"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…

“Heartbeat Opera’s ‘Dragus Maximus’ Reimagines a Classic Greek Myth as a Raucous Queer Odyssey”

Read the Dragus spotlight in The Observer

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.


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

Fri, Oct 26 – 8:00pm
Sat, Oct 27 – 7:00pm
Sat, Oct 27 – 10:00pm

70 minutes

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

Open Bar available ($10 with advance tickets only)


Watch the Highlights:

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
Make Up by Maiko Ando
Lighting by Krista Smith
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


Emma Crane Jaster


Emma is an internationally-trained director, choreographer, and teaching artist based in New York.  She has choreographed operas for Juilliard SVA, Loft Opera, Opera Lafayette, and Heartbeat Opera, with whom she loves being an Associate Artist.  Her work has brought her to India, Italy, Poland, Taiwan, and France, choreographing for actors, singers, dancers, students, and puppets. She performed from childhood with her mime father, Mark Jaster and attended the Lecoq school for physical theatre in Paris.  She believes in the power of art to teach us to listen better and love more. She is the founder of an international collective of artist mothers whose work can be found under #mamaisamaker. www.emmajaster.com @notapapercrane

Fabian Fidel Aguilar

Costume Designer

Fabian Fidel Aguilar was born in El Paso, TX and one based in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Yale University for his MFA and Boston University before that for his BFA in costume design. Most recently he designed Man of La Mancha at Westport Country Playhouse and around New York City, Atlanta and Philadelphia. While in Boston he worked for various theatres, conservatories, and universities including American Repertory Theater, Boston Ballet, Moscow Ballet, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, among others. In his spare time he likes to dabble in watercolor portraiture and urban sketching or cook.

Jon Carter

Hair/Makeup Designer

HEARTBEAT: Fidelio, Butterfly, Queens of the Night: Mozart in Space, Heartbeat on the Highline, Daphnis & Chloe, The Fairy Queen. OPERA: Erismena (Yale Baroque Opera) Oresteia (Bard Summerscape), Madame White Snake (Opera Boston), Baden-Baden 1927, Eliogabalo, Albert Herring (Gotham Chamber Opera). BROADWAY: The King and I, Golden Boy, In The Next Room, Joe Turner’s come and Gone, Xanadu. OFF-BROADWAY: LCT, Public Theater, SoHo Rep, BAM. REGIONAL: Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, Wilma, Kansas City Rep, Centerstage. FILM: Ben is Back, The First Purge, A Kid Like Jake. TV: Divorce (HBO) The Breaks (VH1) Match Game (ABC).

Miodrag Guberinic

Costume Designer

Miodrag Guberinic is a New York-based designer and artisan. He grew up in Serbia and graduated from the FPU in Belgrade with a BFA in costume design, and graduated with an MFA in costume design from the NU in Chicago. His designs have been worn by Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson, B Akerlund and Bianca Del Rio among others. His costume artisan work has been featured on numerous Broadway productions including ones currently on Broadway: Frozen, Head Over Heels, Mean Girls, Pretty Woman; TV shows: Mrs. Maisel, The Tick and last season of Gotham. He created accessories for fashion campaigns for Estee Lauder & Shiseido and small-scale costumes, crafts, and puppetry work for the iconic retailers' windows of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Tiffany & Co., Macy's, Lord & Taylor and Prada. Mio was also responsible for the creation of the iconic headpieces & armor for Madonna's  World Rebel Heart Tour and has collaborated with luminary designers including Anne Roth, Gregg Barnes, Arianne Phillips, and Michael Wilkinson. Today, Mio resides in Brooklyn where he owns the design company Mio Design NYC focusing on the highly innovative artisan projects, using the newest cutting-edge materials and technology on a wide range of Costume and Wearable Art projects.Most recently he started sharing his experiences as a lecturer and guest designer with students of Carnegie Mellon University, Long Island University, Parsons School of Design, Princeton University and Rutgers University. You can see the body of his work at miodragguberinic.com, miodesignstudio.com and follow his work on Instagram @miodesignnyc

Andrew Jordan

Costume Designer

Andrew Jordan is a Brooklyn-based artist and costume designer. He has designed for stage and screen with recent forays into opera, ballet, parade, and experimental performance. Andrew experiments with the interplay between various art forms driven by his interest in the relationship of sculpture, installation, and puppetry to the movement and form of the human body. He received his MFA with an emphasis in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA in Fine Arts, with a minor in Media Studies, from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Andrew is also known under the moniker andytoad.

Krista Smith

Lighting Designer

Krista Smith is a New York based Lighting Designer. Recent credits include This American Wife (New York Theater Workshop Next Door), Doll’s House Pt3 (Ars Nova), An Enemy of The People (Yale Repertory Theater); LEAR, Anthony + Cleopatra, And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of QueensThe Apple Tree, Dutch Masters, (Yale Cabaret). Originally from California, her regional credits include The Marriage of FigaroRent (Cinnabar Theater); The Great Tragedies by Mike Daisey (California Shakespeare Theater); A Doll’s House, The Wild Party, Flu Season, and Sueño (A.C.T. Conservatory). She received her MFA from Yale School of Drama. www.KristaSmithLD.com

Shawn Boyle

Projection Designer

Recent credits include: The Magic Flute, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Schubert Theater – Yale School of Music); Verano, Smoke & Mirrors, Rim of the Ancient Mariner (Lagoon Park); Mad Forest (Columbia University); peerless, ELEVADA (Yale Repertory Theater); Oklahoma! (The University of Central Florida); The Nutcracker (Grand Rapids Ballet); The Witches of Eastwick (Ogunquit Playhouse); City of Angels (Goodspeed Musicals); Lover’s Tale, The Who’s Tommy, K2, Red Remembers (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Singin’ in the Rain, and My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (Merry Go Round Playhouse). www.ShawnBoyleDesign.com

CoriNne Gologursky

Props Designer

Corinne Gologursky is a New York based props artist. Recent credits include: Eve's Song (The Public Theater); Singin' in the Rain, Beauty and the Beast (Maine State Music Theatre); Don Giovanni, Fidelio (Heartbeat Opera); NBC Olympic Studios (Pyeongchang, South Korea); Kings (The Public Theatre). Her work was recently featured in Stage Directions Magazine, and was on display at The Beard and Weil Galleries (Props and Fine Art from Movies, Television, and Theatre). She received her BFA in Scenic Design from Purchase College. www.gologurskyprops.com/