DARK SISTERS follows one woman’s dangerous attempt to escape her life as a member of the FLDS Church (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints), a sect that split from mainstream Mormonism in the early 20th Century largely because of the LDS Church’s renunciation of polygamy.  The male founders of the Mormon faith (Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, chief among them) loom large in American history; Dark Sisters puts the women front and center. 

The narrative draws inspiration from the flurry of media attention surrounding the two most infamous raids on FLDS compounds (the 1953 raid at Short Creek, AZ and the 2008 raid at the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, TX) as well as the stories of the over 80 wives of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  Set against a red-earthed landscape filled with revelations, dark prophets and white temples stretching towards heaven, Dark Sisters charts one woman’s quest for self-discovery in a world where personal identity is forbidden. 


The Washington Post (by Anne Midgette)

Ladies first: Muhly's "Dark Sisters" precedes ‘Two Boys’ as US opera debut”

Theater Mania (by Andy Propst) “Nico Muhly and Stephen Karam's Newly Commissioned Opera Dark Sisters to Get NY Debut in 2011”

Variety (by Gordon Cox)

“Muhly, Karam to pen opera about polygamy”

Broadway World (Pennsylvania)

“Photo Flash: New American Opera DARK SISTERS Hosts Reception, 10/28”

Broadway World

“Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group & Opera Co of Philly Join For DARK SISTERS”

ABC News 

“Muhly Writing Opera on Mormon Church”

The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Opera Company in virgin territory with new work on Mormon sect”


Diane Wondisford, Producing Director  


Phone: 718.797.1145        FOR INFO, contact info@musictheatregroup.org


Co-commissioned by

Gotham Chamber Opera,

Music-Theatre Group

and The Opera Company of Philadelphia.



SEPTEMBER 6-25, 2011

with previews SEPTEMBER 23 & 25th. 

Stay tuned for details.

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A brief documentary on making of DARK SISTERS

(co-commissioned by Gotham Chamber Opera, MTG and

The Opera Company of Philadelphia.)

Leo Warner from 59 Productions and Nico Muhly talk about

the set and projection design.

World Premiere Production, November 9-19, 2011.


World Premiere Production

Composed by Nico Muhly

Libretto by Stephen Karam

Co-commissioned and Co-produced by

Gotham Chamber Opera,

Music-Theatre Group,

& Opera Company of Philadelphia

Conductor Neal Goren

Director Rebecca Taichman

Set Design Leo Warner, 59 Productions

Costume Design Miranda Hoffman

Lighting Design Donald Holder

Movement Consultant Annie-B Parson

Final Workshop begins September 6, 2011 in DUMBO

World Premiere November 9, 2011 @ Gerald W. Lynch Theater

DARK SISTERS enroute to the world premiere