The 2017-18 season comes to an end. Now what do you do? Or more like where do you go?
Opera lovers know that there are a plethora of festivals to check out, but many are distant from their own traditional opera companies and it can turn into a challenge trying to figure out where to fly out to in the summer. There are a ton of selections to be sure, so we whittled it down to the 10 Must-See productions in the U.S that cannot be missed this summer.
10. La Favorita – New Amsterdam Opera: The last time New York audiences heard this Donizetti masterpiece was with the Opera Orchestra Of New York. That performance in 2001 included Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and as a result, New Amsterdam Opera’s production of “La Favorita’ will be dedicated to the memory the beloved artist. The production will be lead by Keith Chambers with a cast that includes Catherine Martin, Steven LaBrie, and Peter Scott Drackley.
Performance Dates: June 2, 2018
9. Flight – Des Moines Metro Opera: Jonathan Dove’s “Flight” is set to showcase an array of all-stars including Audrey Luna, John Holiday, Andrew Bidlack, Theo Hoffman, Zachary James, Norman Garrett, and Sofia Selowsky. David Neely conducts the comic gem in a production by Kristine McIntyre.
Performance Dates: June 30-July 13, 2018
8. Candide – Santa Fe Opera: In celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, the Santa Fe Opera will present a new production of the work directed by the acclaimed Laurent Pelly. Brenda Rae and Alek Shrader headline the production with Kevin Burdette and Helene Schneiderman rounding out the cast.
Performance Dates: June 29-August 25, 2018
7. Silent Night – Glimmerglass Festival: Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s award-winning masterpiece makes its Glimmerglass debut in a new production by Tomer Zvulun. Nicole Paiement conducts the score, which includes three languages and which will be a rare opportunity for New York audiences to see this modern masterpiece.
Performance Dates: July 15-August 23, 2018
6. Fellow Travelers – Minnesota Opera: Hadleigh Adams and Andres Acosta lead Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce’s acclaimed opera, which has been successful in Chicago, New York, and Cincinnati. Peter Rothstein directs a new production with Daniela Candillari conducting.
Performance Dates: June 16-26, 2018
5. Another Brick in The Wall – Cincinnati Opera: Roger Waters’ unique opera will get its U.S premiere after a successful world premiere in Montreal. The opera, which is based on Pink Floyd’s album “The Wall,” is set to star Nathan Keoughan, France Bellemare, and Jean-Michel Richer. Alain Trudel conducts.
Performance Dates: July 20-31, 2018
4. Regina – Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: There are a ton of incredible productions this summer at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, but “Regina” takes the cake for us. Susan Graham returns to OTSL for her role debut in Marc Blitzstein’s work. Legendary bass-baritone James Morris joins her alongside Melody Wilson and Ron Raines. Stephen Lord conducts this rarely performed work with James Robinson directing a new production.
Performance Dates: May 31-June 24, 2018
3. The Demon – Bard Summerscape: The Summerscape festival continues to explore unknown gems and this year is no different with Rubenstein’s masterpiece. Leon Botstein conducts an international cast that includes Olga Tolkmit (last seen at Bard in “Dimitrij”) and baritone Yefim Zavalny in his American debut in the title role. Thaddeus Strassberger directs a new production.
Performance Dates: July 27-August 5, 2018
2. Brokeback Mountain – New York City Opera: For its second annual pride celebration, the New York City Opera will bring the U.S premiere of the Charles Wuorinen’s third opera. The opera, originally intended for the “people’s opera” will star Daniel Okulitch and Glenn Seven Allen in the lead roles. Kazem Abdullah conducts the production by Jacopo Spirei.
Performance Dates: May 31-June 4, 2018
1. The Ring Cycle – San Francisco Opera: It doesn’t get more epic than Wagner’s “Ring” at the San Francisco Opera. The company is staging Francesca Zambello’s production with acclaimed Wagnerian Evelyn Herlitzius in the role of Brünnhilde, Daniel Brenna as Siegfried, and Falk Struckmann as Alberich. The production will also star Greer Grimsley as Wotan/The Wanderer, Karita Mattila as Sieglinde, Brandon Jovanovich as Froh and Siegmund, and Jamie Barton as Fricka and Waltraute. That is about as good a cast as you can get for the Ring anywhere in the world.
Performance Dates: June 12-July 1, 2018