CAT!—the Opera Musical (2005, 2010)

Stand-alone spin-off from Animal Tales (see below) for performance in schools. Libretto by George Plimpton. Director Grethe Barrett Holby. Commissioned by Ardea Arts. Premieres July-September 2010, Southampton Fresh Air Home, Parrish Art Museum and the Central Park Zoo.

  • CAT, mezzo-soprano
  • VET, bass-baritone
  • ANIMAL ASSISTANT to VET, baritone
  • Piano
  • Boombox for sound effects, Foley and pre-recorded tracks
  • Thundersheet
40 min.

Animal Tales (2004-8)


Aesop's fables meets Dr. Dolittle. Libretto by George Plimpton. Commissioned by the Family Opera Initiative.


HAMSTER and FROG costume sketches by Camille Assaf

  • 8 soloists
    • VET, bass-baritone
    • HAMSTER, coloratura soprano
    • GOLDFISH, mezzo-soprano
    • FROG, boy soprano
    • HORSE, tenor
    • DOG, baritone
    • PARROT, bass
  • SATB chorus (can be mostly principals)
  • children's chorus (trained and/or untrained for community outreach).
  • Orchestra
  • dj
  • Latin percussion & hand drums

105 min.

Fireworks (1999-2002)

A 4th-of-July opera. Libretto by playwright Billy Aronson. Commissioned by American Opera Projects' Family Opera Initiative. Premiered Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, July 2002, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.


6 singers (soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass) & string orchestra with single brass and winds, percussion, plucked strings and keyboards:

  • flute
  • clarinet (Bb), bass clarinet
  • alto & baritone saxophones
  • trumpet
  • trombone
  • percussion: marimba & vibes, drum kit, congas, maracas, cowbells
  • keyboards: harpsichord, calliope
  • guitars: electric & acoustic
  • harp
  • violins
  • violas
  • cellos
  • bass

80 min.

Electric “Ordo Virtutum” (1996; revised 1998)

Hildegurls' Act IV

21st-c. settings of 12th-c. Hildegard von Bingen's miracle play "Ordo Virtutum" by Brazelton in collaboration with composers Eve Beglarian, Lisa Bielawa and Elaine Kaplinsky; digital soundtracks developed in part at Columbia University Computer Music Center for Festival of Women Composers, Context Hall, October 5, 1996. Revised version commissioned and premiered by Lincoln Center Festival '98. Final performance: Edgewood College, Madison WI, September 17, 1998 (Hildegard's 900th birthday).


Hildegurls at Lincoln Center Festival, photo by Stephanie Berger

  • Eve Beglarian, voice, MIDI wand (Act III)
  • Lisa Bielawa, percussion (Act I)
  • Kitty Brazelton, soprano recorder, electric bass (Act II)
  • Elaine Kaplinsky, sampler (Act IV)

accompanied by digital soundtracks created individually and collectively

70 min

Wanderlust-Obadiah (1995)

4-song setting of poem cycle by Denise Lanctot commissioned by New Music-Theater Ensemble, Ben Krywosz, dramaturg, Tom Linker, music director; funded by Opera America. Scene premiere, Southern Theater, Minneapolis, April 11, 1995

bass solo, mezzo-soprano, soprano, trumpet, electric guitar, keyboards and percussion. . 30 min

A Valentine from the Avant-Garde for Kids (1995)

Full-length show compositionally organized and produced by Brazelton at P.S. 126 in Manhattan's Chinatown neighborhood. Includes student-collaborated operettas A Valentine Surprise for Blonds and Garfield, the Human, Greenwich House Music School, NYC February 14 1995.

  • DADADAH (or amplified ensemble)
  • P.S.126 Spinners (6th grade singers)
60 min.

Growing Up Female (1993)

Songs and incidental music for full-length revue with non-professional cast of 20 women ages 8-93 using text generated from their life stories. Commissioned and premiered by Paula Sepinuck & TOVA, Lang Performing Arts Center, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, 1993; Painted Bride Art Center, 1994, Phila. public school system, Flint, MI by UAW women's group, 1996-97.

TOVA cast:

  • women's unison chorus
  • tape or piano accompaniment
90 min.

I Was Kidnapped
By Martians (1992)

Operetta in which entire ensemble except contralto is Martian and speaks in motives learned from radio waves in space. Libretto by Lorraine Llamas. Premiered by BOG LIFE at Dixon Place, New York City, November 1992.


  • contralto
  • baritone
  • harp
  • oboe
  • double bass
  • marimba and cymbal
15-20 min.

Lullaby for Handbells (1992)

Ensemble lullaby with lighting and movement, dedicated to a newborn daughter Rosie Mandel, commissioned by Corn Palace Productions for New Music America '92. Premiered by Brazelton, Jack Vees, Jeff Brooks, Maura Bosch and others at The Southern Theater, Minneapolis, October 1992, New Music America. Rosie attended performance at age 2 months.

Revised in 2006 for inclusion in What is it Like to Be a Bat? collage stabat Mom. Recorded by Bat? in 2008 at HarvestWorks.

  • six handbell players
  • electric bass
  • amplified voice
15 min.

Half-Way Between Dante's View and Vegas (1992)

Theatrical song; libretto by Denise Lanctot, composed during Composed Librettist Workshop at New Dramatists, New York City, April 1992, featuring tenor Tom Bogdan.

Public premieres by the New Music-Theater Ensemble of Minnesota Opera, Ben Krywosz, director, Atlanta Arts Festival, October, 1992; Washington, D.C., April 1993; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, fall 1993.

a cappella quartet:

  • tenor solo
  • baritone
  • two sopranos
5 min.

The Dinner-Party (1987-1991)

Song cycle setting six poems by Bostonian imagist poet Amy Lowell, published 1911. M. A. thesis, Columbia University School of the Arts, 1991. Premiered by Brazelton's BOG LIFE on Cape Cod, MA tour funded by Massachusetts Arts Lottery, November 1991. Included on BOG LIFE recording "New & Unusual American Chamber Music."


  • mezzo-soprano
  • baritone
  • harp
  • oboe
  • double bass
  • marimba
  • guitar
  • percussion and cymbal
22 min.