Music by Missy Mazzoli
Libretto by Royce Vavrek
Adapted from the short story Proving Up by Karen Russell
Co-commissioned by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha and Miller Theater at Columbia University
© 2018 G. Schirmer Inc.
Performed in English with English supertitles

Set in the brutal early years of post-Civil War Nebraska, a mother is pushed to the brink as her family is pulled apart by loss and isolation. Her son, Miles, must bear the weight of the family’s unrelenting pursuit of the American Dream. Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival Artistic Director, James Darrah, and a world-renowned ensemble together will bring Mazzoli’s innovative and haunting score to life.

Creative Team


A Flowering Tree, 2015


Christopher Rountree, Conductor

Christopher Rountree is the founder, conductor and creative director of the path breaking Los Angeles chamber ensemble wild Up. The New York Times named wild Up’s October 2015 New York debut among the Top 10 classical music events of the year.  Rountree’s 2015-16 season includes debuts with the Chicago Symphony (MusicNOW), Los Angeles Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony as part of the NY Philharmonic Biennial; as well as returns the San Francisco Symphony (SoundBox) and Ensemble LPR.  In 2014-15, Christopher led John Adams’ A Flowering Tree at Opera Omaha, at the composer’s invitation, and returned to the Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra.  Last year alone, Rountree premiered 12 of his own compositions with various groups and soloists including a collaboration with The Crossing and artists Allora & Calzadilla at Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Recent career highlights include engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Green Umbrella), San Diego Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Prototype Festival, Beth Morrison Projects, American Composers Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, American Youth Symphony; and the Rose City Chamber Orchestra. He conducted the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra’s performance of The Rite of Spring on the work’s centenary.

With his eclectic style and resume, Christopher has been tapped to curate events for contemporary art institutions  including the Getty Museum, MCA Denver,  and the Hammer Museum, where a long-running wild Up residency brought the group to national prominence.


    • Michael Slattery, Miles Zegner*
    • Talise Trevigne, Mrs. Johannes “Ma” Zegner
    • Abigail Nims, Zegner Sister, Littler*
    • John Moore, Mr. Johannes “Pa” Zegner
    • Delaram Kamareh, Zegner Sister, Taller*
    • Andrew Harris, The Sodbuster*



 Fri, Apr 13, 2018  7:30 p.m.

Sun, Apr 15, 2018  2:00 p.m.

 Thu, Apr 19, 2018  7:30 p.m.

Sat, Apr 21, 2018  2:00 p.m.

Sun, Apr 22, 2018  7:30 p.m.


ONE Fesitval

Approx. 75 minutes
No Intermission 

Major Sponsors

Omaha Steaks

Simons Foundation




Javascript is currently disabled. For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.


You are using an outdated browser. Sorry, this web site doesn't support Internet Explorer 6. To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below. It is completely free for download: