A City of Works – an oblique reference to former Mayor Richard J. Daley’s moniker for Chicago – combines the power of music and design in a series of site-specific digital experiences. Evoking the ethereal nature of theatre itself, audiences embark on individual journeys to landmarks throughout our city, unlocking audio and video content, and joining a collective experience to watch performances through individual personal devices.

Arriving at specific locations, audiences scan a QR code on their smartphone to access a music video of a given newly-commissioned work, the piece having been filmed at that locale, creating a fleeting yet shared theatrical experience.  The project eliminates the need for the gathering of groups of people while leaving content both free of charge and accessible at any time to audiences.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.


Artistic Team

Artistic Director
Music Director
Production Design


Episode 1

Corsair: The Bay

K.F. Jacques (composer, librettist, performer)

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Episode 2

Touch The Water

Matthew Recio (composer)
Anna Gatdula (librettist)
Keanon Kyles (voice, bass-baritone)
David Sands (cello)

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Episode 3

Edgewater Eau-de

Heidi Joosten (composer)
Laura Stratford (librettist)
Emma Sorenson (voice, mezzo-soprano)
Chungers Kim (piano)

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Episode 4

Lincoln Square

Elizabeth Rudolph (composer)
Laura Stratford (librettist)
Alex Salas (voice, mezzo-soprano)
Allison Chambers (cello)

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Episode 5

Our Mother

Grace Coberly (composer, librettist)
Eunice Ayodele (voice, mezzo)
Bridget Skaggs (voice, mezzo)

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Episode 6

Wicker Park - In Caricature

Michael R. Oldham (composer, librettist)
Jonathan Zeng (voice, tenor)
Allie Chambers (cello)

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Episode 7

Chicago-Home Sounds Like

Seth Boustead (composer)
Darius Rashad Parker (performer, librettist)
Lia Kohl (cello)

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Episode 8

Sweet Fruit Falling

A spatial oratorio from the opera Baldwin Chronicles: LONE ALCHEMY

Renee Baker (composer)
Dee Alexander (performer)
Coco Eltsses, percussion
Luv Mosley, saxophone

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Episode 9

The song of the blue heron

Tomás Gueglio (composer)
Thomas Aláan (countertenor)
Bruno Rivera (countertenor)

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Supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, & National Endowment for the Arts.