Librettist Herschel Garfein describes this tale of tragic romance as “a moving, at times harrowing, confrontation between two dark, unknowable forces: the force of desire and the force of survival.”


Adriana Zabala

American premiere include The Adventures of Pinocchio and the world premieres of Doubt and The Manchurian Candidate.

Keith Phares

“A strong contender for iconographic recognition”— Opera News on Elmer Gantry

Alisa Jordheim

Caramoor’s Dialogues of the Carmelites 2015, Florentine’s Elmer Gantry 2015 and Albert Herring 2013

Matt Morgan

NYC Opera’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Florentine’s Elmer Gantry 2015


Creative Team

James Zager


William Boggs


Kris Stone

Scenic Designer

Noele Stollmack

Lighting Designer

Rachel Laritz

Costume Designer


This World Premiere production reunites the creative team that won double GRAMMY® awards for the Florentine Opera recording of Elmer Gantry*, as conductor William Boggs (The two-time Grammy® Award-winning recording and Midwest premiere of Elmer Gantry 2010, Julius Caesar 2014) once again leads the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Florentine Opera Chorus. Sister Carrie will be directed by William Florescu with lighting design by Noele Stollmack, scenic design by Kris Stone, and costume design by Rachel Laritz.

Composer Robert Aldridge and Librettist Herschel Garfein made US opera history when Elmer Gantry opened to rave reviews at Nashville Opera in 2007 followed by a Florentine Opera Midwest premiere and professional recording in 2010. Opera outsiders, they had undertaken a full-length grand opera on a classic American novel without a commission. Their seventeen-year ordeal searching for a full production was the basis of a front-page article in the New York Times Arts and Leisure (“Behold! An Operatic Miracle!”). Sister Carrie is their second opera.

Few recent American operas have been so dramatically and musically assured at every turn, or so perfectly paced and musically inviting.
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
Best Opera Recording 2011.
— Opera News
Aldridge and Garfein have accomplished here what opera rarely achieves: taking a dated US cultural relic and making it relevant again.
— Gramophone

GRAMMY® Winner for Best Contemporary Classical Composition
GRAMMY® Winner for Best Engineered Classical Recording
– the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

*GRAMMY® awards for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Engineered Classical Recording