Librettist, Composer, &
Poetry and Composition
Kirsten premiered her first composition and poetry commission, "Reclaim the Land" for solo voice and piano, for Yellowstone Revealed from Mountain Time Arts. She also will be premiering her composition and poetry commission, "Witch of November in the White City," a monodrama/scena for voice, piano, and violin for Chicago Fringe Opera in March 2023.
Beginning in 2020, Kirsten began to work on writing opera libretti and collaborating with composers on projects that feature viable roles for women characters. She has multiple collaborations in the works, including the following projects:
“Speak Not Her Name: A Lady Macbeth Story”
A one act chamber opera based on filling in the gaps of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” with Lady Macbeth and her relationships with the Three Wyrd Sisters and Hecate. This opera delves deeply into the psyche and character of Lady Macbeth, and also gives a deeper voice to the other characters in this ensemble work.
This full two act chamber opera is based on the lives of six real life women who were part of the aristocracy during the French Revolution. Pulling on much historical fact, in this version, all of these women know each other secretly and support one another - three die by the guillotine and three live. This opera is about their stories and their legacies. Listen to the Wilmington Concert Opera Original Cast Recording and see interviews and read reviews by clicking the music button above.
This work is in collaboration with San Francisco based composer Sarah Van Sciver.
Kirsten has recently been featured as a writer for OPERA AMERICA Magazine and as a guest blogger for the Presser Foundation.
Upcoming Writing Projects
Untitled two act musical based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story, but it is extended and developed to give more background on the main characters, adds interesting women characters, and also enhances minor roles to add comedic levity. This work in progress is in collaboration with Philadelphia based composer Russell Gartner.
Untitled Children’s Opera in progress with Arkansas based composer Jonathan Stinson.
Wilmington Concert Opera is an exclusively BIPOC and women co-founded and run grassroots opera company based in Wilmington, Delaware. Since 2016, Drs. Kirsten C. Kunkle and Marisa Robinson have focused on bringing opera to everyone through free and accessible concerts in the greater Wilmington and Philadelphia area, as well as through online content. Wilmington Concert Opera is focused on giving high quality and collegial opportunities to emerging professional and professional level singers, with a focus on hiring locally. Kirsten serves as the Artistic Director of the company, and also handles the social media.