Opera Lafayette and Heartbeat Opera present a co-production of

Stradella’s La Susanna (1681)
Alessandro Stradella, composer
Giovanni Battista Giardini, librettist

Based on the story of Susanna and the Elders in the Book of Daniel
Premiere American Staging

Purchase tickets here


Two judges desire the beautiful Susanna. When she rejects their advances, they
exploit their power in an attempt to destroy her. It’s the Bible’s iconic story of
sexual harassment and the perversion of justice. Originally conceived with a
male narrator and male savior, Stradella’s seductive oratorio from 1681 becomes
a startlingly powerful opera for 2019, with women as both storyteller and
whistleblower. Heartbeat Opera (“imaginative and vital” – The New Yorker) and
Opera Lafayette (“uncommonly rewarding” – Musical America) join forces to
breathe new life into this baroque gem, which speaks truth to power here and now.


Lucía Martín Cartón, Susanna
Sara Couden, Scholar/Testo
Ariana Douglas, Student/Daniel
Patrick Kilbride, Judge
Paul Max Tipton, Judge


“It was a thoughtful production that did full justice to a forgotten work.” | Read Full Review
Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, April 23, 2019

“Opera Lafayette is closing its season with one of the strongest productions it has ever mounted…a marvel both musically and dramatically.” | Read Full Review
Charles Downey, Washington Classical Review, April 23, 2019

“Opera Lafayette/Heartbeat Opera’s La Susanna is the sort of arts experience that stays with you for a while, raising questions, provoking discussion.” | Read Full Review
Mike Rogers, Opera Gene, April 24, 2019

“Ultimately, however, the show belongs to soprano Lucía Martín-Cartón and her two would-be attackers. Martin-Cartón’s vocals are as clear and pure as the character she’s playing…Paul Max Tipton and Patrick Kilbride are appropriately morally bankrupt as the corrupt judges…” | Read Full Review
Helen Holmes, Observer, May 3, 2019

“Susanna was performed by the crystalline-voiced soprano Lucía Martín Cartón, whose dramatic instincts were as sure as her impeccable musicianship.” | Read Full Review
Rick Perdian, Seen and Heard International, May 6, 2019

Ryan Brown, Violin
Jacob Ashworth, Violin
Arash Noori, Theorbo
Anthony Manzo, Bass
Loretta O’Sullivan, Cello
Andrew Appel, Harpsichord 


Ryan Brown and Jacob Ashworth, music direction
Ethan Heard, stage direction
Emma Crane Jaster, movement direction
Reid Thompson, scenic design
Beth Goldenberg, costume design
Oliver Wason, lighting design
Peregrine Heard and Jacob Ashworth, English translation
Peregrine Heard, dramaturgy
Lisa Mion, props design
Caroline Englander, stage management
Erin Krebs, assistant stage direction
Tamrin Goldberg, associate movement direction
Michelle Tarantino, assistant costume design
Jenn Gallo, assistant stage management