It’s been a long month of fundraising for this project on Kickstarter, and now we are down to our last three days. Some of you joined us for the dance party at Cattivo, celebrating our launch, hosted by the Awesome DJ Kelly A, some were listening to our short segment on the Saturday Light Brigade, some saw our beautiful full-spread ad designed by the talented Marjorie Rishel in the program for Undercroft Opera’s Don Giovanni, and some of you tuned in to our Twitch live stream last Saturday, featuring the endlessly entertaining Bonnie Bogovich and her cache of chickens. Many of you heard about us through friends, and many from one of us directly. To everyone who has been following us and especially to our Kickstarter backers, we want to express our most sincere gratitude.
Did you catch Liz Rishel on the Saturday Light Brigade this past saturday? Steam was granted an interview live on the radio, and you can check it out here!
Saturday, June 4, starting at noon and running until four, the Steam Team and Special Guests will be running a LIVE PLEDGE DRIVE on Twitch! There will be games, there will be sneak previews of songs, there will be steam punk demonstrations, and MORE!
Don’t forget that it’s all to advertise our Kickstarter! Help share the link and add to your pledges at
Steam members Liz Rishel (Charlotte Monroe) and Jordan Speranzo (Spencer Lawrence) performed in Undercroft Opera’s Don Giovanni last weekend, joined by Bonnie Bogovich, who is working with Steam behind the scenes and in front of the camera as a member of the Knox Mill board of directors. The remarkable thing about this version of Don Giovanni is that Liz and Bonnie were both on a team that re-wrote the entire libretto of the opera to infuse it with elements from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Liz performed the role of “Zerlina” (inspired by “Lucy” from the novel), covered (understudied) by Bonnie, who also played a vampire bride supernumerary (non-speaking acting role). Jordan covered the role of “Don Giovanni” himself, (inspired by “Count Dracula”) which he performed with Bonnie in a staged covers concert on Saturday. William Strom (Richard Kauffer) ran the front of house crew, selling and maintaining tickets at the box office and managing concessions.
The performances were augmented through the use of a projected set of functional surrounding or inspirational images that brought the supernatural elements into play. Each of the 4 performances went very well, and supported the mission statement of Liz, Jordan, William, Bonnie, and the other artists to present opera that appeals to fans of other genres.
The above ad appeared as a full-page spread in the program, promoting our Kickstarter. Please visit and make a donation.
Artwork by Marjorie Rishel
It’s week one of our campaign and things are going AMAZING! Thank you to everyone who pledged and shared. You are awesome. We are grateful for as much exposure as possible so please keep sharing our link at kickstarter.com/profile/steamtheopera
Our Kickstarter to fund Episode One is now Live! Please tell all your friends and let the fun times commence!
We are excited to have launched the Kickstarter for STEAM ~ or ~ THE SPECTERS OF THE KNOX MILL. We need your help. Please visit the Kickstarter page at www.kickstarter.com/profile/steamtheopera and donate to your heart’s content. If you can’t donate today, no problem, we would ask that you take a few seconds to share the Kickstarter with your friends and family on social media. The more people who see the Campaign, the more value your contribution gains. Plus if we get big spikes in donations our Campaign can be featured on Kickstarter’s main page, garnering lots of views and donations. If you’re passionate about excellent music, rich storytelling, and the Steampunk aesthetic, please help us raise the funds we need to create a film that will satisfy. Make sure to find us on facebook.com/steamtheopera, and on twitter @SteamOpera and help us spread the word!
The Steam Team
Friends of Steam ~ or ~ The Specters of the Knox Mill have asked to throw a dance party in our honor to raise funds for the project! And what can we say, but “Yes! A Thousand times, Yes!” because we love dancing, and hanging out with all of you, and singing about our project from every mountaintop in Pittsburgh.
DJ Kelly A and DJ SamAraI will be spinning electro-swing and darkwave music.
This will be a non-smoking event, so no worries for all the steampunkers who want to dance in their steampunk finery.
Come join us on May 14 from 10pm-2am at Cattivo in Lawrenceville for drinks, dancing, and hanging out with the band!
Dear Steampunk Fans,
We are hard at work preparing STEAM for its big Kickstarter launch. If you are as excited for this project as we are and want to make it a reality, the best thing that you can do is share our Kickstarter with friends and family, heck, even enemies. An initial successful day of donations goes a long way towards boosting our position in the Kickstarter analytics which means more and more people will see our project. In the meantime, we encourage you to keep checking out the website and find us on Facebook and on Twitter. Read our articles, rewatch our music video The Pitch, and share your anticipation with social media.
We need you!
The Steam Team
Everyone knows some cliches about Opera, and a few questions to ask. But when you meet an opera singer for the first time, here’s a countdown of the the five things an opera singer wants to hear THE LEAST:
4.) dead. silence.
3.) crickets chirping and a distant cough.
2.) you opening your mouth as if to say something, and then closing it again.
1.) the sound of the moisture evaporating off of your eyeballs as you zone out into a glassy stare.
You keep us and our art relevant when you relate to us on your terms. Sure, there are some questions opera singers are used to answering, but as long as people are asking them, that means they care. Don’t ever hesitate to voice your curiosity about opera, because we love this art, we’re passionate about it, and we would love to discuss it with you. We know that your background is not the same as ours. The moment you feel too inexperienced to ask questions, or worry that you might embarrass yourself, that’s when we hear the thing we dread the most— an entire population letting us become irrelevant.
-by Liz Rishel
When I’m alone in the house, I tend to click on one of three apps for my own personal entertainment- Netflix, YouTube, or the Infuse App that allows me to stream my digital collection of movies and shows. I enjoy watching new things, but I also like to revisit old favorites. These are usually the things I put on in the background when I’m making dinner or doing chores. When I think about consuming media, be it art, entertainment, news, educational, or combinations of those things, this experience of sharing my media with my mobile life is the first thing that comes to mind.
Steam ~ or ~ The Specters of the Knox Mill is designed to be released on YouTube for the general public to enjoy. We love the idea that our audiences will be able to deck out across the couch, open up their YouTube App, and watch our show alone or with friends from anywhere in the world, but the idea that makes me smile is the thought that perhaps someone will one day decide to throw on Steam while folding laundry or making dinner. It’s the double-tasking activities that feel the most meaningful- the experience of a familiar voice that whispers, “Hello friend. I’m here for you whenever you need me.”
-Written by Liz Rishel
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