Home Finding Wright: A Dayton Opera Premiere

Finding Wright: A Dayton Opera Premiere

In-Theatre Performance

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In-Theatre Availability

Location Date and Time
Schuster Center February 25, 2022 8:00 pm
Schuster Center February 27, 2022 3:00 pm

About the Opera

Thanks to a dynamic, all-female creative team, the spotlight will finally shine on Katharine Wright, sister of Wilbur and Orville Wright, through Finding Wright.

This world premiere opera started with a visit to the Dayton Woodland Cemetery. In 2014, librettist Andrea Fellows Fineberg and then stage director (now Artistic Director) Kathleen Clawson happened upon the grave of the Wright Brothers. Laid to rest between them was a relatively unknown–Katharine Wright.

Struck by the intrigue of this long-forgotten sister, Fellows Fineberg and Clawson were determined to learn more about her life. On their quest to uncover more about Katharine, they discovered that her life lent itself naturally to an operatic format. 

Not uncommon for inventors, Wilbur and Orville weren’t able to easily articulate the genius of their work so ordinary people could understand it. Katharine stepped in to champion their work and helped them become household names worldwide. Being an advocate for their work came with a cost. Katharine had to put aside her own aspirations, including finding love, on hold while she supported her brothers.

This new world premiere opera traces the parallel narratives of Katharine Wright, sister of Orville and Wilbur, and Charlotte (“Charlie”) Tyler, a 21st-century aerospace engineer grieving her stalling career and the recent loss of her husband. Through learning about Katharine’s life, Charlie finds the inspiration she needs to overcome her struggles.


Charlie Tyler – Amanda Lynn Bottoms*, mezzo-soprano
Katharine Wright – Blythe Gaissert*, mezzo-soprano
Harry Haskell – Sean Anderson*, baritone
Orville Wright – Dominic Armstrong, tenor
Wilbur Wright – Christian Sanders*, tenor
Katie Wright – Maya Vansuch, soprano
Isabelle Cummings Haskell – Grace Kahl*, soprano
Bishop Milton Wright – Kenneth Shaw, bass
Ann Gideon – Ryu-Kyung Kim, mezzo-soprano
Mike – Bradley R. Mattingly, baritone

*Denotes Dayton Opera Debut


Julia Brosas

Natalie Corral

Tom Downs

Julio Soto

Sharon Williamson

David Zelmon

Artistic Team

Composer – Laura Kaminsky*
Librettist – Andrea Fellows Fineberg
Conductor – Susanne Sheston*
Stage Director/Dramaturg – Kathleen Clawson
Rehearsal Accompanist/Coach – Taylor Burkhardt
Artistic Advisor – Thomas Bankston

Production Team

Lighting Designer – John Rensel
Props Coordinator – John Lavarnway
Costume Designer – D. Bartlett Blair
Wig/Makeup Designer – Cass Brake
Wig/Makeup Designer – Tom Venditelli
Surtitle Caller – Linda Lally

Presenting Sponsors

ELM Foundation
Harry A. Toulmin and Virginia B. Toulmin Fund
Jesse and Caryl Philips Foundation


Dr. Ron Anderson and Mr. Robb Sloan-Anderson
Perry Bankston
Tom and Frances Bankston
Jan Culver and Eugene Kurtz
ELM Foundation
Harry A. Toulmin and Virginia B. Toulmin Fund
Jesse and Caryl Philips Foundation

Opera Series Sponsors

Opera Guild of Dayton

Jesse and Caryl Philips Foundation