10 Must-See Operas For The Summer Season 2019 [U.S. Edition]

By Francisco Salazar

As the 2018-19 season comes to an end, the opera season continues with festivals and many companies opening new productions.

With a ton of selections to choose from, we eventually whittled it down to the 10 Must-See productions, as we did internationally.  Here is a look at the operas you cannot miss this summer in the U.S..

10. Hérodiade – New Amsterdam Opera 

The New Amsterdam Opera continues to showcase rare repertoire and rediscovering works that audiences have not heard in years. This year, the company will present Massenet’s “Hérodiade” featuring Janara Kellerman in the title role. Other cast members include Marcy Stonikas, Jason Duika, Errin Brooks, Isaiah Musik-Ayala, and Charles Eaton. Keith Chambers conducts.

Performance Date: May 10, 2019

9. Rusalka – San Francisco Opera

Rachel Willis-Sørensen makes her role debut in Dvorak’s most famous opera in a new production by David McVicar. Brandon Jovanovich (arguably the finest tenor in this role today) also stars with Jamie Barton, Kristinn Sigmundsson, and Sarah Cambidge.

Performance Dates: June 16-28, 2019

8. The Ghost of Versailles – Glimmerglass Festival 

Yelena DyachekJonathan Bryan, Kayla Siembieda, Ben Schaefer, Brian Wallin, and Joanna Latini headline a new production of Corligiano’s famed opera with Joseph Colaneri conducting. Jay Lesenger directs the work, which is rarely performed and which returns to New York for the first time since its world in premiere at the Metropolitan Opera. 

Performance Dates: July 13-August 23, 2019

7. El Gato Montés –  LA Opera

U.S. audiences will get a rare chance to hear an opera in Spanish with an all-star Latino cast. Plácido Domingo and Ana María Martínez headline the production with Arturo Chacón-Cruz and Nancy Fabiola Herrera also starring. The opera will be directed by Jorge Torres and conducted by maestro Jordi Bernàcer.

Performance Dates: May 3-19, 2019

6. The Blessed Damozel & Litanies to the Black Virgin – Central City Opera

A new double bill of enchanting, rarely-performed works by Debussy and Poulenc will showcase the singers of the acclaimed Bonfils-Stanton Artists Training Program. Directed by Alessandro Talevi this is set to be the highlight of the Central City season.

Performance Dates: July 23-August 1, 2019

5. Bon Appetit – Des Moines Metro Opera

Joyce Castle stars as the iconic Julia Child in the 1989 opera by Lee Hoiby. The company premiere will showcase scenic designer Adam Crinson and costume designer Heather Lesieur. 

Performance Dates: July 18-21, 2019

4. Blind Injustice – Cincinnati Opera

Scott Davenport Richards and David Cote’s new opera will receive its world premiere in a new production featuring Joseph Lattanzi, Eric Shane, and Maria Miller. Robin Guarino directs the work which is set to explore the true stories of six people who were tried, convicted, imprisoned, then ultimately freed by the Ohio Innocence Project.

Performance Dates: July 22-27, 2019

3. The Thirteenth Child – Santa Fe Opera

Poul Ruders brings his fifth opera to the Santa Fe stage, marking the company’s 16th world premiere. The new work is set to be directed by Darko Tresnjak and will be conducted by Paul Daniel.

Tamara Mumford, Joshua Dennis, Kristen Mackinnon, David Leigh, and Bradley Garvin will star in the work which has a libretto by Becky and David Starobin.

Performance Dates: July 27-August 21, 2019

2. The Miracle of Heliane – Bard Summerscape

Rising star Ausrine Stundyte makes a rare appearance in the U.S. singing the U.S. premiere of Korngold’s rarely performed opera. Daniel Brenna and Alfred Walker star in the production by Christian Raith. Leon Botstein conducts.

Performance Dates: July 26-August 4, 2019

1. Stonewall – New York City Opera

Liz Bouk and Andrew Bidlack star in Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s groundbreaking opera celebrating Stonewall’s 50th anniversary. The world premiere will be directed by Leonard Foglia and will also star Lisa Chavez, Michael Corvino, Jessica Fishenfeld, Marc Heller, Brian James Myer, and Jordan Weatherston Pitts. This should be an out and out celebration of a major event. It should also not be understated that the New York City Opera continues to champion and world premiere new operas.

Performance Dates: June 21-28, 2019



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