TWO CORNERS by B.E. Boykin

Friday, June 28, 2024 7 p.m. & Sunday, June 30, 2024 at 2 p.m.

at Monroe Community College Theater  (1000 E Henrietta Rd, Rochester, NY 14623)

Don't miss our world premiere of this brand new opera.

Two Corners explores the friendship between Florine, a black woman, and her childhood friend Sarah, a white woman in rural Alabama during the civil rights movement. Can their friendship survive or was their friendship a part of their imagination? This one-act, multi-media production also features original choreography by Norwood Pennewell of Garth Fagan Dance. 

Learn more about FLO's other events this summer >.



Soprano Kearstin Piper Brown is thrilled to make her return to Finger Lakes Opera. This season, she has delighted audiences at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Parallèle, the National Philharmonic, the Cecilia Chorus of New York at Carnegie Hall, the Rochester Philharmonic, and other appearances. In 2024, she makes her company debuts with Florida Grand Opera as Nedda as well as with the Metropolitan Opera as Evelyn in Fire Shut up in My Bones. She also sings Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with the Lakes Area Music Festival, and makes her debut as Mimi with Opera San José, a role she will cover at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2025.

For more visit her website.



Soprano Kate Johnson recently debuted at Opera Roanoke as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Adept in new opera, she has created leading roles in the world premiere of Anne Frank (Ran/Kondek; Indiana University Opera Theater) and in workshops of Tevye’s Daughters (Weiser/Fleischmann; American Lyric Theater), Zheng (Eshima/Asaro; Opera San Jose), and Two Corners (Cincinnati Opera). Also gifted in Mozart and Handel, she has portrayed Sandrina in La finta giardiniera, Susanna in Figaro, and Atalanta in Xerxes at Indiana University. In 2023, she was a Studio Artist with Central City Opera and in 2021 an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. As recipient of a 2021-22 Fulbright Austria grant, she was based in Vienna, where her work focused on the Lieder of Walter Bricht.



Grammy-nominated baritone Joshua Conyers has been singled out by Opera News for his “deliciously honeyed baritone that would seduce anyone,” by The New York Times as having “a sonorous baritone” that “wheedled and seduced,” and by The Washington Post for giving a "show-stealing" performance. A native of The Bronx, NY, he is known for his captivating performances and recognized as one the promising young dramatic voices of today.


Conyers’ busy 2023-24 season includes performing and covering Reginald in X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X in productions with Seattle Opera and the Metropolitan Opera respectively, Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, and Hollis in the premiere of Two Corners with Finger Lakes Opera. Recent seasons have included his début with English National Opera as Policeman/Congregant 3 in Tesori and Thompson’s Blue and Reginald in Anthony and Thulani Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X at Opera Omaha. 



David Soto Zambrana, a tenor from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is currently a Studio Artist at Opera Orlando and was recently an Artist-in-Residence at Opera Colorado. His recent performances include acclaimed productions such as Rigoletto (Duca), Die tote Stadt (Graf Albert), Lucia (Edgardo) and Turandot. David is a recipient of multiple awards, including the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, and the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition. He is rooted in the Bel Canto tradition, mentored by Metropolitan Opera star Kim Josephson. Recent highlights feature his performances in Painted Sky Opera’s Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio) and the Oklahoma premiere of Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter (Arthur Dimmesdale). He was a Tomita Young Artist with Finger Lakes Opera (2020/21) and an alumnus of Musiktheatre Bavaria in Germany. David is a rising talent, distinguished by his clarion tone, bright squillo, and unwavering commitment to artistry. 



Mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell is quickly becoming known for her magnetic performances and expressive vocal power in a wide variety of repertoire. She recently made her mainstage début performing the title role of Carmen at Washington National Opera, in a performance Parterre Box hailed as “a stupendous Carmen,” whose “top-flight voice is distinctive and rangy, the center lithe, silky, and clear, and her chest voice voluptuous and authoritative. She’s a gutsy, energetic actress and her take on Carmen favors high-spirited immediacy.”

Last season for Ms. Thelwell included her début at Dutch National Opera as Girlfriend/Congregant 3 in Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Blue, roles which she reprised later in the season at Washington National Opera. This season, she joins San Francisco Opera as Katie Ellen/Caller and the cover of Fatima in Omar, makes her Atlanta Opera début at Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and joins Detroit Opera as the Forester’s Wife/ Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen.



A contemporary music enthusiast, soprano Sydney Anderson (she/they), has participated in numerous World Premieres and workshops, recently featured with Beth Morrison Projects, HERE Arts, and American Lyric Theater. She created the roles of One in it is comfort to know (Gartman/Bywaters), Dalinda in Being Ariodante (Dawe) with Ensemble Échappé, and sang Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera in the Heights. In 2019, Sydney was named the Eastern District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, winning the Audience Favorite Award at the Region Finals. She is the Founder/Artistic Director of The Why Collective, who was in-residence at the cell theatre in NYC in 2023, where she produced four new interdisciplinary works, including the sold-out performance of The Smallest Sound, in the Smallest Space by Bryce McClendon. 



