Coping Mechanisms

Music by Bonnie Lander


Photos by Janette Pellegrini



In today's ultra-connected world, what does it mean to feel isolated and alone?  

Rhymes With Opera concluded the 16-17 season with founding member Bonnie Lander’s experimental opera Coping Mechanisms, a work that explores themes of isolation, anxiety, agoraphobia and grief through improvised dramatic narratives and sounds.  Set apart in three separate spaces, three singers (performed by RWO ensemble members Bonnie Lander, Elisabeth Halliday and Robert Maril) explored their own anxieties about what awaits them in the outside world.  Using both incidental vocal sounds and melodies inspired by operatic training and techniques, the trio worked together in bringing to life a full musical narrative - without the safety net of a written score.  Coping Mechanisms explored how we create our own personal spaces while also longing for a connection with our community.


Chamber Orchestra

Jeff Young, violin
Jason Anastasoff, bass
Dennis Sullivan, percussion


Cynthia Stokes, director
Lily Bartenstein, set and lighting designer
Bonnie Lander, costume designer  
Emily Roth, production stage manager
George Lam, production coordinator
Kayleigh Butcher, production coordinator
Chloe Leung, RWO intern
Genia Stanescki, RWO intern


April 4, 2017
Presented by University of California San Diego
San Diego, California
Experimental Theater, Conrad Prebys Music Center, UC San Diego

May 19, 2017
May 20, 2017

Presented by Rhymes With Opera
124 Bank Street Theatre
124 Bank St, New York City