Aleda or The Flight of the Suff Birdwomen: One-Act Chamber Opera in Three Scenes

7:30 p.m.
Clark Auditorium

On Staten Island in 1916, pilot Leda Richberg-Hornsby and the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) attempted a unique women’s suffrage demonstration. Piloting a bi-plane with a cargo of votes-for-women petitions, and a huge banner reading "Women want liberty too," Leda set out to fly over New York Harbor, "bombing" President Woodrow Wilson with petitions as he attended a national celebration at the Statue of Liberty. The elaborate plan was a fiasco as gale force winds necessitated a crash-landing in a Staten Island swamp (with no casualties!) – yet the attempt stands as a testimony to the courage, inventiveness, and dramatic flair of these women in their struggle for suffrage.

Music and libretto by Max Caplan; commissioned and produced by Musicians of Ma’alwyck, Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, Director. More information, participant bios, and additional Researching New York public events are available at


Suff Bird Women

Members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association gather at Midland Beach, Staten Island prior to their liberty flight. N-YHS Prints and Photographs, PR 68.