"Bold and vivid"

The New York Times


The New Yorker


Opera News


The Wall Street Journal


5th Annual Halloween Drag Extravaganza:

a homersexual opera odyssey

All roads lead to Rome… and to Heartbeat Opera’s fifth annual Halloween Drag Extravaganza! “New York’s singularly unconventional” (Opera News) indie opera company invites you to grab your golden fleece and catch a chariot down to Brooklyn’s Colosseum (aka Roulette) for an operatic, Greco-Roman orgy of gorgeous gladiators and glam goddesses. Join Homer and Sappho in a Herculean quest to Hades and back -- featuring the siren songs of Monteverdi, Handel, and Offenbach, plus a brand new number by Vavrek and Schlosberg. Come in costumes to make Cleopatra drool. When in Rome…

WATCH THE Preview:

Pre-Show Drink & Mingle

Join us 30 minutes before the performance for a special pre-show DRAGUS MAXIMUS experience! Share a drink with the Heartbeat Opera family, and show off your glamorous Greco-Roman costume as you explore the space.

Open Bar: $10

Indulge your inner Dionysus by purchasing an Open Bar add-on with your ticket. For only $10, you'll get access to the bar all evening. Remember to add the Open Bar upgrade after checkout — advance tickets only.

Be a V.I.P.

Purchase one of the limited V.I.P. seating options to help Heartbeat Opera's innovative 2018-19 season become a reality. V.I.P. tickets include front row seating and open bar access for the entire night.


3 shows only!

Fri, Oct 26 – 8:00pm

Sat, Oct 27 – 7:00pm

Sat, Oct 27 – 10:00pm

509 Atlantic Avenue
(corner of Third Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

70 minutes

Pre-Show Drink & Mingle starts 30 mins before each performance

Open Bar available ($10 with advance tickets only)


From last year’s drag extravaganza:

Directed by Ethan Heard
Music Directed by Jacob Ashworth & Daniel Schlosberg
New arrangements by Daniel Schlosberg
Written by Ethan & Peregrine Heard
"Feed the Snakes" lyrics by Royce Vavrek and music by Daniel Schlosberg
Choreographed by Emma Crane Jaster
Costumes, Hair, and Make Up by Fabian Aguilar, Jon Carter, Miodrag Guberinic & Andy Jordan
Lighting by Oliver Wason
Projections by Shawn Boyle
Props by Corinne Gologursky
Stage Managed by Colin JB


Meet the Cast

Drae Campbell


Drae Campbell is an actor, storyteller, curator and emcee. She received a BFA in Theater from the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. Drae has been spotted on IFC.Com, Conan. Refinery29 and numerous films. Look for her in the forthcoming, DINETTE which was just featured at Tribeca Film Fest, 2018. Some theater credits : Only You Can Prevent Wildfires, Ricochet Collective, Non-Consensual Relationships With Ghosts, La Mama, My Old Man, Dixon Place, Oph3lia at HERE.  She appeared as a radical lesbian in Taylor Mac's 24 Decade History Of Popular Music at St. Ann's Warehouse. Drae hosts and curates a live monthly storytelling show called TELL at BGSQD . Also, she once reigned as Miss LEZ. So delighted to be a part of this show! www.draecampbell.com


Justin Mock


Justin Mock is thrilled to be joining Dragus Maximus as the Hounds of Hades (among other characters). He has previously danced with Hubbard Street 2, Hou Ying Dance Theatre, and The Merce Cunningham Trust. He is currently performing in Then She Fell with Third Rail Projects. Following Dragus Maximus, Justin will be joining the cast of An American In Paris at Coastal Carolina Arts Center. Thanks so much to the cast and creative team for this wonderful experience! “Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.” -Homer


Peregrine Teng Heard

Aphrodite voice

Peregrine Teng Heard. New York: two Heartbeat Opera drag extravaganzas, Chuck Mee’s soot & spit, Piehole’s Ski End, TV's Sehnsucht, and Power Couple at ANTFest. Voiceover work includes MasterCard, Sonos, and Roomba. Peregrine is the artistic director of the devising ensemble The Associates, with whom she has written and performed Black Protagonist, Freesome, and Sheila.


