Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in collaboration with Opera Saratoga present
Katie: The Strongest of the Strong
Mar 28 11:00AM
Katie: The Strongest of the Strong

Katie: Strongest of the Strong is the true story of Katie Sandwina – a circus strongwoman who defied cultural expectations of women and was instrumental in the U.S. suffrage movement in the 1900s. Featuring an all-female cast, the HGO original commission is an engaging way for students and families to learn about the importance of equal rights. Katie and her husband Max move from Austria to the U.S., where she joins Barnum and Bailey Circus, becomes a mother, and teams up with Marina, a young journalist, to fight for the voting rights of women. With an all-female cast, this 2020 HGO commission from composer Faye Chiao and librettist Anton Dudley is an engaging way for students and families to learn about the importance of equal rights. The 45-minute opera celebrates women’s strength and confidence through the inspiring true story of protagonist Katie Sandwina. The story, shared from the perspective of journalist Marina Martin, features a chorus of circus women who play multiple characters and demonstrate how strength and beauty come in all shapes and sizes.  The opera is appropriate for kids who are between Kindergarten and 6th grade.


Music Director: JULIAN GAU

About Opera Saratoga:                                                             

Opera Saratoga, formerly known as Lake George Opera, began with a production of Die Fledermaus at the Diamond Point Theatre on July 5, 1962, playing to an audience of 230. The Company now calls Saratoga Springs home and performs for more than 25,000 people annually. Opera Saratoga celebrates its 60th Anniversary this season. The company serves the communities of Saratoga Springs, the Lower Adirondack and New York State Capital areas by providing access to world-class opera through the production of an annual Summer Festival, as well as year-round activities including extensive educational programs, mentorship of emerging operatic artists, and unique opportunities for the public to experience opera in both our home theater and non-traditional venues that leverage and embrace the unique cultural, historic, and natural resources of the area. To date, the company has performed 106 different fully staged works by 66 different composers, including 42 works by American composers and 14 premiere productions. In 2023, the company hired its 10th Artistic and General Director, Mary Birnbaum. For more information, visit

About Mary Birnbaum:             

Mary Birnbaum has directed opera and music theater around the world, including staging critically acclaimed productions of L'Orfeo, Proving Up, and The Rape of Lucretia at The Juilliard School and The Classical Style at Carnegie Hall. Mary's production of La bohème opened the Santa Fe Opera season in 2019. She has also directed productions at Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Bard Summerscape, Opera Columbus, Virginia Opera, Virginia Arts Festival, the Ojai Festival, Montclair Peak Performances and Boston Baroque in the U.S, as well as in Taiwan (National Symphony Orchestra), Central America (National Theatre of Costa Rica and Guatemala), Australia and Israel. Nominated for Best Newcomer at The European Opera Awards in 2015, Mary’s production of Dido and Aeneas toured to Opera Holland Park and Opéra de Versailles in 2019. In demand for her skills as a collaborator on new works, Mary has created world premieres of works by contemporary artists including Jeremy Denk, Steven Stucky and others. She most recently directed the world premiere of In A Grove by Christopher Cerrone and Stephanie Fleischmann at Pittsburgh Opera and will direct the world premiere oratorio ÉMIGRÉ at the New York Philharmonic in collaboration with the Shanghai Symphony. On the faculty of the Juilliard School since 2011, Mary teaches acting to singers and serves as Dramatic Advisor to the Masters degree candidates. She also teaches and coaches for the Lindemann Young Artists Program at the Metropolitan Opera. A graduate of Harvard College, Mary trained professionally in physical theater at L’École Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

- For orders of less than 150 students, single tickets are $5 per ticket. 

- For orders more than 150 students, the school group will be charged a flat fee of $650.


Have questions about your school/group attending? If you would like to touch base before purchasing tickets, reach out to Jessica Bowen, Director of Education & Outreach

(518) 479-9623

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