Music, Words, Film & Conception by Daron Hagen

Orson Rehearsed is a 70-minute multi-media Joycean stream of consciousness dreamscape comprised of the Zuzu's petals-like memory shards of life streaming through the mind of American filmmaker, actor, activist, and visual artist Orson Welles during the last hour of his life. Welles is portrayed by three singers, accompanied by musicians and performed live to three synchronized 70-minute montages of visual images created by the composer that correspond to musical and textual motives in the piece. The first iteration of the work debuted at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago on 15-16 September 2018, starring Robert Orth, Robert Frankenberry, and Omar Mulero of the New Mercury Collective, in association with Atlas Arts Media, and the Fifth House Ensemble.

Robert Orth as Orson #3.

Robert Orth as Orson #3.

Robert Frankenberry as Orson #2.

Robert Frankenberry as Orson #2.

Omar Mulero as Orson #1.

Omar Mulero as Orson #1.

Crosstown Ambulance Ride Sequence.

Crosstown Ambulance Ride Sequence.

Dacia Clay interviews Daron Hagen about "Orson Rehearsed."



(The cast is entirely flexible, and may consist of from one to six performers.)

  • Orson #1 (tenor)

  • Orson #2 (baritone)

  • Orson #3 (baritone)

  • Rita Hayworth (soprano)

  • Oja Kodar (soprano)

  • Marlene Dietrich (mezzo)


(The acoustic instruments may or may not figure in any given iteration of the piece, which may be performed entirely with pre-recorded sound.)


Each character in the opera is associated at all times with a movie comprised of their inner-thoughts. These films are synchronized in performance with the music and action. These films may be omitted in performance.


The live-performance opera and associated films comprise the raw footage from which a feature-length art film is currently being edited which will be shown at film festivals during the 2019-2021 seasons.

Click on the image above to visit the  Orson Rehearsed  website.

Click on the image above to visit the Orson Rehearsed website.