John Taylor Ward


John Taylor Ward performs regularly with the world’s finest baroque musicians and ensembles, including Christina Pluhar and L’Arpeggiata, Paul O’Dette, Steven Stubbs and the Boston Early Music Festival, William Christie and Les arts florissants, and Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists. In 2016, he was featured in the U.S. premiere of Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus, directed by Peter Sellars at the Ojai Festival and began appearing regularly in recital at Joe’s Pub with Cantata Profana. In 2017 he made his debuts at the Salzburg, Berlin, and Luzerne Festspieles. Upcoming highlights include Berio’s Sinfonia with the New York Philharmonic and Nick Shadow in Igor Stravinski’s The Rake’s Progress, conducted by Barbara Hannigan in Gothemburg, Sweden. Taylor holds a BM from the Eastman School of Music and an MMA from Yale School of Music; he is the founding Associate Artistic Director of the Lakes Area Music Festival, an Associate Artist of Heartbeat Opera, a founding core member of Cantata Profana, and an avid Sacred Harp singer.


Jamilyn Manning-White


Jamilyn Manning-White, soprano, praised by The New Yorker as "agile and fiery", "vibrant and masterful" by Opera News, and "superb" by The New York Times, is a versatile singing actress performing in opera, musical theatre, and the concert stage.  As an Associate Artist with Heartbeat Opera, she has appeared in The Fairy Queen, their first ever Drag Extravaganza, The Queens of the Night Drag Extravaganza, critically acclaimed Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, and joined Heartbeat Opera in debuting opera on the NY High Line.  Some favorite roles include The Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte (Lakes Area Music Festival, Orlando Philharmonic), Clorinda in La Cenerentola (Glimmerglass Festival), Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music (Berkshire Theatre Group), Phoebe in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Broadway's Promo Cast), Musetta in La Bohéme (Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Bangor Symphony). IG: @jamilynsings  www.jamilynmanning-white.com


Sara Couden


Sara Couden, contralto, has a career spanning many interests and genres. A graduate of both Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music, where she studied early music and oratorio, and the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, where she studied opera, Sara invests everything she sings—from Monteverdi to Weill, art song to musical theater—with joy, drama, deep love, and juicy low notes. Visit her website at saracouden.simpl.com for media, upcoming projects, and critical acclaim.


Nicolette Mavroleon


Soprano Nicolette Mavroleon has been acclaimed as a performer who "generates a special magic" (Brooklyn Discovery) in both opera and concert repertoire. She starred in the American premiere of the Afro-Cuban/Yiddish opera Hatuey as part of Montclair State’s Peak Performances’ 2018-19 season. Other favorite roles include Musetta in La bohème (Pittsburgh Festival Opera), Tina in Jonathan Dove’s Flight (Juilliard), and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Chautauqua Festival). She recently made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in both Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Fauré’s Requiem along with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. www.nicolettemavroleon.com


Pearl Harbor

Aphrodite incarnate

Wo Chan AKA Pearl Harbor is a nonbinary poet and drag performer living in Brooklyn. Wo is the author of the chapbook ORDER THE WORLD, MOM (Belladonna), and has received honors from the New York Foundation of the Arts, Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Asian American Writers Workshop. As a standing member of the Brooklyn based drag/burlesque collective Switch N' Play, Wo has performed at venues including MOMA PS1, Joe’s Pub, National Sawdust, New York Live Arts, BAM Fisher, and The Whitney. Wo was born in Macau, China, and currently lives in New York where they are an MFA Candidate in Poetry at NYU. You can find them on Instagram at @theillustriouspearl

