Music by Mikael Karlsson
Libretto by Kathryn Walat, Mikael Karlsson and Elle Kunnos de Voss
About the Work Creators Video/Audio Gallery Press Performances


Convicted murderer Walker Loats is trapped in a timeless prison. Unexpectedly befriended by a moth with an offer of a perceived way to freedom, Walker must choose between paying her dues or taking a shortcut that offers to rig the game in her favor. Oscillating between the confines of a tiny cell and an expansive visual world of animation, The Echo Drift unravels a cycle of deceit, temptation, seduction, and fantastical perception. Featuring a live chamber ensemble, electronics, and a six-channel surround sound system, this world premiere opera explores the freewheeling nature of the mind when it is robbed of external stimuli and questions, when in extreme circumstances, is it possible to act in a way that goes against one’s nature?

The 70-minute monodrama will have its world premiere as part of the 2018 Prototype Festival in January 2018 in a co-production by Amercian Opera Projects and PROTOTYPE directed by Mallory Catlett (The Scarlet Ibis). The Echo Drift was originally developed by Mikael Karlsson and Elle Kunnos de Voss in a full-length workshop presented by the Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC in 2014. The Echo Drift was commissioned, developed and produced by Beth Morrison Projects, HERE, and American Opera Projects.

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(composer, co-librettist)
Mikael Karlsson writes music ranging from orchestral, ballets, chamber music, chamber opera and AAA video games. In 2014 he was awarded the Lakond Award to “an exceptional mid-career composer” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His commissions for dance include works for Nederlands Dans Theater, Ailey II, the Royal Swedish Opera and Ballet, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Semperoper (Dresden) and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. He has worked with major contemporary music ensembles in the US (International Contemporary Ensemble, American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), members of Alarm Will Sound and the Mivos Quartet) and Europe (Dahlkvist Quartet). Mr. Karlsson was a fellow in AOP’s Composer and the Voice program in the 2012/2103 Season. His opera-in-progress, Decoration, which originated in C&V was chosen to be part of the Manhattan School of Music's Page to Stage program. Along with The Echo Drift co-creator Elle Kunnos de Voss, she is the recipient of AOP’s first “Genesis Fellowship,” a residency at Hermitage Artist Retreat.

(co-librettist, designer)
Elle Kunnos de Voss is a New York City-based Swedish production designer and creative director of The Metrics Design Group. Her work ranges from award-winning architectural design projects to production design for film, set and costume design for performing arts, as well as writing for stage. Kunnos de Voss holds an M.A. from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Design. In 2004 she moved to New York and cofounded The Metrics, for which she has completed architectural and interior design projects in New York, Europe, and Asia. Her projects have been featured on television and in books and magazines across the world. Kunnos de Voss is currently developing two librettos. Along with The Echo Drift co-creator Mikael Karlsson, she is the recipient of AOP’s first “Genesis Fellowship,” a residency at Hermitage Artist Retreat.

Kathryn Walat is co-librettist, with composer Gregory Spears, of the chamber opera Paul’s Case, developed by AOP and presented at PROTOTYPE Festival in 2014, Pittsburgh Opera, and Urban Arias; and recognized in New Yorker magazine’s list of Ten Notable Performances and Recordings for 2014. She is also librettist of Jason and the Argonauts, commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago and performed for over 20,000 school children. As a playwright, her work has been produced Off-Broadway at the Women’s Project, and across the country at Theatre @ Boston Court, Hangar Theater, Salvage Vanguard, Perishable Theater, and Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep. She has received commissions from MCC Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, and New Georges, and has been in residence at such places as the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, The Playwrights’ Center, The American Academy in Rome, Ucross, and Yaddo. Kate received her BA from Brown University, and her MFA from Yale School of Drama.

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October 27, 2015 - SRQ MAGAZINE
Opera profile: "Meet the Faces of New Opera"

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January 10-20, 2018
Co-presented by AOP and PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now with Baruch Performing Arts Center
Baruch Performing Arts Center - 55 Lexington Ave., New York, NY
Walker Loats - Blythe Gaissert
Governor & The Moth - John Kelly
Directed by Mallory Catlett
Conducted by Nicholas DeMaison
Environment Design by Elle Kunnos de Voss
Projection Design by Simon Harding
Animations by Dara Hamidi (with drawings by Elle Kunnos de Voss)
Orchestration by Mikael Karlsson & Michael P. Atkinson
With the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Pianist Aaron Likness



December 1, 2015
First Chance Libretto Reading w artist Q&A
Co-presented with PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now
HERE Arts Center
145 6th Avenue, New York, NY
Walker Loats - Stephanie Hayes
Governor - Julian Rozzell
Moth/Key - Todd D’Amour
Directed by Mallory Catlett
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American Opera Projects, Inc. • 138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.398.4024 •