Niloufar Talebi Projects Presents:

Abraham in Flames

A New Opera

May 9-12, 2019 on Z Space's Main Stage
Commissioned and Presented by Niloufar Talebi Projects
Produced by Cath Brittan

Abraham in Flames is a new opera inspired by the staggering imagery in iconic Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlou's life and poetry, and Trials by Fire. The opera is written for a girls chorus as its main character, Girl, who is tugged at by 5 adult soloists playing Knowing, Happiness, Angel, Poet, and Fear, to find her truth. The title is inspired by the story of the biblical Abraham who stood up for his truth and withstood a trial by fire, and is the title of one of the Shamlou's enduring books. Abraham in Flames features the Young Women’s Chorus of San Francisco lead by Dr. Susan McMane, and is incubated in partnership with the Merola Opera Program. 


Running time: 70 minutes, no intermission.
May 9, 10, 11 at 8 pm (suggested arrival 7:30 pm)
May 12 (Mother’s day) at 4 pm (suggested arrival at 3:30 pm)
*There is no late seating

Student Tickets Require a Student ID for event entry.

The creators and artists will do a Q&A following the performance on May 10.

Recommended ages 9 and up.

Choose “Premium Seating” when purchasing below for access to a special section of reserved seats ($75 + fees). “Standard Seating” gives access to Standard and Student rates.

Please note that if you have a promo code, the entry screen is two screens in, AFTER the ticket selection screen. If you run into any trouble purchasing, please call Z Space’s box office at 415-659-8132 or email for assistan

Artistic Team

Niloufar Talebi (Creator/Librettist)
Aleksandra Vrebalov (Composer)
Roy Rallo (Director/Dramaturg)
Stefano Flavoni (Musical Director)
Heather Carson (Production and Lighting Design)
Christine Crook (Costume Design)


Young Women’s Chorus of San Francisco (chorus): Girl
Ryan Belongie (countertenor): Angel
Renée Rapier  (mezzo-soprano): Poet
Nikki Einfeld (soprano): Fear
Kirk Eichelberger (bass): Knowing
Andrew Metzger (tenor): Happiness


Stefano Flavoni (conductor)
The Living Earth Show
Ron Borelli (accordion)
Matthew Boyles (clarinet)
Lucas Chen (cello)
Rachel Patrick (violin) 

Abraham in Flames is made possible by support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the CA Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Creative Work Fund, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, the Sam Mazza Foundation, New Music USA, Intersection for the Arts, individual gifts including by Sharon Simpson, Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi, Lily Sarafan, Malcolm and Jill Winspeare, Stephen and Susan Philpott, Michael Tilson Thomas and Joshua Robison, Bette and Joe Hirsch, Stacy Pourfallah, Carol Weitz, Maryam Mohit, Beatrice Bowles, Brenda and Preston Conklin, Ben and Marina Nelson, Anonymous, and many more, in addition to a generous challenge match grant from Anonymous Foundation.  

About Niloufar Talebi Projects: Niloufar Talebi is an author, translator, creator, and producer working across genres and cultures in solo and collaborative projects. Please visit

Photos Above: Devlin Shand Photography

Presented in partnership with Intersection for the Arts as part of the Intersect SF Series supported with funds from Grants for the Arts.