Meet the Team

Ethan Heard headshot.JPG


Stage Director

Ethan Heard directs plays, musicals, and operas. As Founding Co-Artistic Director of Heartbeat Opera, he has directed Dido and Aeneas, Kafka-Fragments, The Seven Deadly Sins, and the drag extravaganzas Miss Handel and The Fairy Queen. Other recent opera includes the world premieres of Orth and Campbell’s Empty the House (Curtis Institute of Music) and Cady, Siegel and Welch’s Sisyphus (Experiments in Opera); Erismena and L’Orfeo (Yale Baroque Opera Project), and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Princeton University). Recent musical theater includes Little Shop of Horrors, Bells Are Ringing, and A Little Night Music (Berkshire Theatre Group), the world premiere of Campbell and Michelson’s The Other Room (Inner Voices), Michelson's Song of Song of Songs (Judson), Merrily We Roll Along (Yale Dramat), Sunday in the Park with George (Yale School of Drama), and Mel Brooks’ The Producers (Princeton). Plays include: Lottie in the Late Afternoon and Julius Caesar (YSD), The Cat and the Canary (BTG), The Gay Ivy (Dixon Place), Iphigenia and Other Daughters and Proof (Santa Fe Theater Festival), Pullman WA and in a word (Williamstown Workshop). While earning his MFA at YSD, Ethan served as Artistic Director of Yale Cabaret, where he co-created Basement Hades and Trannequin and began the tradition of Yale School of Drag. He is Resident Director of Jay Chou's The Secret, China's first jukebox musical, and he is currently on faculty at Yale School of Drama, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and Princeton University. ethanheard.com


Jacob Ashworth - Heartbeat Opera


Co-Music Director

Jacob Ashworth is the “impressive Artistic Director” (New York Times) of Heartbeat's sister company, the baroque and modern “crack ensemble” (New Yorker) Cantata Profana, which he founded in 2012 at the Yale School of Music. He has also been Co-Music Director of Heartbeat Opera since the beginning. As a violinist and conductor, Jacob has gained a reputation from early baroque to contemporary music as a consummate stylist and ingenious curator of music, receiving the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2016 for his work with Cantata Profana. His performances have been called “exacting and sensitive” (Boston Globe), “richly detailed” (New York Times), and “a flat-out triumph” (Opera News). With Heartbeat, he has made a specialty of leading operas from the violin, "doing powerful work from the music stand" (Opernwelt). Jacob earned his doctorate from Yale under renowned violinist Ani Kavafian, and studied baroque violin with Robert Mealy as a member of the Yale Baroque Ensemble. Jacob has performed extensively on period instruments, including as concertmaster for Nicholas McGegan with Mark Morris Dance Group, and with Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Staunton Music Festival, Juilliard 415, Helicon Ensemble, and New York Baroque Incorporated. His album, “Hermestänze,” appears on MSR Records, and features cycles for solo violin by composer Susan Kander, played “expressively and knowingly throughout” (Gramophone).

Daniel Schlosberg Heartbeat headshot.jpg


Co-Music Director & Arranger

The music of composer and pianist Daniel Schlosberg has been performed by the the Dover Quartet, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Amphion Quartet, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Antico Moderno, and Lorelei Ensemble, at such venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), St. John’s Cathedral (Hong Kong), and Melbourne Recital Centre (Melbourne). Recent work includes the score for a music-theatrical adaptation of Lorca’s Once Five Years Pass at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and music direction of Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Yale Repertory Theatre, where he premiered a score by David Lang. He cofounded the composer/performer ensemble INVISIBLE ANATOMY, which debuted last spring with concerts in New York City and at the Beijing Modern Music Festival. Schlosberg received a 2014 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and 2014 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s from the Yale School of Music. His work has been described as “witty” by the Wall Street Journal.


Royce Vavrek


Royce Vavrek is a Canadian librettist who has been called "an exemplary creator of operatic prose" (The New York Times), and "one of the most celebrated and sought after librettists in the world" (CBC Radio). His opera “Angel’s Bone,” with Du Yun, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Other notable projects include JFK and Dog Days with David T. Little; Song from the Uproar, Breaking the Waves and Proving Up with Missy Mazzoli; 27 and The House Without a Christmas Tree with Ricky Ian Gordon; and The Hubble Cantata with Paola Prestini. Alumnus of Concordia University, NYU, and ALT’s Composer Librettist Development Program. www.roycevavrek.com