WE make new operas.

Rhymes With Opera is a New York-based ensemble of performers and composers that expands the repertory of contemporary opera by commissioning, developing and staging new chamber works.

Robert Maril and Bonnie Lander in Erik Spangler's Cantata For A Loop Trail (2014)

Robert Maril and Bonnie Lander in Erik Spangler's Cantata For A Loop Trail (2014)

Founded in 2007, Rhymes With Opera includes founding company members Ruby Fulton (composer); Elisabeth Halliday (soprano); George Lam (composer); Bonnie Lander (soprano); and Robert Maril (baritone). During the 2012-2013 season, Rhymes With Opera expanded to include a house band, the Rhymes With Orchestra, a chamber ensemble comprised of some of this generation’s most exciting contemporary instrumentalists. With the addition of the RWOrchestra, RWO has become a self-contained contemporary opera machine, commissioning and producing works that can be performed whole-cloth by the company.

Since 2007, RWO has commissioned more than 17 new operas, ranging from one-minute “signature” pieces to evening-length productions. New operas commissioned and produced by RWO include Travis Sullivan’s Three Modern Pieces, Thomas Limbert’s Numbers / Dates, Jenny Olivia Johnson’s Book of Gazes, Kathleen Bader’s Leads, Douglas Buchanan’s Goblin Market, David Smooke’s Criminal Element, Adam Matlock’s Red Giant, and Erik Spangler’s Cantata For A Loop Trail, an outdoor hiking opera set in Gwynn Falls Leakin Park in Baltimore and Inwood Hill Park in New York City.

RWO has performed in Baltimore venues including Area 405, the 2640 Space, the City Arts Gallery and the Wind-Up Space, and in NYC venues including Roulette, the Cornelia Street Café, the National Opera Center, JACK, and the City University of New York. Since 2014 , RWO has regularly presented our mainstage productions in the intimate 124 Bank Street Theatre in New York City.



The Rhymes With Opera Orchestra

Sarah Washburn, violin
Gregory Williams, viola
Jennifer Girone-Virgilio, cello
Michael Compitello, percussion (emeritus)
Sidney Boquiren, piano / keyboard
Zach Herchen, saxophone


Board of Directors

Joe Barnes, President
John Ohle, Vice President
Scott Schneider, Treasurer
Robert Maril, Secretary
Benjamin Crawford
Ruby Fulton
Elisabeth Halliday
George Lam
John Clum


John Luther Adams
David Bennett
Phyllis Bryn-Julson
Anthony Roth Costanzo
Michael Gordon
Neal Goren
David Lang
David T. Little
Kevin Puts
Christopher Theofanidis
Carol Wincenc