Karmina Šilec, conductor and director - author

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Karmina Šilec, conductor and director - author

Karmina Šilec is a conductor and director - author, artistic director of Carmina Slovenica and new music theatre Choregie

opera BABA

The Life and Death of Stana

Concept and music: Karmina Šilec

Performers: KITKA and guests

BABA is inspired by the sworn virgins – the women who, after taking vows of chastity, adopt a man's name and identity, wear men's clothes, do men's work, smoke, drink rakia, play the gusle ... and join the men's world.

The music theatre will draw on anthropological research on this practice to develop a multi-faceted performative form.

BABA offers a journey through places and times that bend under the fruits of the romantic Western imagination. Homer, the virdzina, the muškarača, the tobelia, the blind woman, and Stana live in the region that today we call the Balkans. The performance creates an intuitive conceptual network between music, theWestern view, sweet sorrow, hetero-romantic ideology and Adam’s rib, phallocentrism and virginity. It talks about the otherness, the institution of sworn virgins, and about the dilemma over whether virdzina’s becoming a man is an illusion, violence, or salvation.


Broadway World

Opera Wire


Author, composer, and director: Karmina Šilec

Kitka Ensemble: Kelly Atkins, Caitlin Tabancay Austin, Leslie Bonnett, Briget Boyle, Barbara Byers, Shira Cion, Erin Lashnits Herman, Juliana Graffagna, Shira Kammen, Janet Kutulas, Maclovia Quintana, Beth Wilmurt
Scenographer: Dorian Šilec Petek
Movement advisor: Sidra Bell
Projection design: Dorian Šilec Petek, Miha Likar
Lighting design & technical director: G. Chris Griffin
Costume design: Karmina Šilec & Vesna Novitović
Percussion coach: Rumen "Sali" Shopov

BABA will premiere February 23-26, 2023 at ZSpace in San Francisco.


The commissioning, creation, and presentation of BABA is supported, in part, by The Hewlett50 Arts Commissions, The National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, Mills College Performing Arts, The Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Berkeley Repertory Theater’s Ground Floor Artist Residencies., and the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program.

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