minded interrogator and animal familiars of questionable reality (played by the treble instruments). Using text derived from both historical witchfinders and modern-day statesmen with eerily similar messaging, listeners are tossed between the wild ride of a spooky story, the frustration of navigating the impossible logic of power mixed with bizarre moral panic, and the dangerous reality that these things did, and in many ways still do, happen.

WNO Studios
3rd Floor
6925 Willlow St. NW
Washington, DC 20012

Performances on: Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 at 7pm and Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 at 7pm

RSVP for tickets here!



Ashi Day, composer and librettist
Min Sang Kim, countertenor
Lee Cromwell, workshop director and script consultant
Balance Campaign, Pierrot ensemble, workshop performers, and music consultants

The development of Waking the Witch received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Women Composers: Discovery Grants program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.


December 9
December 10
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Washington National Opera Studio
6925 Willow Street Northwest
Washingotn, DC 20012 United States
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Ashi Day
Balance Campaign