Katie: The Strongest of The Strong

Faye Chiao

Anton Dudley

Performance forces:



Based on the life of world famous weightlifter Katie Sandwina, this 45 minute opera is the story of a woman who defies gender norms and the limitations of the human body to take the title from the strongest man in the world. Born into a circus family in 1884, Katie Brumbach was benching three-hundred pound barbells by age sixteen and went on to lift horses, a half-ton cannon, juggle cannon balls, bend iron bars, and break chains. Through it all, she charmed the press, as an ideal symbol of beauty, motherhood, and women’s suffrage. The Strongest of the Strong illuminates a remarkable woman from the darkness of history, one who proved that women are equal to men and, in many instances, stronger.  Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, currently (September, 2021) in development for full production.