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.

Tickets

Season subscriptions now available.
Individual tickets go on sale July 30.


Production Team

Cara Consilvio | Stage Director

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

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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.

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Austin McWilliams | Conductor

Austin McWilliams, conductor and countertenor, strives to present compelling, intriguing music that is directly relevant to the communities in which it is performed.

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He is the Associate Conductor and Director of Music Education at Opera Grand Rapids, where he acts as both chorus master and head of the contemporary opera series dedicated to marginalized communities. In 2022 he conducted the world premiere of Frances Pollock’s Stinney about George Stinney, a 14-year-old black boy who was wrongfully convicted and executed in 1944. Austin is also an Adjunct Professor of Choral Studies at Western Michigan University, where he conducts the university operas and choral ensembles 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 radical speakers and ideologies, and is Co-Artistic Director of the Ad Astra Music Festival, a classical music festival in Russell, Kansas, known for its innovative and unique programming. In 2021 at Ad Astra he conducted the world premiere of Anna Pidgorna’s new opera Our Trudy about the life of a local art teacher. He is a faculty member at Missouri Scholars Academy, an annual, month-long governor’s school for gifted high school juniors in his native state. In 2019, Austin earned a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at WMU under Kimberly Dunn Adams. There he designed a recital on HIV/AIDS awareness in collaboration with several community organizations, and he earned the School of Music Graduate Award for Excellence in Teaching. Austin graduated in 2017 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering.

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Cast

Artists to be announced.