Cincinnati Opera Returns to Music Hall for its 2018 Summer Festival
U.S. Premiere of Another Brick in the Wall – Based on Pink Floyd’s legendary rock album The Wall. Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata opens the season in a sumptuous production starring Norah Amsellem
Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman returns to the Music Hall stage
for the first time in over 20 years in a new co-production
Company premiere of Claudio Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea at the
Corbett Theater at the School for Creative and Performing Arts
Laura Kaminsky’s transgender coming-of-age opera, As One, makes its company premiere as part of Cincinnati Opera’s new initiative, CO Next: Diverse Voices
Company Leadership Extends Contracts Through 100th Anniversary Season
CINCINNATI, OH—Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera, announced the repertoire and casting for Cincinnati Opera’s 2018 Summer Festival, which will run from June 14 to July 31. The 98th anniversary season celebrates the company’s return to Cincinnati Music Hall following the icon’s 16-month renovation.
The season begins with a magnificent production of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata in Music Hall’s Springer Auditorium, followed by the company’s first-ever production of a work by the first major opera composer, Claudio Monteverdi, with The Coronation of Poppea at the Corbett Theater at the School for Creative and Performing Arts. The season continues with Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, on the Music Hall stage for the first time in over 20 years. The season closes with two groundbreaking new works in repertory. First, Cincinnati Opera presents the United States premiere of Another Brick in the Wall, based on the legendary Pink Floyd album The Wall, brought to full operatic realization in a stunning multimedia production that earned standing ovations at every performance of its sold-out world premiere run at Canada’s Opéra de Montréal. Finally, the chamber opera As One, the coming-of-age story of a transgender woman, will be presented in the intimate new Wilks Studio at Music Hall.
A New Initiative Launches: CO Next: Diverse Voices
With As One, Cincinnati Opera debuts a fifth production as part of its summer festival, with a new initiative called CO Next: Diverse Voices. CO Next: Diverse Voices will showcase new or existing works by diverse composers or librettists, or works that prominently feature diverse characters in the storyline. These productions, which will be presented in a variety of smaller venues on the Opera Campus in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, are also envisioned to include a collaborative element with a community partner. This new initiative is the first of several which will be launched as the result of the company’s internal strategic planning process.
Song from the Uproar, the company’s first mainstage opera by a female composer and presented in partnership with concert:nova, provided a soft launch of this initiative in the Opera’s 2017 season. In 2018, CO Next: Diverse Voices begins in earnest with the intimate opera As One, to be performed in the brand-new Wilks Studio in the renovated Music Hall.
Company Leadership to Continue Through 100th Anniversary
Gary “Doc” Huffman, President of Cincinnati Opera’s Board of Trustees, announced that the company’s leaders will continue in their roles for the next several years. Patricia K. Beggs, The Harry Fath General Director & CEO, and Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director, have extended their contracts through the 2020 season, which will mark the company’s 100th anniversary. Beggs began working at the company in 1984, and has managed Cincinnati Opera since 1997. Mirageas took on his full-time role as artistic director in 2006.
CINCINNATI OPERA 2018 SUMMER FESTIVAL
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Sung in Italian with projected English supertitles
Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 22, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Springer Auditorium, Music Hall
In Giuseppe Verdi’s beloved opera La Traviata, the heroine has put away thoughts of love, favoring instead the comfort and frivolity of wealth, but true love comes to find her. Cincinnati Opera presents an opulent, “larger-than-life” period co-production with Florida Grand Opera, last seen here in 2008, filled with “whirling ball scenes” and “glittering costumes” (Cincinnati Enquirer).
French soprano Norah Amsellem will sing the lead role of the famed courtesan Violetta Valéry in her second appearance with Cincinnati Opera. Amsellem has performed the role to great acclaim at Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro Real Madrid, and Teatro Communale di Bologna. The Financial Times praised not only her singing in the role, but her powerful acting, holding the audience “spellbound.” Amsellem previously impressed Cincinnati audiences in the role of Liú in Turandot (2015).
Korean tenor Ji-Min Park, possessed of “a very attractive and gilded tenor” (Opera Brittania), returns to Cincinnati Opera as the headstrong and passionate Alfredo Germont. He has recently sung the role at Korean National Opera and Opera North. Park made his company debut in 2015 as Ernesto in Don Pasquale. Called a “rising star” (Opera Magazine), Korean baritone Youngjoo An will make his company debut singing the role of Alfredo’s disapproving father, Giorgio Germont.
