Contemporary OperaContemporary Opera

The Last American Hammer

Milcom Negley, a one-man militia, rages against the tyranny of federal overreach. A conspiracy theorist, Milcom believes an obscure, would-be Thirteenth amendment negates the authority of our government. The only major source of employment in town—a hammer manufacturer—has shuttered, and Milcom is armed with “the last American hammer” to roll off the plant’s line. He is hunkered down in a rural museum with curator Tink Enraught and FBI Agent Reyes.


$50 General Admission

Student tickets are just $5 Valid student I.D. must be presented at door.

Purchase through Ticketmaster or by calling the Box Office: 616-451-2741

Purchase a Season Subscription and save 15%

Production Team

Cara Consilvio | Stage Director

Cara Consilvio is a director and producer of opera, film and theater.

Learn more >>

In 2019, Cara directed An American Dream at Anchorage Opera, The Elixir of Love for Piedmont Opera and The Threepenny Opera for Syracuse Opera. In 2018, Cara directed the world premiere of Inheritance by composer Lei Liang and librettist Matt Donovan for UC San Diego. She directed her first Suor Angelica with Tri-Cities. She also directed After Life and Dialogues of the Carmelites for Loyola University New Orleans and The Merry Widow for The Hartt School. Cara earned outstanding reviews for her 2017 productions of Hydrogen Jukebox at Chautauqua Opera and Glory Denied at Tri-Cities Opera.

Cara is a co-founder of Hup! Productions. Her film directing projects include a feature documentary currently in production titledFor the Love of Friends, her debut narrative short film C.I.T., which was screened at eleven festivals and her upcoming short film Dry. Cara is executive producer and co-story writer of the horror comedy feature film Camp Wedding, which is currently finishing its festival run and being distributed by Gravitas Pictures. She has also produced and directed many tribute videos, promotional videos, and behind the scenes mini-docs for the NEA Opera Honors, the NEA Jazz Masters videos, OPERA America and American Composers Orchestra.

Cara brings her extensive performance background and training as a dancer, actor and singer to her work. She earned a BA in Dramatic Art and Dance from UC Berkeley, where she trained in Graham and Cunningham technique with Marnie Wood and Carol Murota. She pursued advanced acting training with the American Conservatory Theater and Williamstown Theater Festival. During her seven years as an actor in NYC, Cara studied acting and improvisation with Michael Howard, Gene Frankel, Kurt Braunohler and Armando Diaz, performing in independent films, theater and dance. As a singer, Cara trained in musical theater and opera. She studied voice with Bill O’Neill, Mark St. Laurent, Craig Wich and Martina Arroyo, and completed three years of post-baccalaureate studies in vocal performance at SUNY Fredonia.

When she’s not directing, Cara enjoys going on adventures with her husband, Alex and her dog, Marty.

Hide more >>

Austin McWilliams | Conductor

Austin McWilliams is a conductor and countertenor who specializes in contemporary vocal music.

Learn more >>

He strives to present compelling, intriguing art that is directly relevant to the communities in which it is performed. Austin is the Associate Conductor and Education Director at Opera Grand Rapids, where he acts as both chorus master and head of the contemporary opera series. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Choral Studies at Western Michigan University, where he conducts the university operas and teaches several courses. He is the choir director at Fountain Street Church, a non-denominational, non-creedal institution that serves as a venue for heterodox speakers and ideologies, and is a faculty member at Missouri Scholars Academy, an annual, month-long governor’s school for gifted high school juniors in his native state. Favorite projects include Stinney: An American Execution (Frances Pollock), a world premiere opera about 14-year-old black boy George Stinney Jr. who was wrongfully convicted and executed in 1944; Our Trudy (Anna Pidgorna), a world premiere opera about the life of a small-town Kansas art teacher; and Of Rage and Remembrance (John Corigliano), a choral recital on HIV/AIDS awareness. Austin holds degrees in choral conducting and computer engineering.

Hide more >>


Artists to be announced.