Everything You Need to Know About the Washington National Opera’s 2017-18 Season

By David Salazar

The Washington National Opera has just announced its 2017-18 season.


The company will kick off the year with a new production of Verdi’s “Aida.” Directed by Francesca Zambello, the new production will be co-produced with San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, and Minnesota Opera. The opening performance takes place on Sept. 9 and the run lasts until Sept. 23, a total of nine performances. Tamara Wilson and Amber Wagner alternate the title role while Ekaterina Semenchuk and Marina Prudenskaya take on Amneris. Yonghoon Lee and Carl Tanner rotate Radamès while Gordon Hawkins plays Amonasro, Morris Robinson portrays Ramfis and Solomon Howard is the King. Michael Christie conducts.


Handel’s “Alcina” is the second production of the year, opening on Nov. 4 and running for seven performances until Nov. 19. The new production is directed by Anne Bogart and stars Angela Meade, Ying Fang, Elizabeth DeShong and Daniela Mack. There will be a Nov. 18 performance of the opera that features artists from the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist program.

The Little Prince

A revival of “The Little Prince” by Rachel Portman takes the stage on Dec. 14, running for five performances until Nov. 19. James Lowe conducts a production by Francesca Zambello. Young Artists from the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program will take on the lead roles.

American Opera Initiative Festival

In mid-January 2018, the company will showcase two programs from the American Opera Initiative. The first is “Proving-Up,” an Hour-long opera that is part of the American Opera Initiative Festival. The work is written by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek whose most recent work is the hit “Breaking the Waves.”

On Jan. 20, the company presents three 20-minute operas, also as part of the American Opera Initiative.

John Holiday & Don Carlo

On Feb. 15, 2018, John Holiday, winner of the 2017 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, will perform a recital. Then the company unveils a new production of Verdi’s “Don Carlo” directed by Tom Alberya nd staring Leah Crocetto, Jamie Barton, Russell Thomas, Quinn Kelsey, Eric Owens and Andrea Silvestrelli. That run opens on March 3, 2018 and ends the 17th. There will be a total of seven performance with a back-to-back on the 16th and 17th. The presentation on the 16th will star Latonia Moore, Daryl Freedman, Rafael Davila, Troy Cook, Peter Volpe and Silverstrelli.

The Barber of Seville

Isabel Leonard will lead “The Barber of Seville” starting on April 28, 2018 in a cast that also includes Taylor Stayton, Andrey Zhilikhovsky, Valeriano Lanchas and Wei Wu. Maurizio Benini conducts. On May 17, there will be a performance featuring Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists. The run ends on May 19th.


The final opera of the season will be Bernstein’s “Candide” which bows on May 5, 2018 and stars Alek Shrader, Kathryn Lewek and Denyce Graves. There will be nine performances with the final one on the 24th.

The company also announced that Eric Owens and Peter Kazaras will be the 2017-18 Artists-in-Residence for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.