Bliss Hebert will stage direct the production designed by Allen Charles Klein. Hebert and Klein’s previous collaborations at Cincinnati Opera include the 2008 debut of this Traviata production, as well as their magnificent Aida from 2007 and 2013. Renato Balsadonna will conduct, and lighting design is by Thomas C. Hase.
Company Premiere, Brand-New Production
THE CORONATION OF POPPEA
Music by Claudio Monteverdi
Libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello
Sung in Italian with projected English supertitles
Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Corbett Theater, School for Creative and Performing Arts
Cincinnati Opera presents a brand-new production of The Coronation of Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi, the first presentation of a Monteverdi opera by the company and only the second Baroque opera to be produced, after Cavalli’s La Calisto in 2014. The opera tells the story of Poppea, the ambitious mistress of the Roman emperor Nero, and her quest to be crowned empress. The production will be directed by the “superbly imaginative” (Parterre Box) Zack Winokur, who made his Cincinnati Opera debut as the choreographer of La Calisto. Cincinnati Opera’s strategic partner, Catacoustic Consort, will provide period instrumentalists for the production, following previous collaborations on La Calisto and Songs of Love and War in 2014.
Anthony Roth Costanzo, a “world-class” (Opera Magazine) American countertenor, will make his Cincinnati Opera debut singing the role of Nero, the Emperor of Rome. Performing on various stages from opera to Broadway to concert and film, Costanzo has earned the title of “a bona-fide star” (The New Yorker). Following a recent engagement at the Spoleto Festival USA, The Post and Courier wrote “Costanzo is a force of nature…because of his stunning voice…and because of his magnetic stage presence and acting abilities.”
Grammy-nominated American soprano Talise Trevigne will sing the role of Drusilla. American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, credited with a voice of “velvety gentleness” by The New York Times, will sing the role of Poppea’s former lover, Ottone, and American bass Alex Rosen will sing the role of the elder statesman Seneca. Trevigne, Cohen, and Rosen will all be making their Cincinnati Opera debuts.
The opera will be conducted by American conductor Gary Thor Wedow in his mainstage company debut. The new production’s scenic designer is Adam Charlap Hyman, and the lighting design is by Thomas C. Hase.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
Music and libretto by Richard Wagner
Sung in German with projected English supertitles
Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Springer Auditorium, Music Hall
Cincinnati Opera presents a new production of Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, the eerie nautical ghost story of a cursed Dutchman doomed to wander the seas until he finds a wife. The co-production with The Atlanta Opera and Houston Grand Opera promises to bring the old folktale to the stage in a new and modern way, with stunning visual projections.
American soprano Marcy Stonikas, who “sings with power, grace, and effortless fluidity” (Washington Times), leads the cast as Senta. Following her stunning turn as the title character in Turandot (2015), the Cincinnati Enquirer hailed Stonikas as “a mesmerizing storyteller.” Praised by the Financial Times as “a brilliant actor and a palpable stage presence,” Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg will make his company debut singing the role of the Dutchman. American tenor Jay Hunter Morris will make his company debut as Senta’s fiancé, Erik, after performing the role at Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Australia, and the Glimmerglass Festival. American bass Arthur Woodley, a frequent performer at Seattle Opera and Opera Philadelphia, will sing the role of Senta’s father, Daland. Woodley has previously appeared with the company as Sarastro in The Magic Flute (2001) and Colline in La Bohème (1999).
The role of the Steersman will be sung by the “vibrant” (Opera News) American tenor Frederick Ballentine, Jr., and “the vocally lustrous and moving” (The New York Times) American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop will sing the role of Mary, Daland’s housekeeper. Both Ballentine and Bishop will make their company debuts.
Christof Perick will conduct the opera following his company debut with Der Rosenkavalier in 2013. Tomer Zvulun, the general and artistic director of The Atlanta Opera, will direct the production after previous company appearances directing Don Giovanni (2013) and The Magic Flute (2011).
Sets and costumes for the striking new production will be designed by Jacob Climer, with projections by Katy Tucker. Thomas C. Hase will be the lighting designer.
