10 Must See Operas In 2019 [North America Edition]

By Francisco Salazar

Even though 2018 is coming to an end, there is a lot of opera to look forward to in 2019.

There will be even more stars, world premieres, new productions, and rarely performed works that will be showcased throughout the world. In celebration of the new year, let’s take a look at the operas OperaWire believes are not be missed in North America in 2019. You can look at the International List right here!

10. Don Pasquale – Pittsburgh Opera

Lisette Oropesa, who has dominated the European stage throughout the past year will make one appearance in the U.S. stage during the 2018-19 season. This alone makes this production a must-see. 

In this revival production, Oropesa will be joined by Kevin Glavin, Joshua Hopkins, and Javier Abreu.

Performane Dates: April 27-May 5, 2019

9. Florencia en el Amazonas – Houston Grand Opera

Daniel Catón’s opera has become of the rare modern works to be performed all over the world. It is a work that combines lyrical and modernistic sensitivity and the Houston Grand Opera will bring the work back with Ana Maria Martinez in the title role, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Joshua Guerrero, and Alicia Gianni. Patrick Summers conducts Francesca Zambello’s timeless production.

Performance Dates: Jan. 18-Feb.3, 2019

8. Dead Man Walking – Atlanta Opera

Tomer Zvulun directs a new production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s great work. Jamie Barton makes her role debut as Sister Helen Prejean while Michael Mayes reprises his signature role as De Rocher. Maria Zifchak and Karen Slack round out the cast with Joseph Mechavich conducting.

Performance Dates: Feb. 2-10, 2019

7. Frida – Florida Grand Opera

Robert Xavier Rodríguez’s opera on the famed painter returns to the stage with Colombian-American soprano Catalina Cuervo in the title role with she previously had major success. She is joined by Riccardo Herrera and conductor Robert Kalb. Jose Maria Condemi directs the revival of the production.

Performance Dates: March 16–30, 2019

6. Manon Lescaut – The Dallas Opera

Gregory Kunde has become one of the greatest dramatic tenors of his generation, building a huge career in Europe. Now after 12 years the tenor returns to a staged production in the USA. His last true staged production in the U.S. was back in 2007 when he appeared in “I Puritani” with Anna Netrebko at the Metropolitan Opera.

He is joined by Kristin Lewis and Musa Ngqungwana. Emmanuel Villaume conducts the anticipated production.

Performance Dates: March 1-9, 2019

4. El Gato Montes – LA Opera

Ana María Martinez and Plácido Domingo team up for Penella’s highly popular opera. They are joined by Arturo Chacón Cruz and Nancy Fabiola Herrera with Juan Carlos Plaza directing the production. Jordi Bernacer conducts the Spanish work which Domingo has championed for more than 30 years.

Performance Dates: May 4-19, 2019

3. Three Decembers – San Diego Opera

Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s work returns to the stage with the legendary Frederica Von Stade in a rare appearance in an opera production. She is joined by Steven LaBrie, who had a breakout year, and Kristin Clayton. Adam Turner conducts the production by Karen Tiller.

Performance Dates: March 8-10, 2019

2. The Thirteenth Child – Santa Fe Opera

Tamara Mumford, Kristen Mackinnon, Joshua Dennis,  Bradley Garvin, and David Leigh headline the world premiere of Poul Ruders and Becky and David Starobin’s new opera. Paul Daniel conducts the new work in a new production by Dark Tresnjak.

Performance Dates: July 27-August 21, 2019

1. Stonewall – New York City Opera

Ian Bell and Mark Campbell are set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that helped start the LGBT rights movement. The work will be part of the New York City Opera’s Pride Initative and the 85-minute work will be divided into three parts following a diverse group of characters whose lives collide at that pivotal moment in history when the police push them too far and they find the courage to fight back. Lenard Foglia directs the new production.

Performance Dates: June 19-23, 2019


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