Cackling Harpies are a dynamic opera directing duo who write Fun-Size Operas, direct full-length productions, and perform powerfully, like only a Harpy can. Our ethos is three-fold; Theater is a team sport. We aim for the composer’s intentions. We replace the antiquated with genuine emotional experience. Also… dick jokes.

Dynamic Directing
Duo Du Jour


As a team, Cackling Harpies have mounted Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, Donizetti’s Elixir of Love, Verdi’s La Traviata, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, and, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. 


Cackling Harpies has created three annual shows for Opera Tampa at the Straz: The Witching Hour, entering its 6th year, Spanish Nights, on its 3rd year, and OUTloud will have its second run in 2023.


They have also created two original Christmas shows, A December to Remember, and Home For The Holidays.
In January 2021, Melissa and Alix were tasked with creating Covid- compliant versions of full operas; which meant outdoor performances, limited & fully masked rehearsals, actor executed Wigs and Makeup, shortened run times. They wrote, directed and played the titular characters in Gilbert Vs. Sullivan. Alix also executed the wig and make-up for both Gilbert and Sullivan.


In April 2021, they wrote and directed Butterfly’s Flight, which went on to be nominated for two Best Of The Bay Awards; Best Playwright (Alix Faulhaber), and Best Theatrical Production (Butterfly’s Flight).

Best of the Bay!

Cackling Harpies were the winners of the Best Operetta Director, Best of the Bay award for our production of “Pirates of Penzance” with Opera Tampa, 2022.

Winning a Creative Loafing Best of the Bay is the highest honor bay area for locals like us. Our bold ensemble and the vast resources of the Straz center ensured a fantastic show; of which we couldn’t be more proud. From the ship crashing upon entry to pirate ladders springing out from the pit, to the burst of confetti on the final button, we all had so much fun building this show! And in that, we’re sure we are in-keeping with the composer’s intentions.

What is a Fun-Sized Opera?

Fun-Sized Operas are a condensed and entertaining production with all the life, death, pathos, and passion of the original in a fresh and entertaining format that leaves audiences wanting more.  

Newcomers are smitten, fans are sated. This is opera with a modern sensibility and humor. These freestanding shows are adaptable to venues, casts, and other considerations.

Upcoming Shows

Check out our always up to date roster of upcoming shows at the Straz Center in Tampa and beyond!

Fun-Size Operas

Short, Condensed Opera Productions that are fun! Turnkey solutions for your theatre troop, ready for the stage!

About the Team

All about the team that makes the Harpies who they are, where they’ve been, and what they’ve accomplished.

...Engaging, Talented and Hilarious!

Cackling Harpies is a fun and unique duo that takes opera to the next level! Their productions always ensure that every charter has a unique story and life that comes across on stage.
As directors, they are always a joy to work with and create an environment that is truly collaborative. As performers, they are engaging, talented and hilarious!

-John Kaneklides
Tenor, La Traviata

100% Fun


“Have you ever wished for a production team that brought 100% fun and 100% historical and artistic relevance? Look no further! Every Cackling Harpies production I’ve been a part of has been the perfect combination of the two. Never a dull moment and never an unfounded direction, these two really are a dream team and I look forward to getting to work together again soon!”

Christopher Ryan
Baritone, Witching Hour 2021

...You'll Laugh, Cheer and Cry

“I have never enjoyed a rehearsal process more or felt more safe to explore my character than when working with the Cackling Harpies. They invite you to create with them and become invested in the show like none other. As an audience member, you’ll laugh and cheer and cry; if you’re a cast member, you’ll do the same.”

– Sean Christopher Stork
Baritone, Witching Hour 2021, Spanish Nights

Events, Workshops & More

The Harpies are always adding new classes and workshops to their schedule. Sign up for the latest or book one on one time here.

Latest from the Harpies

Our blog is a great place to find out what we’ve been up to lately and see all the juicy back stage antics.

Contact Us Already!

We are very online and would love to correspond with you about your next production, or just to say hey!