A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nathaniel Catasca recently finished a contract with Sarasota Opera debuting the role of Le Remendado in Bizet’s “Carmen”.  Previous roles include Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Javier Moreno in Torroba’s Zarzuela in Luisa Fernanda.  He made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut portraying Nemorino/ Tamino in the children’s production of The Magic Victrola.  Past companies include Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Arlington, Central City Opera, Florentine Opera, Finger Lakes Opera, and Hawai’i Opera Theatre.  He holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master of Music & Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Robert Swensen. 



B.E. (Brittney Elizabeth) Boykin is a native of Alexandria, Virginia and comes from a musical family. At the age of 7, she began piano lessons and continued her studies through high school under the tutelage of Mrs. Alma Sanford. Mrs. Sanford guided her through various competitions, such as the NAACP’s ACT-SO competition where she garnered 1st place for 3 consecutive years in the local competition, as well as being awarded The Washington Post “Music and Dance Award” in the spring of 2007.”

Boykin then pursued her classical piano studies at Spelman College under the leadership of Dr. Rachel Chung. After graduating Spelman College in 2011 with a B.A. in Music, Boykin continued her studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. During her time at Westminster, she was awarded the R and R Young Composition Prize just a few months shy of graduating with her M.M. in Sacred Music with a concentration in choral studies in May, 2013.



Jarrod Lee, librettist, hails from Sylacauga, Alabama and presently resides in Baltimore, Maryland. Jarrod’s collaborations include Oshun and Two Corners with composer B.E. Boykin, Voices of Zion and the art song See your Equal, which placed third in the composition category of the George Shirley Vocal Competition, with composer Ronald “Trey” Walton and collaborations with composer Timothy Amukele called Journey to You and a community opera called Spirit Moves. Jarrod has received commissions from the Alliance for New Music Theater, IN Series, Finger Lakes Opera, and the Washington National Opera. In addition to original stories, Jarrod has worked in translating a deconstruction of Die Zauberflӧte (The Magic Flute) called Black Flute with playwright Sybil Roberts.





Cori Ellison, a leading creative figure in the opera world, has been staff Dramaturg at Santa Fe Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, and New York City Opera. A founding faculty member of American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program, she has developed new operas for companies including Glyndebourne, Icelandic Opera, Canadian Opera, Norwegian Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Chicago Opera Theater, Arizona Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Beth Morrison Projects. As production dramaturg, she has worked at Salzburg Landestheater, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Washington National Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Boston, and Bard Summerscape. A faculty member at The Juilliard School and Ravinia Steans Music Institute Program for Singers, she works with young singers nationwide. She creates supertitles for opera companies worldwide, and helped launch Met Titles, the Met’s simultaneous translation system. Her English singing translations include Hansel and Gretel (NY City Opera), La vestale (English National Opera) and Shostakovich’s Cherry Tree Towers (Bard Summerscape).



Norwood Pennewell joined Garth Fagan Dance in 1978. He is the quintessential Garth Fagan dancer and is Fagan’s assistant and muse. Pennewell is the recipient of a 1988 New York Performance Award “Bessie” and has been seen dancing all over the world and on Great Performances, The Tonight Show and in Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie. Pennewell assisted Mr. Fagan during his work on Broadway’s The Lion King and the NYC Ballet 50th anniversary Ellington Project. As a celebrated and world-class choreographer, he is able to combine the unique elements of the Fagan Technique with sophisticated concepts and movement invention.



Kimille Howard is a director, deviser, writer and filmmaker. She’s an Assistant Stage Director at the Metropolitan Opera, Artistic Director of the Lucille Lortel Theatre’s NYC Public High School Playwriting Fellowship, and a founder of the Black Diaspora Theatre Collective. Recent directing credits: The 2024 New Works Collective (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Sanctuary Road (Virginia Opera), The Oscar Micheaux Project (NAMT Fest), Treemonisha (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson (Glimmerglass/Washington National Opera, Opera Carolina), Songs in Flight (Sparks and Wiry Cries/Met Live), The Italian Girl (Tulsa Opera), American Apollo (DMMO), B.R.O.K.E.N Code B.I.R.D Switching (Berkshire Theatre Group), Quamino’s Map (Chicago Opera Theater). Her work has also been seen at Playwrights’ Horizons, 59E59, Wolf Trap Opera, Cherry Lane Theatre, among others. Broadway: Ain’t Too Proud (Assistant Director) Met Opera: Champion, Die Zauberflöte, Porgy And Bess, Tosca (Assistant Stage Director). Recent Fellowships: NYTW 2050 Fellowship, MTC Jonathan Alper Directing Fellowship, New York Stage and Film’s inaugural NYSAF NEXUS project. She is a recipient of OPERA America’s 2023 Robert L. B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize.



