WELLSPRING: a world folk opera set in 1999 Sarajevo
Libretto/Lyrics by Ruth Margraff
Composed by Nikos Brisco,
Featuring the Cafe Antarsia Ensemble: Nikos Brisco, Rami El-Aasser, Ruth Margraff, Ron Riley

WELLSPRING is a radical new opera about the American wife of a UN peacekeeper who goes to look for her husband when he disappears in Sarajevo in 1999. It merges western and eastern music in a score influenced by both Greek blues, Ottoman Art composers together with the Romani/Gypsy music of the marketplace.

Hourglass Group, Ltd. presented a workshop of WELLSPRING directed by Elyse Singer December 4, 5 and 6th, 2005 @ The Century Center for the Performing Arts, Ballroom Theatre, 111 East 15th St. at Union Square (New York City)
With singer/actors Karen Lynn Gorney, Piter Marek, Tony Naumovski, John Schumacher, Jelena Stuplijanin & Carol Tammen; & set: Zhanna Gurvich; costumes: Angela M. Kahler lighting: Anjeanette Stokes; musical director: Jill Brunelle PSM: Sanja Kabalin Asst. Set: Sarah Kirchner

The Century Center Ballroom presentation was made possible in part by grants from LMCC's Fund for Creative Communities/NYSCA and The Greenwall Foundation, with travel support from TCG/ITI, MTC-Global Connections and TMUNY. WELLSPRING has been developed previously as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music/BAMcafe's Fourth Annual Women in Music series March 18, 2005 with additional support from Immigrants' Theatre Company supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. WELLSPRING was previously developed by the Public Theater as part of the New Work Now! Festival and as part of New Dramatists' PlayTime.
Café Antarsia Ensemble

The Café Antarsia Ensemble tours regularly from New York City to music & theater venues in the United States, Europe, etc. The 4-piece acoustic ensemble performs original, theatrical world folk songs inspired by Greek blues and Balkan Roma/gypsy music from the end of the Ottoman Empire featuring NIKOS BRISCO on gypsy guitar, Greek trichordo bouzouki, baglama, RON RILEY on guitar and tzouras, RUTH MARGRAFF on accordion and Cretan lyra and RAMI EL-AASER on Middle Eastern percussion. The Café Antarsia Ensemble has been presented abroad in Russia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Great Britain, etc. and in New York City by the Hourglass Group at the Century Center Ballroom, The Public Theater’s New Work Now & Joe’s Pub, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMCafe Women in Music Series, 2005 Culturemart Festival/Here/Harp with the support of New Dramatists’ PlayTime, NYSCA/ITP,

Chashama Area Award, Sanctuary Playwrights’ Theater, Sightlines Theater, Hellenic Festival/New York Public Library, CB’s Gallery Stampedefest, Schoolhouse Roxx/Performance Space 122 (NYC), University of Iowa/ Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop (Iowa City), 2005 North American Cultural Laboratory (Catskills) and a March – June, 2006 Fulbright New Opera Award to Thessoloniki, Crete and Athens (GREECE).
Judges 19: Black Lung Exhaling
Judges 19: Black Lung Exhaling a folk operetta, mixing the old coal mining harmonies of the West Virginia foothills and Deep Ellum, Dallas country-folk with forays into Greek styles of music and performance. JUDGES 19 has been presented by the 2003 Novaja/New Drama International Festival at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater New Stage through the Golden Mask Association (Moscow, Russia) and the 2003 International Hydra Rebetiko Conference at the Melina Mercouri Hall (Isle of Hydra, Greece). It premiered internationally at the 2001 Beogradski Letnji Festival/Konak Knjeginje Ljubice in (Belgrade, Yugoslavia) and was first presented at the 2001 Fronterafest Long Fringe at the Rude Mechanical’s Off Center (Austin, Texas) and May, 2001 by the Undermain Theater (Dallas, Texas); Here Arts Center in November, 2001 as part of the HARP/Opera Project and at HERE’s 2003 Culturemart (New York), featured on New York One Television, New York City
PBS Metro Arts Television and Hellas World Radio from Astoria; Perishable Theater in March, 2002 (Providence, Rhode Island); the Moscow Contemporary American Series at the Bolshoi Zal in July, 2002 (Moscow, Russia); with a CD release February, 2004 at Joe’s Pub/Public Theater http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/nbrisco3 (New York). The libretto and an early score are published by Theater Forum 22: International Theater Journal Winter/Spring 2003 http://www-theatre.ucsd.edu/TF/home.html. The development of JUDGES 19 was supported by Arts International, TCG/ITI and the U.S. Fund for U.S. Artists.