United States Premiere
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL
Original words and music by Roger Waters
Operatic version composed by Julien Bilodeau
Sung in English with projected supertitles
Friday, July 20, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Springer Auditorium, Music Hall
Transforming Pink Floyd’s 1979 album The Wall onto the operatic stage, Another Brick in the Wall tells the semi-autobiographical story of a rock star’s troubled journey after an incident with a concertgoer at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in 1977. Another Brick in the Wall completely transforms Roger Waters’s original work into a standard operatic form, with eight soloists, 48 chorus members, and a 70-piece orchestra. The opera received its world premiere at Opéra de Montréal in March 2017, with ten sold-out performances. Cincinnati Opera is a co-producer of the opera with Productions Opéra Concept M.P., Inc., led by executive director Pierre Dufour.
Singing the role of the progressive-rock superstar Pink is rising Canadian baritone Nathan Keoughan in his Cincinnati Opera debut. Canadian soprano France Bellemare will sing the role of Pink’s mother. A finalist in the 2015 Montreal International Music Competition, Times Argus hailed Bellemare’s performance as exploding with “exhilarating beauty and passion.” Singing the role of Pink’s father is French-Canadian tenor Jean-Michel Richer. Canadian soprano Caroline Bleau, recognized for her “excellent lyric soprano” and “beautiful presence on stage” (ResMusica) will sing the role of Pink’s wife. Bellemare, Richer, and Bleau are reprising their roles from the world premiere, and will all make their Cincinnati Opera debuts.
Reprising his conducting role from the world premiere is Canadian Alain Trudel. The concept and stage direction for the production was created by Dominic Champagne, renowned for his work on such Cirque de Soleil productions as LOVE, Varekai, and Zumanity. Set design is by Stéphane Roy, with costumes by Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt. The video designer is Johnny Ranger, and the lighting design is by Étienne Boucher. Sound design and numeric orchestration are by Louis Dufort.
Limited Engagement Presale: Single tickets for Another Brick in the Wall performances on July 26, 28, and 31, 2018 are available in a limited engagement presale through July 31, 2017. For additional information or to purchase, visit www.cincinnatiopera.org/the-wall or call (513) 241-2742.
Music and concept by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed
Sung in English
Wilks Studio, Music Hall
As One marks the first official offering of Cincinnati Opera’s new initiative, CO Next: Diverse Voices. In this chamber opera for two singers and string quartet by composer Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, a mezzo-soprano and a baritone depict the experiences of its sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she endeavors to resolve the discord between herself and the outside world. The work has previously been presented by Seattle Opera, Opera Colorado, Long Beach Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Urban Arias in Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Cast and creative team information will be released at a future date.
Cincinnati Opera will partner with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Equality Ohio on the production of As One. The production will be directed by Robin Guarino, who made her Cincinnati Opera directing debut with Die Fledermaus in 2016, following recent engagements at the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera. Guarino is the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the co-artistic director of Opera Fusion: New Works.
SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS
Opera in the Park
Sunday, June 10, 2018
On Sunday, June 10, Cincinnati Opera will kick off the season with Opera in the Park, a free concert in Washington Park featuring opera and musical theater favorites performed by stars from the 2018 season, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Opera Chorus.
The 2017-2018 season will also include Cincinnati Opera’s signature programs, including Back to the Zoo, performances by The Opera Express, Opera Goes to Church, and Opera Goes to Temple. Details will be announced at a future date.
Cincinnati Opera will also present the third installment of The Essentials touring education series with a reduced version of La Traviata, touring Greater Cincinnati in April 2018.
Evening performances take place at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances at 3:00 p.m. All performances feature the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. A free Opera Insights lecture is presented one hour prior to each performance.
Cincinnati Opera subscriptions are now on sale, with single tickets on sale in spring 2018. For additional information, please visit cincinnatiopera.org or contact the Cincinnati Opera Box Office at (513) 241-2742.
Founded in 1920 and the second oldest opera company in the nation, Cincinnati Opera presents a thrilling season of grand opera every June and July. The company’s repertoire includes beloved classics and contemporary masterworks brought to life by some of the world’s most dynamic performers and creative teams.
Cincinnati Opera’s 2017 Summer Festival continues through July 23, featuring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s
The Magic Flute as well as Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar, in collaboration with concert:nova. Cincinnati Opera’s 2017 Season Presenting Sponsor is PNC. The 2017 season is also made possible with support from ArtsWave, Ohio Arts Council, Macy’s, The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, and many generous individuals, corporations, and foundations.