Kimberly Powers (IG: @kvpowersdesign) is an Arkansas-based set designer who is thrilled to be joining Kimille and the team at Finger Lakes Opera for Two Corners. She has designed and painted scenery for theatres and opera houses across the country since 2000 and has worked professionally as a muralist, props master, event designer and coordinator, graphic designer, and exhibit designer. She is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829, and a proud mom to an 8 year old.



John D. Alexander has provided lighting designs for theater, opera, and dance for over ten years. His Off-Broadway credits include Packages O' The Things We Deliver (the Nat'l Black Theatre), Lambs 2 Slaughter (Cherry Lane Theatre), and Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence (New Victory Theater). Recent designs include Sanctuary Road (Virginia Opera), Confederates (Mosaic Theatre Co.), Selling Kabul (Signature Theatre), From the Mississippi Delta (Westport Country Playhouse), Crying on Television (Everyman Theatre), Quamino's Map (Chicago Opera Theatre), B.R.O.K.E.N. Code B.I.R.D. Switching (Berkshire Theatre Group), and Sheepdog and The House of the Negro Insane (Contemporary American Theatre Festival). After his work with FLO, Alexander will provide designs for Is God Is (Constellation Theater) and Clydes (Detroit Public Theater). To learn more, visit



David Murakami is a projection designer and film director. Notable productions include Ainadamar at Opéra de Montréal, Everest at Dallas Opera, Elektra at Minnesota Opera, Zoot Suit at the Mark Taper Forum, Singin’ in the Rain with McCoy Rigby, The Shining at Arizona Opera, La Belle et la Bête with Opera Parallèle, and 5-SKIES aboard Princess Cruises. Other companies include Arizona Opera, Berkshire Theatre, Celebration Theatre, Des Moines Metro Opera, East West Players, LA Opera, LINES Ballet, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Pacific Symphony, Presidio Theatre, Riyadh Season, Seattle Opera, SFJazz, Skylight Theatre, South Coast Repertory and Sun Valley Summer Symphony. David is a proud member of United Scenic Artists 829 and teaches at the University of California, Irvine. 



Mary Farmer currently works as the costume shop manager at Nazareth College and holds a BFA in costume technology from Wright State University. Farmer has designed for Garth Fagan Dance, Blackfriars Theatre, The Jewish Community Center, Roberts Wesleyan College Community Players, and Nazareth College. Design credits include A Few Good Men, Mary Poppins, West Side Story, Les Misérables, and Beauty and the Beast, and Finger Lakes Opera‘s production of Die Fledermaus.



Adriana Lipomi has had the privilege of working in theater since 2018, and is thrilled to be a part of her first production with Finger Lakes Opera. Previous projects were through Geva Theatre Center, Blackfriars' Theater, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, and Syracuse Stage. She continues to be amazed by how truly rewarding it is to help actors fully realize and step into their characters through hair and makeup. Outside of theater, Adriana works as a freelance makeup artist and teaches clients about makeup at a local spa. 






Lutin Tanner, from Mankato, Minnesota, received a BA in Dance and Theatre from Western Michigan University. He danced with Garth Fagan Dance from 1995-2000, and then transitioned to resident Lighting Designer & Production Manager for Dance New Amsterdam in NYC. Using his unique dance lighting perspective Lutin has worked with a wide range of artists from Rasta Thomas, Nathan Trice, Ronald K. Brown Evidence, and Eglevsky Ballet to name a few. Lutin is Garth Fagan Dance’s Resident Lighting Designer & Production Stage Manager.





Ally Hasselback (she/her) is thrilled to be working with Finger Lakes Opera as the Stage Manager for Two Corners. Ally is an Equity Stage Manager who has worked in Opera, Musical Theatre, Dance, and Live Events across the country. Ally is currently the Assistant Production Manager at the University at Buffalo’s Department of Theatre and Dance, and works with the exceptional Rick Haug. Eternal thanks always to her family, and friends who are family, for their constant support and love.



Beverly Bauman is extremely honored to be working with FLO again, having previously worked as assistant stage manager for productions of The Barber of Seville and Aida, and the 2021, 2022 and 2023 Young Artist Program . Some of her favorite credits working as a stage manager in Rochester are Blackfriars Theatre's Cabaret, Imagination Station with Mrs. Kasha Davis, Once on This Island, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, and Next to Normal. Other notable credits in Rochester include serving as stage manager of Pittsford Musical’s Beauty and the Beast, and OFC Creations's Oliver, Spring Awakening, and Sister Act. In addition to her theater work, Bev spends her days educating young minds as a preschool teacher at the Children’s Center of Brighton.